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Five talking points from Liverpool’s derby draw with Everton

Everton twice fought back from a goal down against bitter rivals Liverpool to remain top of the Premier League.

The visitors had missed Sadio Mane in their 7-2 defeat at Aston Villa last time out but he wasted no time in making up for a lost opportunity.

Left-back Andy Robertson won a 50-50 with Seamus Coleman on the right edge of Everton's area and his driven cross was fired home first-time by Mane at the near post in the third minute.

Under-scrutiny England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford was fortunate not to concede a penalty and receive a red card after clattering knee-high into Virgil Van Dijk who was unable to continue.

Van Dijk's presence was sorely missed as Everton equalised in the 20th minute thanks to Michael Keane's header.

Everton had the better of the second half, with Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison both missing good chances, before Liverpool re-took the lead.

Yerry Mina's poor clearance dropped to Mohamed Salah and his first-time volley brought up his 100th Liverpool goal in his 159th match.

But Calvert-Lewin had the final say as he rose highest to head home his seventh of the season before Richarlison was sent off for a late lunge on Liverpool new boy Thiago.

Jordan Henderson thought he had won it in injury-time but VAR adjudged him to have been offside.

Here are our talking points from a frantic derby…

1. Liverpool suffer more injury misery

The 7-2 defeat by Aston Villa showed how finely poised Liverpool's success is on Jurgen Klopp's regular starting XI being fit. Alisson is still out injured for the Reds, and he will now be joined in the Melwood physio room by Virgil van Dijk.

The Dutchman latest just 10 minutes in the Merseyside derby after he was clattered by Jordan Pickford. The Everton keeper was very lucky to get away with not being shown a red card for the challenge, which left Van Dijk in a heap on the ground.

Van Dijk did his best to play through the pain but was eventually forced to make way, with Joe Gomez replacing the defensive titan.

Van Dijk's absence at the back was capitalised on almost instantly by Everton, who netted an equaliser, but more worrying from a Liverpool perspective, played with more confidence going forward.

Liverpool's defence is built on the notion it is impenetrable with Van Dijk at the back, and his absence – however long – will be a huge miss for the Reds.

2. Pickford in VAR drama

There was yet further VAR contention early on over whether or not Pickford should have been sent off for his dangerous tackle on Van Dijk.

Even though the Liverpool defender was flagged as offside in the build-up to the incident, the rules state that a player can still be sent off for violent conduct in such an instance.

Although VAR was used at the time, it has been confirmed that this was to check on the offside, and not on whether or not Pickford should have been given his marching orders.

If it had been deployed in this manner, there is surely no doubt in anybody's mind that Everton would have been down to ten men, such was the force of the England goalkeeper's challenge.

It is yet another example highlighting that VAR still has issues which desperately need looking at.

3. Salah the man for the big occasion

Mo Salah didn't have the busiest afternoon at Goodison Park and struggled to influence the derby at times.

But such is his confidence at the moment that it was no surprise to see the Egyptian pop up almost from nowhere with the winning goal.

Salah how has 100 for Liverpool and, for those who like stats of this nature, he has reached the milestone faster than the likes of Robbie Fowler, Ian Rush, Michael Owen and Kenny Dalglish.

His 159 games is bettered only by Roger Hunt (144) and Jack Parkinson (153).

4. Pickford still a cause for concern

Everton splashed some serious cash this summer bringing in the likes of James Rodriguez from Real Madrid and Allan from Napoli.

But it seems something of an oversight that Jordan Pickford wasn't replaced.

The Toffees have started this campaign in sensational form, and remain top of the Premier League, despite drawing with Liverpool.

But there is the feeling that points will be dropped this season due to avoidable errors.

Pickford has a mistake in him, there are no two words about it, and despite some good saves against Liverpool – and the fact he couldn't do much about either goal on Saturday – he had something of a game to forget.

His reckless challenge on Van Dijk was irresponsible at best, and portrayed the shot-stopper once more as a man who struggles under pressure.

Pickford was lucky to avoid being sent off for the tackle, and unless he starts showing dramatic signs of improvement, Carlo Ancelotti will be looking to replace him in January.

5. Thiago shows what is to come

Thiago Alcantara showed why Liverpool have splashed the cash on him as made his first start for the club at Goodison Park.

The Spanish midfielder drifted in and out of the game in the early stages, but did look tidy in possession and popped a number of short passes about as he grew into the match.

In the second half his confidence seemed to grow, and he began to set the tempo and spread the play with a wide range of passing.

The 29-year-old simply oozes class, and will only continue to improve as he settles into Jurgen Klopp's side.

Reds fans will be extremely excited by what could be to come in the near future.

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