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Venue: Anfield, Liverpool
FA Cup
Friday 5 January 2018; 7:55pm
2 1
Milner (pen) 35'
Van Dijk 84'
Half Time: 1-0
Sigurdsson 67'
Attendance: 52,513
Round 3
Referee: Robert Madley

Match Report

Everton are out of their last cup competition of the season as a soft penalty and Virgil van Dijk's late header won this third-round tie for Liverpool.

An excellent Gylfi Sigurdsson equaliser midway through the second half gave the Blues hope of earning a replay at the least but their continued problems in attack and a critical error in judgement from goalkeeper Jordan Pickford scuppered their chances of advancing to the fourth round.

It was rough justice on Everton who played with much more adventure than was the case in the league fixture here last month and had Liverpool worried heading into the last quarter of an hour.

Tellingly, though, Sigurdsson's goal, a composed side-foot finish at the end of an Everton counter-attack which cancelled out an infuriatingly weak penalty decision for reds in the first half, was the visitors' only shot on target.

It meant that despite the increased threat posed by Ademola Lookman, the Blues weren't able to find a winner and it permitted Jurgen Klopp's men to win the game from an 84th-minute corner.

Sam Allardyce made changes to his starting XI from the side that lost to Manchester United on New Year's Day, recalling Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Sigurdsson and Jonjoe Kenny to the side and starting James McCarthy in midfield.

Mason Holgate moved back inside to his favoured central-defensive role alongside captain Phil Jagielka.

Allardyce's side approached the game on a more even footing than was the case a month ago, showing some attacking intent down the right flank with Yannick Bolasie.

The winger got around new reds signing Virgil van Dijk early on with the defender not quite grabbing enough jersey to give referee Robert Madley something to think about.

Rooney was booked for scything through Joe Gomez in only the seventh minute while Sadio Mane ballooned an effort well off target just before the quarter hour mark and James Milner later volleyed another effort across the face of Pickford's goal.

At the other end, Everton were faring well enough in terms of approach play but saw attacks founder when they got to the final third until Bolasie swung in successive crosses that yielded a second corner but, like the first, it came to nothing as Martina belted a shot high over the bar.

Mane sliced another shot wide from outside the box before referee Madley intervened with the award of an infuriatingly soft penalty as Lallana flopped to the turf under the attentions of Holgate.

Milner converted the resulting penalty and Liverpool assumed control of the contest, with Everton's early adventure having dissipated.

Tempers flared five minutes before the break as Firmino crashed into the advertising hoardings following Holgate's push and reacted with words that sparked anger in the young defender. The pair squared up to each other but were restrained and the incident passed.

Everton announced the signing of Cenk Tosun from Besiktas during the half-time interval while Sam Allardyce sent his side out unchanged for the second half.

They won a corner five minutes in but Sigurdsson's out-swinger was too long to trouble the Liverpool defence. That was followed by the withdrawal of Rooney for Lookman a minute later, the veteran's frustration threatening to earn him a second yellow card.

Gomez missed badly with a free header from a Liverpool corner shortly afterwards before Lallana raced through but, thankfully, fired wide as Jagielka closed in on him.

Milner's trip on Bolasie earned Everton a free kick in a dangerous area in the 55th minute that Karius fumbled but got away with the error.

Back at the other end, Robertson skinned Bolasie all too easily but his powerful drive was parried away well by Pickford while McCarthy's late tackle on Milner was penalised with a yellow card.

Van Dijk popped up with a free header from a deep cross but steered it took close to Pickford who gathered at the second attempt as Liverpool continued to press and Everton struggled to maintain any impetus.

Everton equalised, though, with a classic counter-attack, led by Bolasie who helped the ball forward to Lookman and he threaded Jagielka in on the edge of of the box. His lay-off to Sigurdsson allowed the Icelandic man to pick his spot with a pass into Karius's net.

A rare free kick award from Madley gave Everton another free kick chance with 15 minutes to go but Sigurdsson's delivery fell too short. For Liverpool, Oxlade-Chamberlain fired in a set-piece from a similar area which ended with a shot flying across goal and out to the far side.

Allardyce introduced Niasse with 10 minutes to go in place of Calvert-Lewin but Liverpool retook the lead a couple of minutes later when Pickford came too far off his line and was punished by Van Dijk who connected with a header.

Bolasie had a chance to open Liverpool up in stoppage time but went for glory from way out instead and wasted the chance, leaving the home side to see out the game.

It was Everton's first defeat on Liverpool's turf in the FA Cup and ends the club's quest for a first trophy for 22 years for the season.

Match Preview

Updated Everton's road to Wembley starts in one of the last places they would have wanted it to… at Anfield against a Liverpool side who are unbeaten since the first derby of the season on the same ground less than a month ago.

On the 10th of December, Sam Allardyce took his new charges across Stanley Park with a mission to defend and not much else and though the danger of relegation has eased, not much appears to have changed in the interim.

Despite winning at Newcastle and brushing Swansea aside at Goodison Park, the Blues have turned in frustratingly inept attacking performances over the last four games, registering an average of one shot on target per game.

