By Adebayo Williams
Liverpool striker Sadio Mane struck in the dying minutes of the Merseyside derby to down Everton on Monday night. The match had looked to be heading for a scoreless draw before the brilliant Senegalese broke the Toffees’ hearts.
The match had been a drab encounter as both goalkeepers were less busy in the early stages of the first half. The first shot of the game fell to Liverpool’s Georginio Wijnaldum but the Dutch man swung his shot embarrassingly wide of goal. Everton had Funes Mori with a free header only for him to put it wide. The battle of the encounter was largely done in the midfield with Ross Barkley often getting himself in dirty tackles. His most noteworthy was a late challenge on Reds captain Jordan Henderson. The tackle created a loss of temper amongst the players before the referee could settle them. Barkley had his shirt torn to emphasise how physical the midfield battle was.
Liverpool’s flying Brazilian Roberto Firmino was always outnumbered by the Everton players who were not willing to take any chances. Although the match was largely uneventful for Everton, they had some decent chances of their own. Romelu Lukaku had failed to connect to a cross, allowing Ragnar Klavan to clear with a brilliant tackle while Funes Mori had wasted a free header in front of goal.
Maarten Stekelenburg was called to action by Mane, he saved but had to make way after sustaining an injury in the process. He was replaced by backup, Joel Robles, who was going to concede the stoppage time winner.
The victory sees Liverpool sustain their chase of league leaders Chelsea with former title favourites, Arsenal remaining rooted to the fourth position.