On This Day: Salah scores Puskas-winning goal
Mohamed Salah curled home a sublime effort but Liverpool were held to a draw by Everton on this day in 2017.
Liverpool had made a relatively positive start to the 2017-18 campaign, losing just twice as Everton made the trip across Stanley Park, but too many draws left them 14 points adrift of leaders Manchester City.
Everton, meanwhile, were desperately trying to find some form after Sam Allardyce had been drafted in to replace Ronald Koeman.
The game looked set up to go only one way, a Liverpool win, but derbies are difficult to predict – and so it proved in this encounter.
Jurgen Klopp’s men, who were fresh off a 5-1 win over Brighton, started positively and had Everton on the ropes throughout the first half.
Their persistence eventually paid off on 42 minutes when Salah broke the deadlock with an individual piece of brilliance.
Salah, enjoying a fine first season with the club, took his tally to 19 goals after brushing off Cuco Martina and beating Idrissa Gueye before finally curling home around Ashley Williams and into the far corner.
The hosts should have doubled their lead before the break but Sadio Mane opted against squaring for Salah, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain or Dominic Solanke, and subsequently dragged his shot wide.
Liverpool continued to press on in the second half but Salah, Solanke and Joe Gomez were unable to convert as the snow came down on a chilly Sunday afternoon.
Everton didn’t deserve to take anything from the game, registering just one shot on target from open play and having just 21 per cent of possession, but football isn’t always fair.
Klopp would certainly adhere to that opinion and he was left fuming at the full-time whistle after claiming referee Craig Pawson “opened the door” for Everton.
In truth, Pawson’s decision to award Everton a penalty on 77 minutes seemed harsh but Wayne Rooney did not care as he gleefully smashed home down the middle.
The former Manchester United captain was afforded the chance from 12 yards after Dejan Lovren was deemed to have fouled Dominic Calvert-Lewin although there was minimal contact.
Everton had to cling on for a smash-and-grab point, with Jordan Pickford making a superb save when facing a Philippe Coutinho free-kick.
The hard-earned point proved to be a turning point in Everton’s season as they enjoyed a seven-game unbeaten run, while Liverpool went on to draw two of their following three matches.
Klopp would ultimately lead Liverpool to fourth place, with Salah winning the Golden Boot after scoring 32 times, as well as winning the 2018 FIFA Puskas award for his strike against the Toffees.
Bobbie Jackson is a reporter with an in-depth knowledge of football at all levels. A Blackpool supporter, Bobbie is also a keen rugby union, boxing, MMA and UFC follower.