Virgil van Dijk enjoyed a dream debut for Liverpool by heading the winner in front of the Kop as they knocked out Everton of the FA Cup.
Under the Anfield lights, the world’s most expensive defender proved he can be effective at both ends of the pitch by nodding in an 84th min corner to make it 2-1.
The Netherlands international became the first player to score a winner at Anfield in an FA Cup tie against Everton
Gylfi Sigurdsson’s 67th min goal had earlier cancelled out James Milner’s first-half penalty in a intriguing contest which threatened to be tainted by a first-half flare-up between Mason Holgate, who conceded the spot kick, and Roberto Firmino.
The Toffees defender shoved his opponent into the front row of the Main Stand, provoking an angry reaction from the Brazilian.
However, referee Bobby Madley, despite being in the thich of things, didn’t chose to take any action against either player.
Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin won a controversial penalty in last month’s 1-1 draw after Dejan Lovren laid a hand on him, referee Madley had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and Milner fired straight down the middle.
The Brazil international charged back at the defender and angry words were exchanged between the two.
However, Madley who was between the two players took no action against either.
Early in the second half Gomez headed wide a corner, Lallana poked a shot just past the post when presented with a clean run on goal and Andrew Robertson and Van Dijk were denied by Jordan Pickford as Liverpool threatened to overrun the visitors, who replaced a pumped-up Rooney with Ademola Lookman soon after the restart.
Just like a month ago, Liverpool were made to pay for missing chances as an improving Everton launched a counter-attack from a corner which ended with Phil Jagielka teeing up Sigurdsson to place a shot past a static Loris Karius.
Van Dijk had the final word, however, to give manager Jurgen Klopp his first FA Cup win at the fifth time of asking also setting a new unwanted record for Everton, who have now gone 16 derbies without a win.