It was a day of mixed emotions for Liverpool following a 2-2 stalemate at Goodison Park and none will be feeling the disappointment more than club-captain Jordan Henderson.

The Reds’ irreplaceable skipper thought he had inspired a stunning late victory for his team after firing home in stoppage time – only for the goal to be denied by a controversial offside decision.

It was a swift attack from the Premier League champions which was initially innovated following a superbly disguised pass from Thiago Alcantara who picked out Sadio Mane who pulled the ball back to Henderson to tap home.

If there were supporters inside the stadium, the goal would have sparked scenes of complete and utter bedlam and Liverpool fans would have been sent into raptures.

Unfortunately, the goal did not stand after VAR deemed Mane to be offside in the build-up, a decision that has been met with severe controversy with footballing figures such as Cesc Fabregas commenting on the matter.

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Everton v Liverpool - Premier League - Jordan Henderson

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 17: (THE SUN OUT, THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT ) Jordan Henderson captain of Liverpool Celebrates after scoring the third goal for Liverpool But then V.A.R. Cancelled his goal during the Premier League match between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park on October 17, 2020 in Liverpool, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Despite the off-field drama, it is worth reflecting just how impressive of a performance this was from Liverpool.

The Reds executed Klopp’s gameplan to perfection from start-to-finish and were aggressive, tenacious, innovative and a polar opposite of the team that was put to the sword by Aston Villa a fortnight ago.

Out of all of Liverpool’s array of outstanding players, it was Henderson who epitomised everything that was brilliant in this Reds performance. The 30-year-old skipper covered every blade of grass for his team and ran himself into the ground. He has slowly become the club’s most indispensable player.

Henderson made 63 passes, which was only bettered by Thiago, including two key passes as the Liverpool captain’s energy and drive continuously kept the Reds on the front foot.

He also had 76 touches, three shots, one dribble and made two successful tackles for his team.

Everton v Liverpool - Premier League

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 17: (THE SUN OUT, THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT ) Jordan Henderson captain of Liverpool Celebrates after scoring the third goal for Liverpool But then V.A.R. Cancelled his goal during the Premier League match between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park on October 17, 2020 in Liverpool, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

While the statistics on the ball suggest enough to say that Henderson was one of Liverpool’s standout players, it was his work off the ball that typified why he is so highly rated by supporters.

He plays every game as if it were his last and is constantly marshalling orders and instructions to his teammates to ensure standards are kept to the highest order.

It was particularly encouraging to see Henderson partnered alongside Thiago and Fabinho, in what is considered by a large selection of supporters as Klopp’s best midfield triumvirate when everyone is fit and available.

The question now is whether Klopp will have all three players made available to him in the coming weeks after Thiago fell victim to a shocking tackle from Everton’s Richarlison, who was shown a straight red card for the incident.

Speaking on the incident after the game, Klopp provided an update on the injury status of the Spanish international.

He said: “We don’t know what he has, it doesn’t look good.”

Let’s hope the worst is not to follow and Thiago will be back in the starting XI as quickly as possible.

It is a shame that so many off-field incidents and discussion have overshadowed what was such an inspiring performance from Liverpool.

 

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