Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum has blasted Everton's conduct as "completely unacceptable" following injuries to Virgil van Dijk and Thiago Alcantara sustained in Saturday's Merseyside derby.

Van Dijk is likely to miss most of the campaign after suffering anterior cruciate ligament damage following a wild challenge from Jordan Pickford in the 2-2 draw at Goodison Park.

With Van Dijk having been flagged offside, Everton's goalkeeper did not receive any punishment for the tackle, while the Football Association confirmed on Monday that Pickford would not face retrospective action.

Premier League leaders Everton did subsequently have a player sent off, with Richarlison seeing red for a lunge on Thiago late on, and the former Bayern Munich star has not made the trip to Amsterdam to face Ajax in the Champions League.

Richarlison's red card was the 22nd sending off in a Merseyside derby in the Premier League era, with the Toffees having had 15 players dismissed.

The incidents left a sour taste for Wijnaldum, with the Dutchman believing Everton – who had four players carded on Saturday compared to Liverpool's two – have a track record of being too robust in derbies.

"Of course we are upset. The way Pickford went in was completely stupid," he said.

"I believe he didn't want to injure Virgil, but the way he took the tackle, he didn't care. I think we've had it a lot in the games against Everton.

"In my opinion, they take it way too far in the games we play against them. Sometimes you go a little over the top, but this was too much.

"We can talk about the tackle from Richarlison, it was also a nasty one. That's what bothered me the most. Accidents can always happen, you can be unlucky, but the way they were doing it was completely unacceptable. It makes it harder that they don't get punished."

While Richarlison issued an apology for his tackle on Thiago, it was confirmed on Sunday that Van Dijk will require surgery and Wijnaldum acknowledged that the squad are hugely concerned for their star defender.

"First of all we're still devastated, it's also different than normal. The way it happened is really hard for us," he added.

"Everyone has a really bad feeling about it. When we were speaking with the players after Saturday I think none of the players slept because of what happened with Virgil. It's a really hard one to take.

"People will say that because Virgil is really important part of our team. He had really big performances, a really important player for us, a leader.

"It's quite normal people will say that, but it's up to us. It's a situation we didn't deal with before, but it's what we have to deal with. Everyone can see what kind of impact he's had."

Jurgen Klopp has hit out at Jamie Carragher for suggesting Liverpool took a risk by going into the new campaign with just three senior centre-halves.

The Reds boss opted against bring in another central defender after selling Dejan Lovren to Zenit over the summer, preferring to ask midfielder Fabinho to occasionally operate as back-up to Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk.

But, with the latter having sustained a serious knee injury during Saturday's trip to Everton, Klopp's options have already thinned significantly.

That situation led Liverpool great Carragher, now a television pundit, to declare that his former club must enter the January transfer market to strengthen an area he believes was left "weak", with RB Leipzig's Dayot Upamecano his pick.

However, Klopp has now angrily dismissed that assessment, and remained tight-lipped over whether the Reds are planning any January moves.

Klopp said: "We went into the season with three centre-halves, Fabinho and young kids.

"It’s difficult to have four world class centre-halves. It’s not a position you rotate. If anyone wants to tell us we made a mistake, I think Jamie Carragher. There is a reason why they don’t do this job, they do the other job.

"It’s our situation. We will see how we react. We are still a little sensitive. We are in a completely different mood.

"We know since yesterday our vice-captain and the best centre-half in the world will not play for us for a long time. For the future, I have no idea."

Van Dijk's injury was the result of a poor challenge from Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, which was neither punished by the referee nor video assistant referee, or indeed retrospectively.

Thiago Alcantara also ended up on the wrong end of a red-card tackle from Richarlison late in the same game, and Klopp was clearly still angered by both situations, expressing frustration that Liverpool have been the only ones left to "deal with the consequences".

Speaking ahead of Wednesday's Champions League match at Ajax, which Thiago will also miss, Klopp said: "You judge us, you judge everybody. A couple of days ago something happened that should not have happened in a football game. And it’s not the first time. I see it similar to my players.

"Both challenges were difficult to accept. What we all can do is try to change these kind of things. I spoke the day after, it’s really hard for us, yes he’s a world-class player, injuries happen.

"In the last four years, we were the leader of the fair play table. People make a joke about it.

"In this game, a few things came together. I have to say, first the ref didn’t see it. Michael Oliver, I don’t understand – he had the best view. VAR forgets the rules.

"As a human being, it’s not that I want a player to be punished, but it’s something we all agree on, you have to deal with the consequences. At the moment, only Virgil and Thiago have to deal with the consequences.

