The 227th Merseyside Derby was pretty horrible the first 90 minutes. It was filled with highly physical/borderline dirty play, no shots on target in the first half and a contest where both sides were just swinging from the depths to gain an edge. So in other words, a usual Merseyside Derby.
After Everton goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg went down with an injury, referee Mike Dean signaled eight minutes of stoppage time. Like turning a light switch on, thigns picked up once the clock read 90:00. In his first game back from injury, Daniel Sturridge came on as a sub and somehow contorted his body to put his shot off the post. Diving and missing Sturridge’s shot, Joel Robles wasn’t able to get back on his feet to stop Sadio Mane speeding toward the ball to strike it into the back of the net in the 94th minute.
After dealing with a smoke bomb thrown by a Liverpool fan and security stopping an Everton fan from getting onto the field, play resumed but after trying to dictate the game, the goal crushed Everton and the contest ended 1-0.
For Liverpool, the win comes at a great time for them. Not only did they obviously want to win in a derby, it comes at a time where they cannot afford to drop points against Chelsea, who are on an 11 game winning streak, and capitalize on an Arsenal team who has lost twice in a week. Liverpool now go back up to 2nd, six points behind Chelsea.
For Everton, the momentum they had off of the comeback win to Arsenal is gone. They are now winless in their last 13 Merseyside Derbies (last win in October 2010) and stay in 9th, tied with West Brom at 23 points going into Boxing Day.