The Merseyside Derby: A tactical analysis of the 244th Derby

Analyzing the Reds heartbreaking loss to hometown rivals Everton.
Everton FC v Liverpool FC - Premier League
Everton FC v Liverpool FC - Premier League / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

The Reds took on bitter hometown rivals Everton today at Goodison Park. This was the 244th Merseyside Derby, with Liverpool winning 99, Everton winning 67, and 77 ties.

Everton manager Sean Dyche lined Everton up in a 4-4-1-1, which has been the lineup used most by them this season.

This tactic allows for counter-attacking play out of the back when they are being heavily pressed. The outside midfielders of Jack Harrison and Dwight McNeil stay in shape when the opposition attacks, but quickly move up into a winger role on the counter.

This allows for quick balls out wide to be whipped into the opposing third swiftly after an attack.

Klopp's squad lined up in our typical 4-3-3 formation that has been consistently working well for us this season.

Liverpool does a great job of maintaining their shape and building up play through possession, especially through Alexis Mac Allister in the midfield. The Argentinian national has 5 goals and 7 assists in all competitions with Liverpool this season.

The Reds came out of the gate with a heavy press on defense and emphasis on passing build up throughout the first half.

Throughout the game, they made 711 passes with 88% accuracy. The slow build up play guided us to maintaining 77% possession in the game.

The real problem with Liverpool on Wednesday was the finishing. Darwin Nunez missed several key touches and shots in the first half, and we just couldn't seem to stop our shots from getting blocked by Everton center backs Jarrad Branthwaite and James Tarkowski.

Everton's defending was the key to their success today. Everton are 2nd to last in the league for goals scored, but they make up for it by their incredible defensive play.

Liverpool had a total of 23 shots, with only 7 of those on target. This is only one more shot on target than Everton, who only took 16 shots. The Blues had an intense aerial presence today, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin scoring a back post header to increase the lead to two.

Liverpool began pressing even harder after the second goal from Everton, with Klopp making several substitutions late in the second half.

The formation and roles of the players switched a bit, with van Dijk being pushed up to allow youngster Jarell Quansah to fill the role of the sweeper. There were many crosses put into the box, but we unfortunately couldn't connect with them, allowing Everton to grab their 68th derby win against the Reds.