Calvert-Lewin Earns Everton Derby Draw

As soon as he jumped you fancied Dominic Calvert-Lewin to score.

The striker is redefining expectations and so, progressively, are Everton.

Nine minutes remained, Everton were trailing 2-1 and appeared poised for a first defeat of the season.

Then Lucas Digne flew down the left to fasten onto James Rodriguez's slide-rule pass and hang up an inviting cross.

Calvert-Lewin directed his header into the turf and beyond Adrian's dive to his right.

That wasn't the half of it - nor was it the end of it.

Richarlison, who had hit the post with a header, was red carded for a challenge on Thiago Alcantara in the 90th minute.

In the third of five minutes of time added on Liverpool thought they'd won the game but the VAR detected Mane - who scored Liverpool's first goal - had strayed marginally offside before centring for Jordan Henderson to finish.

Michael Keane had supplied Everton's first equaliser, Mohamed Salah thumping Liverpool back in front on 72 minutes.

Everton, then, still haven't lost this season. They are top of the Premier League and have scored 14 goals in five matches - 11 in three at Goodison Park.

Calvert-Lewin, newly capped by England, is the first Everton player since Tommy Lawton in 1938 to score in the first five matches of a league campaign.

Everton trailed for 16 first-half minutes until Keane leapt to score his third goal of the season.

James, as is so often the case, was Everton’s supply line.

The South American freed Calvert-Lewin for a run into the box, the striker lacking support and going it alone with a shot at the near post which Adrian diverted behind.

Everton piled bodies under the goalkeeper’s nose for the ensuing corner, which James landed perfectly.

Keane rose and powered his header past Adrian despite the goalkeeper getting two hands to the ball.

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02:17 Sat 17 Oct 2020


Striker reflects on 2-2 draw in 237th Merseyside derby.

The game was 19 minutes old and already there was plenty to record.

Vigril Van Dijk, for one, had exited on 11 minutes following a heavy collision with Jordan Pickford – and not before leaving his own mark on both James and Calvert-Lewin in the opening minutes.

Liverpool wanted a penalty when Van Dijk hit the turf but the defender stepped offside when trying to meet Fabinho’s cross from the left.

Mane had opened the scoring by this stage, opening his body to meet Andrew Robertson’s low cross from the left and divert the ball into the roof of the net.

Digne covered brilliantly to stop the visitors gaining a two-goal head start when Mane swung in a cross from the left soon after.

For Everton, recovering their composure represented a gradual process.

By the end of the opening half, the hosts were the side looking more direct and powerful.

Abdoulaye Doucoure epitomised his team’s growing strength five minutes before the break.

Winning a header, Doucoure burst forwards to reclaim possession and hammer a cross which was touched on by Calvert-Lewin but centimetres out of Richarlison’s reach at the back post.

Calvert-Lewin provided a glimpse of Everton’s climbing confidence when he dodged Joe Gomez – Van Dijk’s replacement – to expertly trap a long ball from Keane and shoot on target.

The offside flag was up by the time Adrian gathered Calvert-Lewin’s effort but the forward had made a point.

Calvert-Lewin was over with a header from a Digne delivery and the outcome was similar when Robertson delivered for Roberto Firmino.

Liverpool left-back Robertson took the low route to connect again with Mane but the earlier scorer opted to seek out the opposite corner and missed by a foot.

Pickford took off to his right to fingertip Trent Alexander-Arnold’s free-kick round the post after Andre Gomes was penalised for a high boot on Mane.

That was the toughest of it for Pickford before half-time – he had no chance with the goal – which was surprising, because twice Salah cleverly engineered space in the box but aimed weakly at Everton’s goalkeeper.

Everton entered this game with question marks over the fitness of a handful of players.

One of them, Seamus Coleman, hurt his hamstring against Brighton & Hove Albion a fortnight ago.

He recovered sufficiently to last 31 minutes before pulling up with what looked a minor relapse.

A penny for Ben Godfrey’s thoughts at this juncture.

Signed to add to Everton’s centre-half stocks two weeks ago and only back from international duty in midweek, the 22-year-old was summoned to fill Coleman’s position at right-back.

Godfrey had seen Thiago belt wide from 25 yards when he squeezed a Salah effort wide of the target – and would demonstrate his courage with a terrific block on Thiago’s thundering volley after Yerry Mina headed out another Alexander-Arnold free-kick.

Godfrey didn’t limit himself to defending. He pressed on regardless despite the company of four red shirts as he swept over halfway.

