Virgil van Dijk scores on debut to settle ill-tempered derby

Virgil van Dijk scores on debut to settle ill-tempered derby

Virgil van Dijk scores on debut to settle ill-tempered derby

For most of 90 minutes, every eye at Anfield was trained on Virgil van Dijk. Van Dijk, whose recent acquisition from Southampton turned him into the world's most expensive defender, made his Liverpool debut in Friday's F.A. Cup match against Everton.

Brazil playmaker Philippe Coutinho was again ruled out with a thigh injury as speculation continues to mount over his future amid interest from Barcelona, while top-scorer Mohamed Salah was missing with a groin problem.

James Milner put Liverpool ahead in the 35th minute by converting a contentiously awarded penalty.

In a typically high-octane derby, Wayne Rooney picked up an early booking for a crude tackle on Joe Gomez and was substituted in the 52nd for his own good, moments after escaping a second yellow card for shoving Emre Can.

Everton defender Mason Holgate used his arms on Adam Lallana, who had his back to goal inside the area, and the Liverpool midfielder went to ground.

Klopp felt it was not a spot-kick.

A swift counter-attacking move saw Everton get an unlikely equaliser through Gylfi Sigurdsson after the interval. "It is exactly the same situation". After a flare-up on the touchline, Firmino reacted angrily to being pushed into an advertising hoarding and shouted something at Holgate.

Liverpool hasn't lost to Everton in 16 matches - a club record - and Everton's winless run at the home of its great rival extended to 21 games, dating back to 1999.

Scoring the winning goal in front of the Kop in a Merseyside derby is as good of a first installment in a £75m repayment plan as one could muster.

Van Dijk looked a bit rusty with the ball at his feet but was commanding in the air throughout, no more so than when he leapt in front of Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford at a corner to head the ball into an empty net.

Related news