"You keep all these stories up, I’m here for a Champions League. But you asked these questions. We didn’t do anything wrong in the game, or since then, but our players are the ones that suffer and it doesn’t feel right.

"We all accept injuries can happen, but it should be in a normal challenge."

Tottenham fans got to see Gareth Bale don the famous shirt once more in Sunday's Premier League clash with West Ham.

The Wales star came off the bench at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for his first appearance in England's top flight since May 2013, but it proved a frustrating outing.

From 3-0 up when Bale was introduced in the 72nd minute, Tottenham were pegged back as the game finished in a 3-3 draw.

The 31-year-old, who previously played for Spurs between 2007 and 2013, joined Jose Mourinho's side on loan from Real Madrid after winning four Champions Leagues with Los Blancos.

Bale had only 25 goal involvements (17 goals, eight assists) across his final two seasons with Madrid, having managed 61 (38 goals, 23 assists) in his last two campaigns with Tottenham.

Players returning to clubs where they enjoyed great success is nothing new, but are the second acts ever as good as those we witness first?

DIEGO MARADONA - BOCA JUNIORS

One of the world's greatest players, Maradona completed a dream transfer from Argentinos Juniors to Boca in 1981, going on to score 28 times in 40 league games for the club he supported as a boy. With the lure of Europe, a world-record transfer to Barcelona followed, but Maradona finished his career back in Argentina with Boca. However, by that point he was a shadow of his former self, scoring just seven times in 30 appearances from 1995 to 1997.

Key stat: Maradona played in 10 Primera Division seasons in his home country, though he would win just one piece of silverware - the 1981 Metropolitano - in his first stint at Boca.

ROBBIE FOWLER - LIVERPOOL

Known as 'God' at Anfield, Fowler was the homegrown hero who led the line for the Reds for much of the 1990s. He was sold to Leeds United in 2001, having had a difficult relationship with manager Gerard Houllier, who preferred Michael Owen and Emile Heskey in attack. After a spell at Manchester City, Fowler returned to Liverpool on a free in 2006, but the three league goals he scored in 2006-07 were all penalties.

Key stat: Fowler remains Liverpool's all-time leading scorer in the Premier League having netted 128 times in 266 games.

WAYNE ROONEY - EVERTON

Another talented Merseyside youngster, Rooney made a memorable breakthrough at Everton with a brilliant winner against Arsenal in 2002, though his relationship with fans of his boyhood club soured when he joined Manchester United, for whom he became the club's record scorer. Relations thawed over time and Rooney came 'home' for 2017-18 - but he was often deployed in a deeper midfield position in his second spell.

Key stat: Rooney scored 10 times in the Premier League during his second stint at Goodison Park - the only time he reached double figures for Everton in a league campaign.

KAKA - MILAN

The Brazilian enjoyed a fruitful six years at San Siro, winning the 2007 Ballon d'Or, a Serie A title and a Champions League while scoring 70 goals and providing 48 assists in 193 league games. Kaka never truly hit those heights again as a Real Madrid Galactico and returned to Milan for 2013-14, though he was unable to rediscover his magic.

Key stat: The forward averaged a goal involvement every 131 minutes in his initial spell with Milan, but that fell to 219 minutes second time around.

MARIO GOTZE - BORUSSIA DORTMUND

A product of BVB's youth academy, Gotze, like his team-mates Robert Lewandowski and Mats Hummels, was eventually lured to rivals Bayern Munich. The midfielder, who scored the winning goal for Germany in the 2014 World Cup final, struggled at times for form and fitness during three seasons with Bayern and that continued back at Dortmund, where he spent four more seasons before leaving earlier this year. Gotze has since joined Dutch giants PSV.

Key stat: Gotze scored 22 goals at a rate of one every 263 minutes in his first four-season spell with Dortmund. During his second stint, he scored 13 at a rate of one every 351 minutes.

ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC - MILAN

Of course it is the enigmatic Swede who proves things can be just as good second time around. Ibrahimovic enjoyed a brilliant two-season run at Milan between 2010 and 2012 - scoring 42 times and providing 17 assists in 61 Serie A games. Ibrahimovic returned to Milan in January and, in 20 Serie A games so far, he has scored 14 goals and assisted five more.

Key stat: Ibrahimovic's minutes-per-goal involvement stood at one every 91 minutes in his first Milan spell, and this time around on average he has played a part in a goal every 81.3 minutes.

