Carlo Ancelotti has once again backed Jordan Pickford after the Everton goalkeeper’s rollercoaster display in the Merseyside derby.
Everton, who had Richarlison sent off late on, held defending Premier League champions Liverpool to a 2-2 draw at Goodison Park, with Michael Keane and Dominic Calvert-Lewin – his 10th club goal of the season in all competitions – cancelling out strikes from Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.
Pickford made six saves in total, including spectacular efforts to deny Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joel Matip, yet the England goalkeeper, who has been unconvincing this season, was lucky to be on the pitch after a lunge on Virgil van Dijk early on.
There was to be more drama involving the Everton number one, as he failed to keep out Jordan Henderson’s shot in stoppage time, only for VAR to disallow Liverpool a winner.
Ancelotti, however, insisted Pickford had a good game, though Everton did bring in Roma goalkeeper Robin Olsen on deadline day to add extra competition in that position.
“I think he played a good game, like the others,” Ancelotti told a news conference. “A good performance. I am not worried.
“When you concede a goal you have to defend better. We have to defend better in certain situations but against Liverpool, it is a really, really difficult game, defensively and offensively.”
Ancelotti added of his side’s display: “We never lost confidence, we were able to equalise the game two times. We had an opportunity to go up but we hit the post with Richarlison.
“Apart from the result, the performance was satisfying. I am really satisfied.”
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 17, 2020
It has now been a decade since Everton beat Liverpool, though Calvert-Lewin – whose 81st-minute equaliser was a towering header from Lucas Digne’s superb cross – believes the Toffees will soon end that dismal 23-match winless run.
“Disappointed that we didn’t kick on at 1-1. We did well to get ourselves back into the game,” Calvert-Lewin told BT Sport.
“We knew there’d be spells where we wouldn’t have the ball but we know we’ve got the quality.
“I’ve had a chance today that I’d back myself to put away, unfortunately not and the game goes the way it does. It’s coming, I genuinely believe it’s coming. I thought today would be the day but it’s not to be, onto the next one.
“I’m disappointed we didn’t win today, I knew all the fans wanted to too. In that respect it’s frustrating, but in the bigger picture we’ve got a point today, we take it. We didn’t lose, we keep the unbeaten run going.”