Liverpool vs Everton: Klopp praises young midfielder

Liverpool vs Everton: Klopp praises young midfielder
Stefan Bajcetic

When asked in one pre-game interview why he had kept teenager Stefan Bajcetic despite making two other changes to his midfield, Jurgen Klopp summed it up brilliantly.

The Liverpool manager said: “A player in form,…You could see it in all the games. As bad as they were, imagine the Wolves game without him.”

It would be an understatement to suggest that Bajcetic benefited from that choice; for the entire 90 minutes, he was perhaps the greatest midfielder on the field.

Liverpool supporters have every right to be thrilled about a teenager who merits to stay in the starting XI for the foreseeable future due to his firmness in the challenge and absolute class on the ball.

Stefan Bajcetic: “I love to tackle! I love tackles!”

“Since he started playing with us, he’s [been] our best player”, Mo Salah on Bajcetic.

READ ALSO: Liverpool vs Everton: Cody Gakpo scores first goal in Merseyside derby win

The Reds won the game 2-0, courtesy of first and second-half goals from Mohammed Salah and Cody Gakpo.

LIV — Salah — 36th min.
LIV — Gakpo — 49th min.

Highlights of Liverpool vs Everton match, February 14, 2023

Final: Liverpool 2-0 Everton

FULLTIME: All over at Anfield and Liverpool claim a 2-0 win over rivals Everton thanks to goals from Mohamed Salah and Cody Gakpo. That looked a lot like a return to form for the Reds, while the visitors still have work to do as they look to escape the relegation zone.

90th min: Four minutes to be added on.

87th min: An almighty kerfuffle on the touchline as Robertson kicks the ball away to stop Everton from taking a quick free-kick. Once the pushing and shoving subsides, Liverpool’s Scottish defender gets a yellow card, as does Pickford.

82nd min: Bajcetic nicks the ball in a deep position and drives forward with a host of options joining him on the counter.

He ultimately picks out Salah, but Tarkowski does brilliantly to slide in and block the shot.

77th min: Dyche rolling the dice now as Dwight McNeil and Andre Onana make way for Neal Maupay and Tom Davies.

If Everton could pinch a goal now then Liverpool would surely start to get nervy.

69th min: Darwin Nunez leaves the field to be replaced by Diogo Jota, whose return from injury is met with huge roars by the Anfield crowd.

66th min: Coady cynically cuts short a brilliantly worked counter involving Nunez and Bajcetic and goes into the book.

61st min: A change for Everton, with Ellis Simms, replaced by Demarai Gray.

57th min: Iwobi has a go from 25 yards out, but he can’t find the space to generate any power and it’s easily collected by Alisson.

49th min: GOAL! And Everton are made to pay for their wasted opportunity as they are carved open.

Robertson cuts in off the left before feeding Salah, who feeds Alexander-Arnold to put in an unstoppable low cross that gives Gakpo a tap-in at the back post. That’s his first goal for the club and what a time to get it.

48th min: The Toffees win a free-kick in a dangerous area on the left-hand side but it is wasted as McNeil overhits his delivery. Dyche will be desperate to make better use of situations like that.

46th min: Everton get things restarted.

Halftime: Liverpool 2-0 Everton
Halftime: Nunez smashes a left-footed effort goalward inside the box, but it is bravely blocked and that’s the end of a half that saw Liverpool get their noses in front through Salah.

42nd min: Liverpool have clearly been buoyed by that breakthrough but, to their credit, Everton are holding firm. Their game plan won’t change too much unless a one-goal lead for the hosts turns into two.

36th min: GOAL! Liverpool lead through Salah!!!

It’s an utterly chaotic passage of play that leads to the goal, starting with Tarkowski striking the far post with a towering header from a corner delivery. The hosts keep their heads after that let-off and quickly charge up the pitch through Nunez, who centres with his left foot to allow Salah to poke past the stranded Pickford.

A huge minute in this game.

30th min: Liverpool clear a corner as far as Gueye, who wellies a volleyed attempt straight back over the bar.

25th min: Everton now really struggling to get out as Liverpool swarm them and force hopeful long balls to the isolated Ellis Simms. The visitors will only care about one thing, though: the fact it’s still 0-0.

17th min: Nunez tries an overhead kick that inadvertently finds the head of Gakpo, but he can only send it wide of the Kop-end goal.

That’s about as close as either side has come so far.

10th min: Nunez cuts in off the left-hand side and forces Tarkowski to dive in and give away a foul which is *just* outside the box.

Liverpool threatening but the subsequent free-kick is a poor one and Everton get it away.

5th min: A frantic start on the pitch, with no real chances to speak of. Off it, Everton chairman Bill Kenwright has been spotted in the crowd. This is despite him having missed the last couple of games at Goodison Park amid fan protests.

1st min: Liverpool get the game underway.