Liverpool have confirmed Virgil van Dijk has damaged ligaments in his knee and is likely to miss most of the rest of the season.

The Netherlands international is set to undergo surgery on an injury sustained in the first half of the 2-2 Merseyside derby draw following a challenge by Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

The Reds were leading 1-0 thanks to a goal from Sadio Mane after two minutes and 15 seconds at Goodison Park, the fastest scored in this fixture in the Premier League era.

Barely three minutes later, Fabinho looped the ball into the Everton penalty area towards Van Dijk and Pickford lunged into the centre-back, missing the ball.

Pickford was spared the risk of a penalty and possible card from the referee as Van Dijk was narrowly offside when Fabinho crossed.

Van Dijk was treated on the pitch but was unable to continue, walking gingerly down the touchline as Joe Gomez came on to replace him.

"Liverpool FC can confirm Virgil van Dijk will undergo surgery on the knee injury he sustained during Saturday's 2-2 draw at Everton," the Premier League champions said in a statement on Sunday.

"The centre-back damaged knee ligaments following an incident involving Blues goalkeeper Jordan Pickford after six minutes at Goodison Park.

"Van Dijk was required to be substituted and further assessment on the injury has revealed an operation will be needed.

"No specific timescale is being placed upon his return to action at this stage.

"Following surgery, Van Dijk will begin a rehabilitation programme with the club's medical team to enable him to reach full fitness as soon as possible."

Manager Jurgen Klopp said he did not have a clear view of the incident but was critical of the general use of VAR in the 2-2 draw, with a marginal offside call having denied Jordan Henderson a late winner.

"I didn't see it back, it took a while so obviously the offside was not too big and Pickford kicks him completely," he told Sky Sports.

"Then the Henderson goal, it was the pass for Sadio, and I didn't see offside. Maybe somebody can explain it to me. The picture I've seen was not offside."

The loss of Van Dijk comes as Liverpool enter a packed run of matches until the next international break in November.

They play six times in the next three weeks, including Champions League games against Ajax, Midtjylland and Atalanta and a Premier League trip to Manchester City on November 7.

Liverpool have confirmed Virgil van Dijk has damaged ligaments in his knee and is likely to miss most of the rest of the season.

The Netherlands international is set to undergo surgery on an injury sustained in the first half of the 2-2 Merseyside derby draw following a challenge by Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

Everton and Liverpool played out a thrilling and controversial Merseyside derby on Saturday, while Pep Guardiola brought up his 500th managerial win.

Mohamed Salah and Dominic Calvert-Lewin both continued their scoring streaks in a dramatic encounter at Goodison Park, which finished 2-2 in contentious fashion.

Manchester City then saw off Mikel Arteta's Arsenal 1-0, after Chelsea had been pegged back to a 3-3 draw by Southampton, with Manchester United bouncing back from their 6-1 defeat to Tottenham with a comprehensive 4-1 win at Newcastle United in the late match.

Here, using Opta data, take a look at the key stats from Saturday's games.

Everton 2-2 Liverpool: Salah reaches century as Calvert-Lewin keeps on scoring

The reigning champions were humbled against Aston Villa before the international break, though Jurgen Klopp's side responded in force at Goodison Park.

Yet their efforts were not enough to claim a win over their rivals, who had Richarlison sent off late on, with Jordan Henderson's late strike contentiously disallowed by VAR.

Salah netted the 100th goal of his Liverpool career in his 159th appearance to put Liverpool 2-1 up – only Roger Hunt and Jack Parkinson have made it to the century in fewer appearances for the club. 

Salah's partner in crime Sadio Mane opened the scoring early on. It was the Reds' fastest ever goal in a Premier League derby, though Everton have done it quicker in the fixture , with Olivier Dacourt scoring after just one minute in April 1999.

Andrew Robertson provided the assist, the full-back's 14th since the start of the 2018-19 season. Only Kevin De Bruyne (21) has managed more in the English top flight, yet the lead did not last for too long, Michael Keane heading in James Rodriguez's delivery, with the Colombian having set up three league goals for the Toffees so far.

Calvert-Lewin got Everton's second and what proved to be the encounter's final goal, with his 12th headed goal in the top flight since the start of last term.

Having also struck on his England debut, the forward continued his fine start to the campaign, becoming the first Everton player to score in the first five league games of a season since Tommy Lawton, way back in 1938-39. 

Chelsea 3-3 Southampton: Walcott back with a bang

Kai Havertz's first Premier League goal looked set to be enough to secure a 3-2 win for Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, but Jannik Vestergaard snatched a point for Southampton.

