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A WAYNE ROONEY penalty cancelled out Mohamed Salah’s excellent opener, as the points were shared in an absorbing Merseyside derby yesterday.
It was the game of attack versus defence many expected, with new Everton manager Sam Allardyce still needing time to find his feet and reorganise his players. His side were able to get the draw thanks to a clever piece of play from young English striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
The striker got himself between Dejan Lovren and the ball, stalling his run and inviting the defender to make an intervention, which he did, pushing the 20-year-old to the ground and giving Craig Pawson a decision to make.
The referee pointed to the spot and Rooney blasted his kick convincingly down the middle.
“He put his hands on him pushed him over,” said Allardyce when asked about the penalty decision. “People can call it soft or whatever, but you can’t put your hands on a striker in the box like that.”
The new Toffees manager also praised Rooney’s contribution in the build up to the goal. “He played the ball for us to get the penalty which was one of the few really good passes we made today. It caused Lovren a lot of trouble, with Dominic putting his body in front of him.”
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp disagreed. His side had taken the lead in the first-half when Salah produced a moment of magic, cutting in from the right to curl a left-footed shot beyond Jordan Pickford to nestle inside the far post. The German felt his side were hard done to with regards to the penalty incident.
“I don’t think it was a penalty,” he grumbled. “Calvert-Lewin makes a step in the way of Lovren and he doesn’t push him, its just body contact.”
His side had dominated the game but failed to make their territorial and possession advantage pay. The home side only had three shots on target to Everton’s two, and missed a number of good chances. Sadio Mane and Salah himself had opportunities to double the lead but couldn’t take them.
“I thought we did everything to win the game,” added Klopp. “We controlled the game apart from one situation, and this situation decided the game at the end.”
Liverpool missed the chance to go into third, but Everton will be pleased with the point which maintains their unbeaten run since Allardyce’s arrival.
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