On This Day: Pickford gifts Origi derby glory
We do not have to go too far back for our latest On This Day as 12 months ago Jordan Pickford was the darling of Anfield for all the wrong reasons.
The first Merseyside derby of the 2018-19 season was a somewhat tepid affair and it looked as if Everton were set to hold bitter local rivals Liverpool to a goalless draw. However, Pickford’s inexplicable intervention handed the Reds a 1-0 win.
A 1-0 victory over Cardiff the previous week had kept the Toffees in the running for the European places and they would have fully deserved a point following a dogged display that frustrated Jurgen Klopp’s side.
Liverpool went into the game unbeaten in the Premier League, trailing Manchester City by two points.
Victory was paramount after the Citizens had dispatched Bournemouth 3-1, with Liverpool in danger of falling further behind City.
However, Pickford, unintentionally, had something to say about that.
With the game goalless and all but over, Virgil van Dijk looped an effort towards goal and it looked for all the world that it would land on the roof of the net.
Pickford thought otherwise, clawing the ball down from above the crossbar and all Origi had to do was nod home.
The matched marked the Belgian’s first Premier League appearance since August 2017 and he previously looked to have spurned his shot at glory after smashing against the crossbar from three yards.
Origi would get an opportunity to redeem himself and did so, much to the delight of the fans behind the goal in the Kop. Those present were probably just as shocked at the circumstances as they were the goalscorer.
The result came early in a run of nine straight victories for Liverpool, who would see their streak come to an end at the Etihad in January.
By then they had overtaken the Citizens although the Sky Blues soon clawed the deficit back and would go on to win the Premier League for the second straight season.
The Reds’ wait for their maiden Premier League crown goes on but this really could be their year.
Liverpool currently sit top of the table, eight points clear following Saturday’s 2-1 win over Brighton, and guess who their next opponents are? Everton.
Wednesday’s derby could spell the end for underfire Toffees boss Marco Silva on the back of Sunday’s 2-1 loss at Leicester although he will have been encouraged by what he saw at King Power Stadium.
Everton have not won at Anfield since 1999. If they produce more gifts like this time last year, they are unlikely to end that miserable run this week.
Jack Ogalbe has been working for the team since his student days, having enjoyed a successful placement. He is an avid West Ham fan but also enjoys writing on rugby union, golf, tennis and cycling.