Though Timo Werner and Havertz broke their Premier League ducks, becoming the fifth and sixth Germans to score for Chelsea in the competition in the process, Frank Lampard's defensive issues once again came to the fore.

With Danny Ings and Che Adams having already capitalised on defensive lapses, Theo Walcott, making his first Saints appearance in 14 years and 276 days, lashed in a stoppage-time shot which Vestergaard headed in.

It means Southampton have lost just one of their last eight away Premier League games (W4 D3) after losing two in a row directly before that in February.

Chelsea, meanwhile, have conceded an average of 1.5 goals per game in the Premier League under Lampard (63 in 43 games), the Blues' worst rate under any boss to oversee more than one game in the competition.

In the process of getting off the mark in the Premier League, Werner has now scored 30 league goals since the start of last season – only Robert Lewandowski, Ciro Immobile and Cristiano Ronaldo have scored more goals in Europe's top five leagues.

Manchester City 1-0 Arsenal: Sterling brings up Pep's 500th win

Raheem Sterling's fourth goal in his past three games got Manchester City back to winning ways, and sealed a landmark victory for Guardiola in the process.

Sterling sat out England's recent matches with a hamstring issue but was back in action to score midway through the first half in Manchester.

Guardiola has now won 500 games in all competitions as a manager (including Barcelona B), winning 172 as City boss.

City are unbeaten in their last 10 Premier League encounters with Arsenal (W8 D2), since a 1-2 loss in December 2015, though Arteta did guide the Gunners to a win in last season's FA Cup semi-final.

Arsenal are winless in their last 29 Premier League away games against "big six" opponents (D10 L19), however, and have lost each of their last seven top-flight games against City, their longest such run against an opponent since losing seven in a row to Ipswich Town between 1974-1977.

Ederson has kept 53 clean sheets in the Premier League since his debut in August 2017; 15 more than any other goalkeeper in this time, while Sterling has been directly involved in each of City's last five goals in all competitions (four goals, one assist).

Newcastle United 1-4 Manchester United: Fernandes strikes again despite penalty miss

After their dismal defeat to Spurs at Old Trafford, United needed a response, though matters looked bleak when Luke Shaw's early own goal put them behind at Newcastle.

However, Harry Maguire – after a tumultuous time with England – struck back, with Bruno Fernandes missing a penalty before scoring a wonderful goal to restore United's lead.

Fernandes' penalty miss was his first for United on what was his 11th spot-kick since his debut on February 1, with those 11 six more than any other Premier League player has taken in that time.

However, with his goal and subsequent assist for Marcus Rashford, who added a fourth after Aaron Wan-Bissaka had made it 3-1 in emphatic fashion, Fernandes has been directly involved in 20 goals in his 18 Premier League appearances for United (11 goals, nine assists).

Newcastle conceded four goals at home in the Premier League for the first time since April 5, 2014, also against the Red Devils.

United enjoyed their 10th comeback win against Newcastle in the Premier League, the most by any side against a single opponent in the competition, while Steve Bruce's side are now without a clean sheet in seven top-flight games, their longest such run without a shut-out on home soil since February 2014.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side have been awarded 17 penalties in the Premier League since the start of last season, five more than any other side in the competition (12 scored).

With his brilliant strike, Wan-Bissaka became the 116th different player to score for United in the Premier League in what is his 38th league appearance for the club, as Rashford registered three goal involvements in a top-flight match for the third time.

Everton star Richarlison has apologised for his challenge on Thiago Alcantara in Saturday's Merseyside derby.

Richarlison was shown a straight red card in the 90th minute of the 2-2 draw at Goodison Park, having lunged in on Liverpool playmaker Thiago, who was making his first Premier League start.

His dismissal looked to have cost Everton when Jordan Henderson netted in stoppage time, only for VAR to controversially disallow the goal for offside.

In his post-match comments, Jurgen Klopp suggested the severity of the injury sustained by Thiago in the challenge was unknown, though revealed: "It looks not good."

Richarlison, who hit the post with a header midway through the second half, has subsequently issued an apology to Thiago, though he insisted no harm was intended.

"Everyone who knows my background knows that I was never a violent player," Richarlison wrote in a statement issued on his official website.

"What happened today was an accident from sheer over-dedication. I did not enter that dispute with the intention of hurting Thiago. 

"When I saw that the collision was going to happen, I picked up my foot and hit him with my knee, which was inevitable due to the speed of the play.

"I already sent a message to him apologising and I also do it here publicly. I hope he hasn't been hurt and that everything is fine. 

