Everton – Liverpool: Classic Derby Tempo with some Latin American Flair (2-2)
After an aggressive and chaotic first half, James Rodríguez and Thiago Alcântara began to influence the events of the match, which helped deliver an entertaining affair. Although this contest will be remembered for its heavy tackles, Richarlison’s red card and a late VAR decision, Carlo Ancelotti and Jürgen Klopp produced an intelligent tactical battle, something which this rivalry has missed in recent memory.
Tactical analysis and match report by Joel Parker.
Preceding Merseyside derbies, especially at Goodison Park, have been intense jousts, rather than tactical battlegrounds. The latest instalment took elements of both.
For the first time since 1989, Everton welcomed their local rivals on top of English football’s top flight; and their position on top of the table is well justified. A formation change into the 4-3-3 formation has represented a shift in mentality, from a team that developed chances on the transition, to a side who could genuinely build through an opposition’s defensive block. A defensive block is the compact group of defenders that defends a particular zone, either their own half in a medium defensive block, or the zone around their own box in a deep defensive block.
Although the arrivals of Allan and Abdoulaye Doucouré have vastly improved the circulation of the ball in the midfield, it is James Rodríguez who has delivered the dynamism and creativity Carlo Ancelotti has yearned for at Everton. Not only has he revitalized his career, but he has also been the catalyst of Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s free-scoring form and provides the pivotal switch passes A pass from one side to the other. towards Lucas Digne . . .