It might be a good thing that fans aren’t allowed in to watch football this season.
Who knows what kind of scenes would have broken out at Anfield on Saturday as Everton thumped Liverpool 2-0, marking their first Merseyside derby win in 22 years.
The Toffees made making history look easy as they sunk the Reds with an early goal from Brazilian forward Richarilson at three minutes, and a fate-sealing penalty at 83 minutes from Icelandic midfielder Glyfi Sigursosson.
This is the first time Liverpool loses to Everton at home in the 21st century. The tense match resulted in three yellow cards — two for Liverpool (Ozan Kabak and Sadio Mane) and one for Everton’s Andre Gomes.
The upset is huge for reigning champions Liverpool, as their crumbling performance has seemingly been on everyone’s tongue.
Indeed, this defeat marks a 98th year low for the Reds, who have lost four home games in a row for the first time since 1923, including to Burnley (1-0), Brighton (1-0) and Manchester City (4-1).
Out of Liverpool’s last nine games across all championships, the Reds won only two.
What did the managers say?
The atmosphere was tense at Anfield, and according to one reporter from the field, an argument broke out between Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp and Everton’s assistant manager, Duncan Ferguson, with Toffees’ captain Seamus Coleman intervening.
“‘Why are you laughing?’ Klopp shouted at Ferguson who had a big grin on his face! ‘We are allowed to talk or is it just you Jurgen?’ intervened Seamus Coleman!” tweeted journalist Julien Laurens.
During a post-match interview, Klopp expressed doubts over whether Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s tumble with Trent Alexander Arnold should have resulted in a penalty.
“I really think that it’s unfair to ask me because everybody asks me that question, which means everybody thinks it was not a penalty,” Klopp said, doubting VAR yet again.
In another blow for Liverpool, Jordan Henderson walked off limping with an injury shortly before the 30-minute mark.
Midfielder Henderson has been playing out of position at centre-back to fill in gaps for an injury-plagued Liverpool. The skipper’s latest diagnosis is 'not good', according to Klopp.
“We don’t know exactly, it’s the groin, adductor region, the rest we will know tomorrow,” said the German manager. “Nobody in the medical department was positive about it. But we have to wait for the scan tomorrow.”
Meanwhile, the specialness of Everton’s achievement was not lost on boss Carlo Ancelotti.
“I realise that I was the manager that beat Liverpool after 21 years,” he said. “I don’t know if this is enough to be in the history of the club but if it is not enough then I will keep working.”
The last time this happened, three men were sent off
Everton last beat Liverpool at home on September 27, 1999 — and unlike Saturday’s pandemic-quietened game, Anfield was bustling with fans. There were more than 44,800 in attendance: cheering, jeering and fearing the worst.
It was another early goal that set the pace for Everton on that fateful day — four minutes in from Kevin Campbell.
Liverpool didn’t manage an equaliser in the first half and opted for a few desperate substitutions in the final third of the match.
Some might say it backfired, as Steven Gerrard, who came in for Robbie Fowler at 66 minutes, was sent off at the 90th minute for a challenge on Campbell. Gerrard, who was only 19 years old at the time, marked off his first red card that day. (He would go on to rack up eight total for the Reds and England).
Liverpool goalkeeper Sander Westervelt and Everton Francis Jeffers were also sent off earlier after they began to pummel each other inside the penalty area at the 74th minute.
Liverpool ended the match as an 9-man team, and Everton down to 10.