Gary Neville critical of Liverpool duo who ‘need to get a grip’ in Merseyside derby

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Gary Neville was critical of two Liverpool players during the first half of tonight’s Merseyside derby against Everton.

The Toffees took a deserved lead shortly before the half-hour when, during a litany of defensive mishaps for the Reds, Ibrahima Konate failed to clear a loose ball and Jarrad Brandwaite got the ball over the line after it squirmed underneath Alisson Becker.

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LFC had been hanging on at 0-0 until that point, and the ex-Manchester United defender took aim at the two starting centre-backs for the visitors at Goodison Park.

Speaking on co-commentary for Sky Sports, Neville said: “[Virgil] Van Dijk and Konate need to get a grip on this game. It is as if Liverpool have been shocked at what Everton have thrown at them.”

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While the two players mentioned by Neville were indeed well below their best in the opening half-hour, the same could be said for their teammates.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin may have been offside prior to the penalty which he had chalked off by VAR in the first few minutes, but it was still a shocking indictment of Liverpool’s defending that he had so much space to exploit between the Reds’ backline.

Everton won the shot count 8-2 by the 30th minute, which was a fair reflection of their dominance throughout the first half.

It’s not just Van Dijk and Konate – everyone in Liverpool’s squad needs to be so much sharper if we’re not to fade anticlimactically out of the title race.

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