Liverpool defeat Everton 2-0 in Merseyside derby, keep quadruple hopes alive and push crosstown rivals into Premier League relegation zone

Liverpool’s Divock Origi has to wait for his moments but, when given a chance, he is often the difference maker, as he showed again by coming off the bench to inspire his side to victory over Everton on Sunday.

Telling contributions in fleeting appearances have been Origi’s forte throughout his time at Liverpool.

His 95th-minute winner against Everton in 2018 had coach Jürgen Klopp sprinting across the pitch in celebration, while he also scored a game-clinching second in the 2019 Champions League final, as well as a double in Liverpool’s famous 4-0 win over Barcelona that season.

He has saved his best for Liverpool’s bitter rivals Everton, with his late header after coming off the bench at Anfield on Sunday putting the seal on his team’s 2-0 win in a hard-fought Merseyside derby.

The win kept the home side within one point of title rivals Manchester City, with five games to go, while devastating the blue half of Merseyside as Everton slipped into the relegation zone after Burnley’s 1-0 win over Wolves earlier in the day. 

It was the 27-year-old Origi’s sixth career goal against Everton, at least twice as many as he has managed against any other opponent in his Liverpool career, while he has now scored 11 goals as a substitute in the Premier League, the outright most by a Liverpool player.

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“We are happy with the impact [from substitutes] all season,” Klopp said. “They come on with the right mindset when they come on. Luis [Diaz] and Divock were involved in the goals and that helps in tight football games.

“We did not show up there in the first half. We had a lot of possession, the most of a Premier League game for us [more than 86 per cent], but we changed things in the second half.

Orgi’s late winner in Liverpool’s 1-0 win at Wolverhampton Wanderers earlier this season — a match where Klopp’s side had struggled to break down their determined hosts — is just another example of his impact.

It could have all been so different at Anfield, had Everton been awarded a penalty when Anthony Gordon went down under a challenge from Joel Matip in the second half, with the score at 0-0, a decision that infuriated coach Frank Lampard.

“I am not trying to create conflict there, I just think it is the reality of football sometimes.”

Liverpool had two reasons to celebrate: defeating crosstown rivals Everton, and keeping their Premier League title charge alive.  (Getty Images: Liverpool FC/Nick Taylor)

However, it was not to be, with Origi stepping off the bench to help create the first Liverpool goal for Andy Robertson, before then putting the game to bed with yet another late strike.

In such a tight title race, where Liverpool will need a slip from leaders Manchester City if they are to finish top of the pile this term, such contributions, off the bench, could make all the difference.

Burnley’s 1-0 win over Wolves came as a lifeline for the Lancashire club, with Matěj Vydra’s 62nd-minute strike making the difference at Turf Moor.

Everton (29 points) are now 18th and in the relegation zone. They trail Burnley by two points, with a worse goal difference, but have a game in hand over the Clarets (six games remaining to Burnley’s five).

However, they have a tough run home, with matches to come against Chelsea, Leicester, Watford, Brentford, Crystal Palace and Arsenal, leaving a tough task for Lampard’s men to keep the club in the top flight. 

In other games, Chelsea are five points clear in third after a 1-0 win over West Ham, while Spurs blew a chance to keep up with the top four, drawing 0-0 with Brentford, and Brighton let a lead slip to share the points with Southampton in a 2-2 draw. 

Reuters/ABC

Reference-www.abc.net.au

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