Jamie Carragher was left bemused after Jordan Pickford found himself in “no-man’s land” when conceding the opening goal against Liverpool.
The Everton goalie is already an unpopular figure at Anfield thanks to his horror tackle on Virgil van Dijk in 2020. And he was in front of the Kop for the first half of the derby after the Toffees won the pre-match coin toss.
Pickford wasn’t tasked with doing too much in the opening minutes of the match, despite an improved Liverpool display. But in the blink of an eye the Reds were in front after a good counter-attack ended in a goal for Mohamed Salah.
- Blow for Erik ten Hag as UEFA confirm Man Utd star can’t play in Barcelona clash
- How referee mistakes have cost Arsenal in every league game they’ve dropped points this season
- Man Utd squad’s view on Greenwood returning as Ten Hag gets in touch with him
The breakaway came just seconds after Everton almost gone in front with Tarkowski’s header coming back off the post.
But, Liverpool managed to clear the ball and Darwin Nunez broke away at rapid pace. He looked up and saw Salah and Gakpo bearing down on goal and played the ball across.
Pickford anticipated the ball was going to reach the Dutchman, appearing to forget totally about Salah who nipped in and score into an empty net.
Carragher was quick to react on commentary for Sky Sports, saying: “You have to question the goalkeeper…where is he going?! He’s in no-man’s land!”
Gary Neville joined the criticism, he said: “It’s not interesting, it’s just bad. I’ve no idea what he’s doing. He makes a real mess of it and makes it an open goal for Salah.”
Fans on social media also joined the fun, with one saying: “You can question Pickford’s positioning. Why is he so far across there? Does he expect the ball to go past Salah?”
Another posted: “Pickford going walkies,” with a third adding: “Counter attack goals my favourite type of goal, and that one is right up there. But yo wtf is Pickford doing.”
And Everton legend Leon Osman – who joined Carragher on the Sky Sports gantry – bemoaned the fine margins between his old team taking the lead and them falling behind. “Cruel, cruel 20 seconds for Everton,” he said.
“Working that corner kick so effectively last week against Arsenal, so nearly doing it again, but the criminal thing for Everton is to then allow Liverpool, and the pace that Liverpool have on the counter attack in Mo Salah and Darwin Nunez in particular, to find a way through the heart of your defence.
“It’s the first time Everton have really been so far up the pitch to allow themselves to be counter attacked on, and in doing so, so disjointed.”