‘Derby Day’ was billed as one of the most exciting days of the Premier League season so far, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Here’s the big talking points from an eventful day of football:
Liverpool 1-0 Everton: Pickford howler gifts Liverpool Merseyside glory
In one of the most bizarre yet amazing moments in recent Premier League history, Everton goalkeeper produced a simply terrible error in the 96th minute to gift Liverpool outcast Divock Origi his first goal for the reds since May 2017 and thus the spoils in the Merseyside Derby.
The game was heading for a draw, which Everton would’ve richly deserved, but a sliced shot from Virgil Van Dijk would catch Pickford out after landing on top of his net. After hitting the bar twice, the England international would then palm the ball straight to Origi to nod home from barely a yard out.
Scenes of jubilation echoed around Anfield, with manager Jurgen Klopp running out onto the pitch to celebrate with Liverpool goalkeeper, Alisson. After the game, Klopp then revealed that he apologised to Everton boss Marco Silva once the game had ended.
The home side were getting frustrated with Pickford making a number of saves from chances created by Xherdan Shaqiri and Sadio Mane. Everton had chances of their own with Alisson forced to make two vital first half saves from an Andre Gomes header and an attempt from Gylfi Sigurdsson which he forced onto the post and behind.
That freak goal from Origi could prove to be crucial in the title race, with Liverpool still unbeaten in the Premier League and remaining two points behind league leaders Manchester City. Meanwhile, Everton are now without a victory at Anfield in 18 years and stay 6th in the table but are now eight points behind Tottenham & Arsenal.
Arsenal 4-2 Tottenham: Double substitution inspires fiery comeback
The North London Derby has a reputation of being one of the most passionate and entertaining derbies in the Premier League era, and yesterday’s encounter at the Emirates Stadium certainly followed that trend.
Arsenal started brightly and would take the lead thanks to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang converting from the penalty spot following a handball from defender Jan Vertonghen.
Seemingly in control, the hosts would take their foot off the pedal in a crazy four minute spell that saw Spurs take the lead just before the break. Eric Dier would score a glancing header from Christian Eriksen’s free-kick, but his celebration would incite the home crowd and cause a mass melee between both sets of players. Spurs were then awarded a controversial penalty when Rob Holding tripped Heung-min Son, and England striker Harry Kane was as composed as ever to slot home to give the visitors the lead against the run of play at half time.
Arsenal manager Unai Emery would make a double substitution at the start of the second half with Alexandre Lacazette and Aaron Ramsey replacing Alex Iwobi and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and it would have a dramatic effect on the outcome of the game.
Wales international Ramsey would provide two assists, the first for Aubameyang’s second goal of the game, a magnificent first-time finish from outside the penalty box 10 minutes into the second half. Ramsey would then assist fellow substitute Lacazette in the 74th minute who managed to squeeze a deflected shot past French compatriot Hugo Lloris.
Man-of-the-match Lucas Torreira then rounded off the sensational comeback with his first goal for Arsenal just three minutes later. The visitors misery was compounded when Vertonghen received his second yellow card for a foul on Lacazette in the final stages of the game.
Arsenal are now unbeaten in 19 games in all competitions and overtake Tottenham into 4th place in the Premier League on goal difference.
Chelsea 2-0 Fulham: Blues too much for spirited Cottagers
The opening game of ‘Derby Day’ was arguably the least entertaining of the bunch, with Chelsea proving to be too good for their South West London rivals, Fulham.
Pedro opened the scoring in the 4th minute, with the visiting fans fearing the worst for the leakiest defence in the Premier League but the hosts never got out of first gear despite Olivier Giroud being denied twice by Fulham ‘keeper Sergio Rico before the break.
The struggling visitors would threaten to spoil the formalities in the second half as Chelsea staggered across the line for another win. Calum Chambers, on-loan from Arsenal, had Fulham’s best effort with a long-range shot that tested ‘keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga. At the other end, Spanish international striker Alvaro Morata wasted an opportunity to wrap up the game in the 73rd minute, but his close-ranged effort went way over the bar.
All of Fulham’s pressure would come to nothing, as substitute Reuben Loftus-Cheek sealed the victory for Chelsea in the 82nd minute, his fifth goal in six games in all competitions.
Chelsea move back into 3rd place but are seven points behind league leaders Manchester City. Fulham remain rooted to the bottom of the Premier League, but there are plenty of signs of encouragement for Claudio Ranieri’s side.