Richarlison collected the pass and, allowed to turn, directed his shot too high to bother Adrian, who finished the half adjusting to push Gomes’ overhit cross out from underneath his bar.

One thing we didn’t witness prior to half-time was James’ trademark left-to-right ball for Digne.

He rectified that very quickly after the restart, spearing a pass for the left-back.

Digne met it with a first-time cross which Adrian just about prevented Calvert-Lewin from turning home.

Liverpool had been too high twice in the intervening period, Fabinho wildly, Henderson much closer after connecting with Keane’s defensive header on the half-volley 18 yards from goal.

James had his blood up and his eye in.

The cross for fellow South American Richarlison on 59 minutes seemed to take forever to reach its target.

Richarlison stooped to connect cleanly but planted his header against Adrian’s right post.

Next from James, a run through the centre. Joel Matip backed off, enabling the Everton player to use him as a measuring gauge for a curling shot which had Adrian sprawling to his right to save.

Salah pounced on Mina’s clearance after Henderson had crossed from the right to angle a drive inside Pickford’s right post and restore the away team’s advantage.

Gylfi Sigurdsson replaced Gomes to begin Everton’s hunt for a second equaliser.

Robertson stole in front of Calvert-Lewin to prevent the forward shooting after he’d controlled Digne’s long ball on his chest – before Pickford kept Everton’s deficit at one with a stunning stop to his right to deny Matip.

Calvert-Lewin brilliantly headed level following the combination between James and Digne.

Then it was over to Pickford again. Salah squirted a pass through to Mane, who was one on one with the keeper.

Pickford was out in a flash to narrow the angle and get enough on the ball to stop Mane putting Liverpool in front again.

Richarlison saw red, setting home nerves on edge ahead of five extra minutes - and the keeper was beaten by Henderson in stoppage time but a lengthy check by the VAR discovered Mane had strayed offside before squaring for the midfielder to convert.

 James Senses His Moment

There were signs of Everton steadily clearing their heads following the early blow of a Liverpool goal in the minutes leading up to Michael Keane’s equaliser.

Richarlison embarked on a trademark dribble and Lucas Digne released himself from shackling Mohamed Salah to gallop forwards.

In midfield, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Allan were beginning to suffocate Fabinho and Thiago.

James Rodriguez reads the rhythms of a match. He has the ability to twist the action to his will and the Colombian scented his moment.

There was a pass which narrowly missed Richarlison’s unencumbered run into the penalty box.

Moments later, James turned the screw with an eye-of-the-needle ball to send Dominic Calvert-Lewin – who moments earlier had headed over following Digne’s raid and cross - through on goal.

Adrian turned behind Calvert-Lewin’s thrashed effort, creating another opportunity for James to show why Carlo Ancelotti labelled him the assists man.

James’ corner was on the money, drilled with whip and pace into the middle of a congested six-yard box.

This was gold-plated service and precisely what Keane would have ordered.

The defender took charge, climbing highest and arcing his neck to generate maximum power.

Adrian got plenty on the ball but couldn’t resist Keane’s header, merely helping the ball into the roof of the net.

James was in the game. This contribution moved him to three assists for the season, matching the forward’s goal tally in five Premier League games.

He was close to adding to both totals, Adrian keeping out one bending effort destined for the left corner and Richarlison clattering the post with a header from James’ inswung right-wing delivery.

 Calvert-Lewin Keeps On Going

Dominic Calvert-Lewin is the first Everton player in 82 years to score in his opening five games of a season.

None of the striker’s seven Premier League goals can have felt as good as this.

The source, just as it was when Calvert-Lewin opened his account at Tottenham Hotspur five weeks ago, was Lucas Digne.

Going further back in the lead up to this goal, James Rodriguez collected a pass from Michael Keane to slice open Liverpool’s right side with a pass which sent Digne haring down the left.

The Frenchman’s cross was tremendous but still required an awful lot of work from Calvert-Lewin.

He timed his jump perfectly, generating direction and power to squeeze the ball between Adrian’s dive and the goalkeeper’s right post.

Calvert-Lewin’s goals have come in all shapes and sizes this season.

This, though, was pure Calvert-Lewin and exactly what his manager wants from him.

Carlo Ancelotti ordered Calvert-Lewin to begin operating between the width of the goal and finish first time.

The 23-year-old ticked both boxes here to preserve Everton’s unbeaten start the season and ensure this month’s international break didn’t check their momentum in this embryonic campaign.