"I also apologise to my team-mates, my club and my fans for leaving them with one less [player] at the end of the game. Unfortunately, there is nothing I can do to change what happened, other than to reflect, work and move on."

Richarlison's dismissal was the 22nd in a Premier League clash between Liverpool and Everton, who have been shown 15 red cards.

On top of a possible injury for Thiago, Liverpool also have concerns over Virgil van Dijk, who was forced off after a challenge from Jordan Pickford – who escaped punishment – early on.

Carlo Ancelotti has once again backed Jordan Pickford after the Everton goalkeeper's rollercoaster display in the Merseyside derby.

Everton, who had Richarlison sent off late on, held defending Premier League champions Liverpool to a 2-2 draw at Goodison Park, with Michael Keane and Dominic Calvert-Lewin – his 10th club goal of the season in all competitions – cancelling out strikes from Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.

Pickford made six saves in total, including spectacular efforts to deny Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joel Matip, yet the England goalkeeper, who has been unconvincing this season, was lucky to be on the pitch after a lunge on Virgil van Dijk early on.

There was to be more drama involving the Everton number one, as he failed to keep out Jordan Henderson's shot in stoppage time, only for VAR to disallow Liverpool a winner.

Ancelotti, however, insisted Pickford had a good game, though Everton did bring in Roma goalkeeper Robin Olsen on deadline day to add extra competition in that position.

"I think he played a good game, like the others," Ancelotti told a news conference. "A good performance. I am not worried.

"When you concede a goal you have to defend better. We have to defend better in certain situations but against Liverpool, it is a really, really difficult game, defensively and offensively."

Ancelotti added of his side's display: "We never lost confidence, we were able to equalise the game two times. We had an opportunity to go up but we hit the post with Richarlison.

"Apart from the result, the performance was satisfying. I am really satisfied."

It has now been a decade since Everton beat Liverpool, though Calvert-Lewin - whose 81st-minute equaliser was a towering header from Lucas Digne's superb cross - believes the Toffees will soon end that dismal 23-match winless run.

"Disappointed that we didn't kick on at 1-1. We did well to get ourselves back into the game," Calvert-Lewin told BT Sport.

"We knew there'd be spells where we wouldn’t have the ball but we know we've got the quality.

"I've had a chance today that I'd back myself to put away, unfortunately not and the game goes the way it does. It's coming, I genuinely believe it's coming. I thought today would be the day but it's not to be, onto the next one.

"I'm disappointed we didn't win today, I knew all the fans wanted to too. In that respect it's frustrating, but in the bigger picture we've got a point today, we take it. We didn't lose, we keep the unbeaten run going."

A goalscoring milestone, a red card (and maybe another that should have been), a key player off through injury and four goals. Oh, plus a late and controversial VAR call, too. 

Yes, the 237th Merseyside derby pretty much had it all. 

An early kick-off following an international break may have raised concerns of a sluggish return in the Premier League, yet it soon became apparent that there would be no easing back into domestic duties at Goodison Park. 

Liverpool scored early through Sadio Mane but lost both Virgil van Dijk and their advantage not long after. Mohamed Salah did put the champions back ahead with a notable strike in the second half, but Everton once again responded to grab a draw. 

Dominic Calvert-Lewin's towering 81st-minute header was far from the end of the drama, though. 

The hosts had Richarlison sent off before Jordan Henderson appeared to have won it for the Reds, albeit with a helping hand from Jordan Pickford, whose earlier challenge on Van Dijk had ended the Dutchman's involvement, with the goalkeeper not punished due to an offside call. 

Yet, by the barest of margins, Mane was adjudged offside in the build-up when the play was checked at Stockley Park. No goal, then, meaning a point apiece and plenty of talking points and a host of interesting Opta facts. 

 

MANE STRIKES BUT HOSTS KEANE TO RESPOND 

Liverpool showed no signs of a delayed hangover from the stunning 7-2 loss to Aston Villa last time out, Mane - who had missed that game - getting the opener after two minutes and 15 seconds. 

It was the Reds' fastest ever goal in a Premier League derby, though Everton have done it quicker in the fixture - Olivier Dacourt scored after just one minute in April 1999 (though they went on to lose 3-2 at Anfield). 

Andrew Robertson provided the assist, the full-back's 14th since the start of the 2018-19 season; only Kevin De Bruyne (21) has managed more in the English top flight.

Yet the lead did not last for too long, Michael Keane heading in James Rodriguez's delivery for his third goal of the season in the 19th minute, making it the earliest both teams had scored in a derby clash since November 2013. 

