Liverpool 2 vs 0 Everton: Salah and Gakpo give Liverpool huge Merseyside derby victory

gakpo celebrates first liverpool goal

Liverpool finally got their season up and running as they claimed a first Premier League win of 2023.

It snapped a four-match winless run after defeats on the road to the likes of Brentford, Brighton and Wolves.

Although 9 points adrift of the top four and the much-coveted Champions League places, they will be buoyed with the manner of this victory.

Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino returned early from lengthy injury absences, and made an impact on the game in the second-half.

Coupled with the inclusion of Virgil van Dijk on the substitutes bench, this provided the catalyst for a big psychological boost to win the match.

Everton meanwhile, tasted defeat for the first time under Sean Dyche after their shock win over league leaders Arsenal.

They remain rooted in the bottom three and fighting a relegation battle.


The hosts might have been in poor form of late, but Anfield was rocking.

An electric atmosphere with nothing but anticipation of a big Liverpool performance at last.

And Jurgen Klopp’s charges started brightly, Mohamed Salah laid the ball off for youngster Stefan Bajčetić, who whipped a nice ball into the penalty area.

Darwin Núñez, with an outstretched bicycle kick connected impressively with the cross, and the ball flew across goal, only for Cody Gakpo to head narrowly wide, after good build up play.

It was clear Liverpool were going to play this match fast, at a high tempo, and aim to catch Dyche’s men flat-footed.

The pivotal turning point in the match came in the 36th minute, as James Tarkowski’s towering header from a Toffees corner, crashed against the foot of the post, as the Reds were let off the hook.

Sensing an opportunity, the home side immediately hit their opponents on the counter-attack.

Núñez and Salah combined passes to break forward at pace.

The Uruguayan raced away down the left side, as it soon became four against two.

And he played a superb ball to Salah, who prodded home with England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford left in the no man’s land.

The Anfield crowd erupted into life as Salah and Andy Robertson celebrated the opening goal of the 242nd Merseyside derby.

Which is also the most top flight derby meetings between any two sides.

Klopp, under more pressure than ever before during in his Liverpool reign, ran and pumped his first on the touchline, showing just how much it meant to him.

Salah’s strike provided the hosts with a huge boost, and settled them down nicely as they went into half-time 1-0 up.


And they didn’t have to wait long for a second goal, as Robertson and captain Jordan Henderson won the ball back and quickly broke away.

Robertson played in Salah, who passed out wide to Trent Alexander-Arnold, and the England full-back sent a stunning ball across to Cody Gakpo, and the Dutchman swept in his first Liverpool goal.

2-0 to the under-fire Reds and coasting towards a morale boosting victory, as the elated Gakpo celebrated with Bajčetić and Núñez.


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A post shared by Cody Gakpo ✝️ (@codymathesgakpo)

A tense moment came as VAR checked the goal, but it was all good as the Anfield faithful cheered wildly.

Everton continued to look toothless in attack, offering little and struggling with no recognised attacker following the injury absence of main man Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

As well as the sale of Richarlison last summer with no direct replacement.

Klopp’s men continued to hunt down a third goal, as Alexander-Arnold swung a fine ball forward to Salah, the Egyptian, teeing up Núñez, but the Uruguayan could only fire straight at Pickford.

His rebound effort also saved.

Gakpo, reinvigorated by his goal, was playing with a new confidence, and the Netherlands star steamed forward, before playing in Núñez, but his curling effort flew wide of the post.

Everton finally fashioned their first notable chance of the second period, as former Arsenal man Alex Iwobi toe-poked an inviting cross into the Liverpool penalty box, but Tom Davies headed over, when well placed.

We saw Salah and Núñez begin a promising partnership in this game, but there’s no beating the years of telepathic connection between Firmino and Salah, which was soon on full display.

Firmino played in Salah, and the Egyptian king danced through the Toffees defence, only to see his shot palmed over by Pickford.

Almost 3-0 in the final minutes, but a solid team performance that would have delighted the boss, with a clean sheet to boot.

‘Best game for a while’ – Klopp

Looking delighted after the match, the Liverpool chief gave his views to the press.

“I’m relieved! That was my main feeling since the final whistle, and also, I’m happy with the performance,” he said.

“It was necessary that we played tonight the game WE wanted to play and not the game Everton wants to play.”

The German was referencing the contrast between the styles of play; one fast, pass and move, the other more direct long-ball.

He continued: “We were super-dominant, switched the sides, played the ball, kept them running. But both goals came from counter-attacks.

“I loved both goals, and the involvement of everybody who was around there. For both, we had three options in the box when the pass came in.

“It was the best game for a while and that’s why we won it.”

Bajčetić Brilliance

In the past few weeks, 18-year-old Stefan Bajčetić has broken into the Liverpool team with some devastating displays.

Dictating the play, passing with accuracy and poise, solid tackles and regaining possession, and thus the youngster received another man of the match award.


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A post shared by Stefan Bajcetic (@stefanbajcetic)

Klopp was full of praise for his new star.

“Yes, he was pretty good, and we put him in a new position.

“He came here as a kid and a centre-half. Now he’s played the number six for us in a few games, tonight as an eight and in a lot of moments a double-six, and so he has done extremely well.”

Looking forward

This was of course a very weak Everton side, unlike the one under Carlo Ancelotti which won at Anfield a couple of seasons ago.

It’s not a result to get carried away with, but it is certainly something to build upon.


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A post shared by James Milner (@jamesmilnerofficial)

Liverpool must now seek to beat high flying Newcastle on Saturday, who sit fourth in the Premier League.

Ironically, the position Klopp’s men need to qualify for the Champions League.

Next week it’s Real Madrid in that very competition.

Onwards and upwards.

James Spencer

My name is James and I have supported Liverpool since I was 6 years old. My favourite players growing up were Steven Gerrard and Sami Hyypia. My most memorable match would be the UEFA Cup Final win over Deportivo Alaves that finished 5-4 to Liverpool! I am studying journalism in Manchester although I am a Liverpool fan through and through.

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