Nuoto

Le foto del nuoto e degli sport acquatici

This illustration provided by Gerald Mayr shows the sizes of an ancient giant penguin Kumimanu biceae and a human being. On Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017, researchers announced their find of fossils from approximately 60-55 million years ago, discovered in New Zealand, that put the creature at about 5 feet, 10 inches (1.77 meters) long when swimming, and 223 pounds (101 kilograms). (Gerald Mayr/Senckenberg Research Institute via AP)

Roger Federer wins BBC Overseas Sports Personality of Year award for a record fourth time

Roger Federer has been named BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year for a record fourth time. Federer overtook fellow three-time winners Muhammad Ali and Usain Bolt after rolling back the years to win the Australian Open before becoming the first man to win eight Wimbledon singles titles, at the age of 35. His dramatic five-set win over Rafael Nadal in Melbourne ended a near five-year drought of grand slam triumphs, with his victory at the All England Club increasing his haul of majors to a record 19. A public vote on the BBC Sport website saw Federer crowned the Overseas Sports Personality of the Year from a six-strong shortlist which also included Super Bowl-winning quarterback Tom Brady and world champions Katie Ledecky (swimming), Sally Pearson (sprint hurdling), Tatyana McFadden (wheelchair racing) and Michael van Gerwen (darts). The Swiss said: “It makes me incredibly proud that the UK public have chosen me as the BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year for 2017. The support that the UK crowds give me whenever I’m here is amazing, and to be recognised on the shortlist alongside some of the greatest sportspeople of all time is extremely humbling.” Federer’s latest Sports Personality award comes a decade after his last Credit: AP Federer’s latest Sports Personality award comes a decade after his last, which he won in 2007 after matching Bjorn Borg’s feat of five successive Wimbledon crowns and coming within one victory of completing a calendar Grand Slam. That made Federer only the second person after Ali to retain the BBC prize, having been recognised the previous year for also winning all but one of his matches in majors. His first prize came two years earlier when he again claimed three of the four grand slams. Federer was beaten by Shane Warne in 2005 following the legendary spinner’s role in the greatest ever Ashes series. The overseas award will be included in Sunday’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year ceremony at Liverpool’s Echo Arena.

Roger Federer wins BBC Overseas Sports Personality of Year award for a record fourth time

Roger Federer has been named BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year for a record fourth time. Federer overtook fellow three-time winners Muhammad Ali and Usain Bolt after rolling back the years to win the Australian Open before becoming the first man to win eight Wimbledon singles titles, at the age of 35. His dramatic five-set win over Rafael Nadal in Melbourne ended a near five-year drought of grand slam triumphs, with his victory at the All England Club increasing his haul of majors to a record 19. A public vote on the BBC Sport website saw Federer crowned the Overseas Sports Personality of the Year from a six-strong shortlist which also included Super Bowl-winning quarterback Tom Brady and world champions Katie Ledecky (swimming), Sally Pearson (sprint hurdling), Tatyana McFadden (wheelchair racing) and Michael van Gerwen (darts). The Swiss said: “It makes me incredibly proud that the UK public have chosen me as the BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year for 2017. The support that the UK crowds give me whenever I’m here is amazing, and to be recognised on the shortlist alongside some of the greatest sportspeople of all time is extremely humbling.” Federer’s latest Sports Personality award comes a decade after his last Credit: AP Federer’s latest Sports Personality award comes a decade after his last, which he won in 2007 after matching Bjorn Borg’s feat of five successive Wimbledon crowns and coming within one victory of completing a calendar Grand Slam. That made Federer only the second person after Ali to retain the BBC prize, having been recognised the previous year for also winning all but one of his matches in majors. His first prize came two years earlier when he again claimed three of the four grand slams. Federer was beaten by Shane Warne in 2005 following the legendary spinner’s role in the greatest ever Ashes series. The overseas award will be included in Sunday’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year ceremony at Liverpool’s Echo Arena.

CIUDAD DE MÉXICO Synchronized swimming/Nado Sincronizado-Diosdado-Achach

CIUDAD DE MÉXICO Synchronized swimming/Nado Sincronizado- Diosdado-Achach.- Las nadadoras mexicanas de sincronizado, Nuria Diosdado y Karem Achach, ya preparan sus nuevas rutinas para el inicio del ciclo olímpico en 2018. Foto: Archivo Agencia EL UNIVERSAL/JMA

Giant Penguins the Size of Humans Once Lived in New Zealand, Scientists Discover

It measured nearly 6 feet when it was swimming

Canada's Van Landeghem, Bouchard retire from competitive swimming

Canada's Van Landeghem, Bouchard retire from competitive swimming

An interior view shows the swimming pool of the Hilton Garden Inn Moscow New Riga hotel which was chosen to be the base for the French national soccer team during the 2018 FIFA World Cup in the village of Kostrovo

An interior view shows the swimming pool of the Hilton Garden Inn Moscow New Riga hotel which was chosen to be the base for the French national soccer team during the 2018 FIFA World Cup in the village of Kostrovo, outside Moscow, Russia December 11, 2017. Picture taken December 11, 2017. REUTERS/Tatyana Makeyeva

An interior view shows the swimming pool of the Hilton Garden Inn Moscow New Riga hotel which was chosen to be the base for the French national soccer team during the 2018 FIFA World Cup in the village of Kostrovo

An interior view shows the swimming pool of the Hilton Garden Inn Moscow New Riga hotel which was chosen to be the base for the French national soccer team during the 2018 FIFA World Cup in the village of Kostrovo, outside Moscow, Russia December 11, 2017. Picture taken December 11, 2017. REUTERS/Tatyana Makeyeva

This illustration provided by Gerald Mayr shows the size of an ancient giant penguin Kumimanu biceae. On Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017, researchers announced their find of fossils from approximately 60-55 million years ago, discovered in New Zealand, that put the creature at about 5 feet, 10 inches (1.77 meters) long when swimming, and 223 pounds (101 kilograms). (Gerald Mayr/Senckenberg Research Institute via AP)

The 2018 Heisman Race: Examining 15 Early Frontrunners

Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy in a landslide on Saturday, but it’s never too early to start thinking about which player will hoist the trophy next season. There would be some obvious frontrunners if some NFL decisions go a certain way, but all of those players returning feels highly unlikely. Chances are next season will start without many established stars, which means the field will feel wide open.