SALAH REACHES CENTURY IN STYLE 

Salah scored in the 72nd minute, the 100th goal of his Liverpool career in his 159th appearance - only Roger Hunt and Jack Parkinson have made it to the century in fewer appearances for the club. 

The Egyptian's instinctive finish when a loose ball fell into his path had Jurgen Klopp's side on course for all three points but, while they are unbeaten in their last 23 meetings against Everton in all competitions - their longest run against a single opponent in history, they were unable to hold on in their neighbours' backyard. 

Calvert-Lewin climbed high to nod in Lucas Digne's deep cross, his 12th headed goal in the Premier League since the start of the 2018-19 season. No other player has managed more than that total. 

Having also struck on his England debut, the forward continued his fine start to the campaign, becoming the first Everton player to score in the first five league games of a season since Tommy Lawton, way back in 1938-39. 

Everton have now scored 322 headed goals in the Premier League, more than any other club. If Calvert-Lewin is on target again next time out, with Everton up against Southampton, he will match Sergio Aguero's scoring streak of six matches, which the Manchester City striker managed at the start of 2019-20. 

RICHARLISON SEES RED IN EVENTFUL FINISH 

If Pickford was saved from being sent off by a technicality, there was no sparing Richarlison after he lunged in on Thiago Alcantara. 

The Brazilian stayed down injured for a short while after the tackle, but treatment only delayed the inevitable. His red card is the 22nd in Premier League meetings between the Merseyside clubs, unsurprisingly the most in the competition. Everton, by the way, have accounted for 15 of those dismissals. 

Liverpool appeared to have capitalised on the advantage of having an extra man when Henderson's rather weak first-time finish was only palmed beyond the line by Pickford, only for the use of technology to wipe out what appeared to be a last-gasp winner. 

The VAR call denied the visitors, though Klopp will also be aware this was a fourth league game in five without a clean sheet. They have conceded 13 goals at the start of their title defence – they did not leak that many in the previous campaign until 15 games in. 

The potential absence of Van Dijk will not help in the quest to tighten up at the back, particularly with goalkeeper Alisson also sidelined through injury. 

As for Everton, they remain unbeaten and while their 100 per cent record is no more, there are positive signs for boss Carlo Ancelotti and the fans for the months ahead. They still have not led in any of their last 14 Premier League matches against their rivals, but are now unbeaten in four derbies at home, all of which have finished as draws. 

Liverpool are heading into a packed run of fixtures potentially without two of their most important players.

Goalkeeper Alisson, still battling a shoulder injury, missed the Merseyside derby with Everton and it remains unclear how quickly he will return.

Virgil van Dijk was then forced off early in the match at Goodison Park after a reckless challenge by Toffees keeper Jordan Pickford, who was fortunate that an earlier offside flag meant his lunge on the Liverpool defender went unpunished.

Jurgen Klopp will doubtless be concerned by the prospect of Alisson and Van Dijk being sidelined as he prepares for six games in the next three weeks.

We look back at Liverpool's fortunes under Klopp in the league without Van Dijk and Alisson in the side...

 

PILLARS

Van Dijk, of course, has only missed one league match since making his Liverpool debut following a £75million move from Southampton in January 2018. That was a 3-0 win at Huddersfield Town in the very month he arrived.

Similarly, Klopp's men have only failed to win twice in the 11 games Alisson has missed in the top flight, and one of those was Saturday's draw at Everton.

Of course, you would not expect either player to sit out matches lightly. They cost a combined fee of close to £150m and their arrivals helped to transform a previously suspect defence.

It's also undeniable that Liverpool were a far stronger side across the board by the time Van Dijk and Alisson arrived two years ago, with Klopp having had two to three years to implement his ideas and strengthen the collective unit, so any consideration of their form before those signings must be tempered.

But that's not to say there are not some worrying signs.

KLOPP'S BRICK WALL

Under Klopp, Liverpool have played 70 league games with Alisson and Van Dijk in the starting line-up. They have won 56, drawn 10 and lost four, giving them a win rate of 80 per cent – a truly remarkable figure.

By contrast, in 92 games without those two involved, Liverpool have won 49 times, drawn 27 and lost 16, their win rate dropping to 53.3 per cent and their points per game slipping to 1.9 from 2.5.

As mentioned, the Liverpool of October 2015 to January 2018 and the Liverpool since are two different animals, so we should explore things more deeply.