All Evertonian eyes will, therefore, be on the manager again to see how he approaches a team whose attacking prowess has not diminished since he fortuitously came away from Anfield with a point. Liverpool have scored 16 goals in five matches, the 0-0 draw at home to West Brom four days after the 1-1 draw with Everton being their only blank.

Jurgen Klopp was criticised for being too complacent with his line-up against the Blues when he rested Philippe Coutinho and Sadio Mané but he will be without two of that so-called “fab four” again this time, albeit not by choice. Coutinho will be omitted as his proposed move to Barcelona has reared its head again now that the transfer window is open while Mohamed Salah is ruled out as he undergoes treatment for a groin injury that kept him out of the reds' trip to Burnley on New Year's Day.

In addition to that, both the Egyptian and Mané will be in Ghana 24 hours before this FA Cup Third Round tie kicks off as they attend the Africa Footballer of the Year awards. Both players will take a six-hour flight back to Merseyside but Allardyce will be hoping that it sufficiently impacts Mane's preparation. Virgil van Dijk could start, though, following his £75m move from Southampton that was completed on Monday.

The Everton boss, meanwhile, will also be pulling for the final details of Cenk Tosun's transfer to be ironed out in time for him to be registered to play in the match. It seems that, according to FA regulations, the Turkish international would need be registered by noon tomorrow which should, assuming a final fee is agreed, mean the player can undergo a medical and then sign the required paperwork in time to qualify.

If his move from Besiktas be completed in time, it could alter Allardyce's game-plan, although on the evidence of the past few games, it's going to take more than the addition of a striker to transform Everton into an effective attacking unit. It would certainly be a start, though.

Having rotated his squad for the match against Manchester United, the manager could revert to the line-up that was so successful in the early part of his tenure, when Mason Holgate was excelling in his natural role at centre-back, Jonjoe Kenny was getting to grips with life in the first team at right back and Gylfi Sigurdsson was beginning to show signs of settling following his decidedly iffy start to life at Goodison.

Two of those three were benched on New Year's Day while Holgate played out of position and the 2-0 defeat provided enough support for the argument that they should be restored to their previous roles.

Another foot injury for Michael Keane which required stitches on Monday looks like it will force the issue at centre half regardless. The former Burnley man won't be risked by Allardyce for this match.

Elsewhere in midfield, James McCarthy's positive impact off the bench will likely earn him a place in the starting XI alongside Morgan Schneiderlin, particularly if, as is likely, Idrissa Gueye misses out with a hamstring strain.

Up front Dominic Calvert-Lewin's hold-up play would give him an advantage over Oumar Niasse, who was poor against United, and he might get the nod to start even if Tosun signs.

They might not have won at Anfield for 19 years but Everton have a favourable cup record there, having never lost an FA Cup tie on Liverpool's turf. They drew 1-1 on their last meeting in this competition thanks to a Joleon Lescott goal and you would wager that Allardyce would take another draw and the opportunity to face Klopp's rabble at Goodison if he could.

Kick-off: 7.55pm, Friday 5th January, 2018
Last Time: Liverpool 1 - 1 Everton (25 January, 2009)

Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Kenny, Holgate, Williams, Martina, Schneiderlin, McCarthy, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Bolasie, Calvert-Lewin

Lyndon Lloyd

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Match Preview
Match Summary
Match Report
Key Links
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2017-18 Reports Index
« Man Utd (H) Spurs (A) »
 Everton fans' reports
 Lyndon Lloyd Report
 Paul Traill Report
  Gomez (Solanke 77' booked)
  Van Dijk
  Milner(Alexander-Arnold 77')
  Lallana (Wijnaldum 70')
  Subs not used

  Jagielka {c}
  McCarthy booked (Davies 86')
  Rooney booked (Lookman 52')
  Calvert-Lewin (Niasse 82')
  Subs not used
  Baines (injured)
  Coleman (injured)
  Funes Mori (injured)
  Gueye (injured)
  Keane (injured)
  Stekelenburg (injured)
  Tarashaj (injured)
  Browning (loan)
  Dowell (loan)
  Galloway (loan)
  Onyekuru (loan)
  Pennington (loan)
  J. Williams (loan)

Match Stats

Shots on target

Cup Scores
Liverpool 2-1 Everton
Man United 1-0 Derby
Aston Villa - Peterborough
Birmingham - Burton Albion
Blackburn - Hull City
Bolton - Huddersfield
Bournemouth - Wigan
Brentford - Notts County
Cardiff - Mansfield
Carlisle - Sheff Weds
Coventry - Stoke City
Doncaster - Rochdale
Exeter - West Brom
Fleetwood - Leicester
Fulham - Southampton
Ipswich - Sheffield Utd
Man City - Burnley
Millwall - Barnsley
Newcastle - Luton Town
Norwich - Chelsea
QPR - MK Dons
Stevenage - Reading
Watford - Bristol City
Wolves - Swansea
Wycombe - Preston NE
Yeovil - Bradford
Newport - Leeds United
Nott'm Forest - Arsenal
Shrewsbury - West Ham
Tottenham - AFC Wimbledon
Brighton - C Palace


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