LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – Sadio Mane grabbed the winner in the fourth minute of injury time as Liverpool beat Everton 1-0 on Monday to head into Christmas in second place in the Premier League and extend its recent dominance of Merseyside derbies.
Substitute Daniel Sturridge’s low long-range shot dribbled against the post and Mane tapped the rebound into an empty net, sparking wild celebrations among Liverpool supporters that saw two red flares thrown onto the playing surface.
After a 227th derby match that was frantic and bereft of quality and scoring chances, Liverpool moved above Manchester City and back to within six points of Chelsea, which has won its last 11 league games.
Everton’s struggles in this local rivalry continued — the blue half of Merseyside has been victorious only once in the past 20 meetings — but Liverpool didn’t look like a side that started the match on top of the league’s scoring charts with 40 goals until Mane came to the rescue.
“The plan of Everton was wild football,” Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said. “It was a battle and we were ready for it.”
It won’t be a match that lingers long in the memory, except for the dramatic late goal and a shocking challenge by Everton’s Ross Barkley on England teammate Jordan Henderson that could easily have earned him a red card. Instead, it was one of four bookings in a fixture that has produced more red cards — 21 — than any other in the 24-year history of the Premier League.
“It was pretty late,” Henderson said. “I know him well, I’m good friends with him. Obviously he mistimed the tackle and he apologized after. It’s a derby — it doesn’t matter if you’re friends off the field.”
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