It's no surprise that, without Alisson and Van Dijk, Liverpool have conceded 110 goals – 1.2 per game – compared to just 51, or 0.7 per game, when they have played. But there is negligible difference in terms of their average shots faced per game: it's 8.3 with them and 8.8 without. That tells you the importance of a shot-stopper of Alisson's quality.

Indeed, Liverpool have conceded 13 goals in five league games in 2020-21 this season, the same number they let in after 15 matches last term and the most they have shipped in the first five of a campaign since 1953-54. Nine of those goals have come in the past two games, which Alisson missed.

 

ENGINE OF THE RED MACHINE

Not only do Alisson and Van Dijk control the back line, they dictate the way Liverpool operate.

The Reds average 62.9 per cent possession in league games with those two playing compared with 60.2 per cent without. Their passing accuracy in the opposition half also climbs by nearly three per cent to 79, despite the fact their number of passes into the final third on average drops from 75 to 68 when Alisson and Van Dijk play.

Those numbers indicate that not only do they bring an extra dimension to the attack with a proclivity for line-splitting passes, but they also help Liverpool assume control of games to an extent that their number of attempted forward passes diminishes.

Add to that the fact they win fewer fouls per game (8.2 compared with 9.4) and concede fewer per game (8.4 compared with 10.3) and the measure of authority they bring to these matches becomes clearer. Their absences, for however long, will be keenly felt.

Jurgen Klopp was left to rue contentious VAR decisions after Liverpool were held to a 2-2 draw by Everton in a frantic Merseyside derby on Saturday.

Jordan Henderson thought he had snatched the winner for Liverpool in stoppage time at Goodison Park, only for the goal to be ruled out by VAR, with Sadio Mane deemed to have drifted offside in the build-up. 

Jordan Pickford made some superb saves but should have done better for Henderson's disallowed goal and was fortunate to be on the pitch at all after his challenge on Virgil van Dijk shortly after Mane's opener, with the foul not given due to the Dutchman being offside. 

Everton – who scored through Michael Keane and Dominic Calvert-Lewin either side of Mohamed Salah's 100th Liverpool goal – also had Richarlison sent off for a lunge on Thiago Alcantara late on. 

Though thrilled with a performance which he labelled as his side's best at Goodison, Klopp was left confused by the officials' decisions. 

"The performance was top. A good game from both teams," Klopp, who on Saturday also celebrated the fifth anniversary of taking charge of his first Liverpool match, told BT Sport. 

"We were clear, dominant against a side that is full of confidence. We played a really good game, probably the best away game since I am at Liverpool, playing at Goodison. In the end it's 2-2 for different reasons." 

On Pickford's tackle that forced Van Dijk off injured, Klopp said: "I didn't see it back, it took a while so obviously the offside was not too big and Pickford kicks him completely. 

"Then the Henderson goal, it was the pass for Sadio, and I didn't see offside. Maybe somebody can explain it to me. The picture I've seen was not offside. 

"It's difficult at the moment. The red card for Richarlison is not only a red card for Everton, it's a massive foul on Thiago and [his injury] looks not good. 

"The game is over, we've only got one point, maybe we should have more, but we cannot change it. The game was good, I loved it, a really good game. 

"The [Everton] second goal is an individual thing. Calvert-Lewin is an incredible player, that's all he had to do and he did it, apart from that we dominated it. Both teams get the point." 

A point was enough to lift Liverpool, who have not lost to Everton since October 17, 2010, up to second, three points behind Carlo Ancelotti's side. 

Jordan Henderson said Liverpool would have deserved to win the Merseyside derby as he expressed frustration at his late strike being ruled out.

The clash between early leaders Everton and reigning Premier League champions Liverpool finished 2-2 at Goodison Park.

Henderson looked to have given Liverpool all three points when he swept home Sadio Mane's cross in stoppage time, only for a VAR check to show Mane was fractionally offside before sending in his low centre.

It meant the derby finished in high drama, with Everton having been reduced to 10 men moments later when Richarlison was red-carded for a dangerous lunge on Thiago Alcantara.

"It doesn't feel good," said Liverpool captain Henderson, when asked about the late goal being chalked off.

"I felt as though we deserved to win the game. I've nothing to say really.

"I thought the reaction was good from the boys for the whole game and we deserved to win, yeah."

Henderson was asked about the early incident that saw Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk clattered by Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

Pickford's challenge was poorly timed and he would have almost certainly conceded a penalty and possibly been sent off, had Liverpool not been penalised for another case of offside.

