Everton needed a special performance from their defenders to keep out the attacking storm of Liverpool.
They needed someone like Michael Keane to step up and deliver the goods, which he dutifully obliged by standing up to the Reds’ intimidating attack. After being signed from Burnley last season, the derby performance probably ranks among his best for the Toffees.
Despite not having to deal with Roberto Firmino’s threat from the get-go, the English defender still had the unpredictable Divock Origi to keep an eye out, as well as dealing with both Mo Salah and Sadio Mane’s threat. He put in a commendable performance, asserting his composure by not allowing the pressure to catch up to him.
The 26-year-old defender marshalled his troops really well while linking superbly with Kurt Zouma at the heart of Everton’s defence. He ended up making seven clearances in the game to avert danger, along with two successful tackles and six interceptions to win possession for his side.
Keane was also a rock-solid pillar aerially, winning four aerial duels (stats via Fotmob) and was always at the right place at the right time to avert danger. The defender’s fantastic recovery challenge to deny Mohamed Salah in the second half displayed a man high on confidence.
After attaining back-to-back clean-sheets with Everton, Keane’s blooming at the right moment, with national camp just around the corner.
If his assertive performance against Liverpool proved anything, he can comfortably drift into the heart of England’s defence for their upcoming UEFA Euro qualifiers.