Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea win on dramatic derby day in EPL
Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk turned away in disgust. The Kop fell silent in disappointment. Everton fans likely breathed a sigh of relief at the other end of Anfield.
A tense and hard-fought Merseyside derby looked destined to finish in a goalless stalemate Sunday after Van Dijk skied a speculative, mishit shot high into the air — and seemingly out of play — in the sixth minute of injury time.
Then came the most dramatic ending imaginable.
The ball bounced on top of the crossbar not just once but twice, firstly off the fingertips of Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford. Time seemed to stand still as the ball dropped down to Liverpool striker Divock Origi to nod into the net from a meter out to secure a 1-0 win in extraordinary circumstances.
“For me, the situation was finished when the ball left (Van Dijk’s) foot,” Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said, scratching his head.
Klopp had reacted to the goal by running onto the field and punching the air, before jumping into the arms of Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker.
“I didn’t want to be disrespectful,” Klopp said, “but I couldn’t stop myself. It just happened.”
By losing in the cruelest of ways, Everton remained without a win at Anfield since 1999.
If Liverpool goes on to win the English league title for the first time since 1990, the team might just look back on those final, dramatic seconds against Everton as a pivotal moment in the season.
Second-placed Liverpool moved back to within two points of Manchester City after 14 games in the Premier League. City won the title last season by a record 19 points but it promises to be much closer a year on.