"It happened quick," Henderson said, speaking on NBC. "I think it's a penalty if it's not offside."

Van Dijk was hurt and had to be substituted, with Henderson describing the Dutch defender's loss as "a big miss for us".

Henderson is confident Liverpool will shake off the derby disappointment.

He said: "We'll just keep performing like that with the same intensity, recover well and get ready for the next game like we always do."

Liverpool were controversially denied a Merseyside derby victory as Jordan Henderson saw a late winner ruled out by VAR in a 2-2 draw with 10-man Everton. 

Premier League leaders Everton twice came from behind to level in an absorbing contest at Goodison Park. 

Michael Keane cancelled out Sadio Mane's third-minute opener and Dominic Calvert-Lewin did the same after Mohamed Salah scored his 100th goal for Liverpool. 

Richarlison was sent off for a rash challenge on Thiago Alcantara and that indiscretion looked to have been doubly punished in injury time by Henderson, only for VAR to intervene and keep Everton three points ahead of Liverpool, who are unbeaten in 23 Merseyside derbies in all competitions, at the top of the table. 

 

 

Mohamed Salah's goal in Saturday's Merseyside derby took on added significance for the Liverpool star.

Salah's effort at Goodison Park marked his 100th in all competitions since joining the Reds in 2017.

He has emphatically shaken off the tag of Premier League flop following his failed spell at Chelsea and is now of European football's top forwards.

Here, using Opta data, we break down his century of Liverpool goals in all competitions.

 

A DEADLY DEBUT SEASON

Salah hit the ground running in his first season with the Reds, scoring 44 goals and providing 14 assists in all competitions.

He has never come close to matching that tally - scoring 27 and 23 in the last two campaigns - with his minutes per goal ratio of 93.6 from 2017-18 comfortably the best of his Liverpool career.

The Egypt forward averaged 160.6 minutes per goal in his second season and a goal every 176.3 in 2019-20.

PROWESS IN THE BOX

Exceptional with the ball at his feet, Salah has the ability to weave around defenders at will.

However, long-range individual efforts have not been a prominent feature of his goalscoring exploits since joining Liverpool.

Indeed, 10 have come from inside the box, including 11 penalties. As many as 80 of his goals have been scored with his left foot compared to just 16 with his right, while he has netted four headers.

FIRMINO THE FULCRUM

The creative fulcrum of Liverpool's front three, Roberto Firmino has been the most frequent provider for Salah.

Firmino has assisted 16 of Salah's goals, with Sadio Mane playing the key final pass on nine occasions.

Liverpool's full-backs, Trent Alexander-Arnold (six) and Andrew Robertson (eight) have combined to set up the former Chelsea and Roma forward 14 times. 

SALAH FULL OF VITALITY

Anfield is obviously Salah's happiest hunting ground, he has found the net 63 times at his home stadium.

Away from Merseyside, the Vitality Stadium is the ground where he has been most prolific, with Salah scoring five goals in three games at that venue.

It is no surprise, therefore, that Bournemouth are among his favourite opponents. 

Salah has scored eight times against the Cherries, a tally he has only matched against Watford.

KANE HIS CLOSEST CHALLENGER

Since August 2017, no Premier League player has scored more than Salah's 100 goals in 159 appearances.

Harry Kane is closest with 97 in 130 appearances, putting him on track make it to 100 in much quicker time.

Salah is the fifth player in Europe's top five leagues to reach a century in that time, joining Robert Lewandowski, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Ciro Immobile.

However, he does not come close to matching Lewandowski's goalscoring prowess, the Bayern Munich forward scoring 140 goals in 146 games.

Sadio Mane scored Liverpool's fastest Merseyside derby goal in the Premier League but Michael Keane levelled for Everton at Goodison Park.

Mane missed the champions' 7-2 hammering at Aston Villa before the international break, but marked his return by finishing off a well worked move after just two minutes and 15 seconds.

It was the forward's fourth goal in three games this season and only Southampton's Danny Ings (12) has scored the opening goal in more Premier League matches since the start of 2019-20, with Mane having broken the deadlock nine times in that period to sit level with Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Liverpool's joy was short-lived, as Virgil van Dijk was withdrawn due to an injury sustained when he was clattered by Jordan Pickford.

Pickford was fortunate that Van Dijk, replaced by Joe Gomez, was offside, otherwise the Reds would surely have had a penalty and the Everton goalkeeper may have been sent off.

Premier League leaders Everton were level 19 minutes in, an unmarked Keane heading James Rodriguez's corner past Adrian from close range.

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