Sunday saw both the major Northwest Derbies in the same day as Everton travelled to a chilly Anfield to take on local rivals Liverpool, before the battle of the top two, saw Manchester City travel across the city to take on Manchester United.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp had decided to start with Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino, deciding to hand young striker Dominic Solanke only his second start for the club. Despite the changes it didn’t hold Liverpool back as they had the better of the 1st half, taking a deserved lend minutes before the break from their ‘Buy of the season’ Mohamed Salah, who’s excellent curling finish showed why!!
Both teams had they chances in the second half although it was Liverpool who always looked like doubling their lead, but eventually it was Referee Craig Pawson who gave they visitors their best opportunity after he decided Dominic Calvert-Lewin was fouled in the box he awarded what was only Everton’s second post war penalty at Anfield. It was Captain Wayne Rooney how stood up and scored his first ever Merseyside derby goal to make it 1-1.
Over in Manchester it was Pep Guardiola’s team that took the spoils with a 2-1 win that see’s their lead at the top of the Premier League increased to 11 points, whilst becoming the ‘first ever’ team in the English top flight to win 14 successive games in the same season.
City were on top from the start and had plenty of chances to open the scoring against an average looking United team, but somehow it took until the 42nd minute before some confusion at a City corner allowed Man of the Match David Silva to score from close range to give the visitors a 0-1 lead. City were only in front for a few minutes before a mix up between Nicolas Otamendi and Fabien Delph allowed Marcus Rashford the opportunity to equalise on the half time whistle.
Cities winner came early in the second half, defender Otamendi making up for his earlier mistake, when he collected Romelu Lukaku’s botched clearance in the United area to guide the ball past David de Gea.
With 10 minutes remaining United looked like they had been given their ‘Get out of Jail free Card’ when it looked like Otamendi had brought down Ander Herrera in the box, but referee Michael Oliver instead decided to book Herrera for diving and gave city the free kick.
As the teams reach the midpoint of the season and 11 points clear only a complete capitulation from City could stop them taking the title and on this form the treble would be a good bet.