Here are a few of the players who could find their way into the race—starting with the ones who would have the best chance if they stayed in college one more season…

If they come back

Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville

Jackson could be a very high draft pick if he leaves for the NFL, but if he decides to return to Louisville, he could wind up in New York in December for a third consecutive year. He told reporters this past weekend that he’ll make his NFL decision after the TaxSlayer Bowl against Mississippi State. The guess is that he’ll go to the NFL. The view of Jackson as a pro is split, but I’m of the opinion that he’ll be an effective quarterback at the next level if he’s selected by the correct team. But if he does decide to return to college, he’ll put up video game numbers again.

Sam Darnold, QB, USC

Darnold is probably a first-round pick if he leaves now, but he also doesn’t seem in that big of a hurry to leave USC. Because he redshirted, he has two more seasons of eligibility. If it looks as if Darnold might be doomed to become a Cleveland Brown, one more season as a USC Trojan might be a much more attractive option.

Bryce Love, RB, Stanford

Given the lack of longevity at the position, tailbacks probably should leave as soon as possible and make as much money as possible. Love has some ambitious post-football goals, but he can earn a good salary while he chases them. He may follow in the footsteps of current Stanford medical student Owen Marecic, who was a two-way star at Stanford and played in the NFL before pursuing medicine. It’s tantalizing to think about what kind of numbers Love could put up if he stayed healthy for a full senior season, but it would be tough to pass up the opportunity in front of him.

Will Grier, QB, West Virginia

Grier’s college career was interrupted by a suspension for a positive test in an NCAA drug screen while at Florida. His breakout season as a redshirt junior was interrupted by a broken finger on his throwing hand. Should Grier and frequent touchdown collaborator David Sills V return for one more season in Morgantown, they could put up some absurd numbers in a wide-open—in every sense of the phrase—Big 12.

Probably coming back

Jarrett Stidham, QB, Auburn

It took about half the season for Stidham to get truly comfortable in Auburn’s offense and for offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey to get comfortable with what Stidham can do in the offense. The first Georgia game and the Iron Bowl were great examples of what Stidham can do in an Auburn offense populated by healthy backs. (There wasn’t much he could do about the injuries to Kerryon Johnson and Kam Martin in the second Georgia game.) Now imagine how good Stidham could be with another offseason in the offense.

Trace McSorley, QB, Penn State

With Saquon Barkley probably headed to the NFL—and possibly getting picked in the top three—McSorley will have to carry more of the load in Penn State’s offense. That should be fine for a guy who plays in a similar fashion to the quarterback who just won the Heisman. The promotion of quarterbacks coach Ricky Rahne to offensive coordinator following Joe Moorhead’s departure for Mississippi State should allow for continuity that should only help McSorley.

No choice but to come back

Khalil Tate, QB, Arizona

Tate’s October was statistically comparable to Cam Newton and Johnny Manziel’s Heisman seasons, but his production tailed off in November. Wildcats coach Rich Rodriguez now has a chance to completely build the offense around Tate. That’s great for Tate’s Heisman chances, but terrible for opposing defensive coordinators.

Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin

Taylor got bottled up by Ohio State in the Big Ten title game (15 carries for 41 yards), but he still averaged 6.8 yards a carry for his true freshman season. He plays at Wisconsin, so he’ll always run behind a quality line. If he stays healthy, he can only get better.

McKenzie Milton, QB, UCF

It’s a shame players don’t have the same freedom of movement as coaches, because Milton (357.7 yards of total offense a game in 2017) would light up the Big Ten if he could follow former Knights coach Scott Frost to Nebraska and play immediately. A Group of Five player has far less chance to win the Heisman, but at least Milton is a known commodity after the season he has had. If new UCF coach Josh Heupel can keep the Knights’ offense humming, Milton might have a chance.

Ed Oliver, DT, Houston

This is not an obligatory mention of a defensive player, nor is it an obligatory mention of a Group of Five player. Oliver might be the nation’s best player next season. This year’s Outland Trophy winner could find himself fighting another defensive tackle—340-pound Clemson gap-stuffer Dexter Lawrence—for the top spot in the 2019 NFL draft.

Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

The numbers for Oregon’s offense with and without Herbert were jarring. With a healthy Herbert starting, Oregon went 6–1 and averaged 52 points. Without him, the Ducks were 1–4 and averaged 15 points. If the Ducks can keep him upright for a season, watch out.?

If he’s healthy

Nick Fitzgerald, QB, Mississippi State

Fitzgerald suffered a gruesome dislocated ankle in the Bulldogs’ Egg Bowl loss to Ole Miss, so it’s unclear when he’ll be fully healthy again. But if he can get back to 100% in time for the season, the 6'5", 235-pounder could have a lot of fun in Moorhead’s offense.

Taking on bigger roles and ready to blow up

Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State

Haskins replaced an injured J.T. Barrett with the Buckeyes trailing against Michigan, and he helped his team to a comeback win. He’ll have to beat out Tate Martell—who redshirted this season—to win the starting job, but Haskins could preside over an offense that will threaten opponents vertically and on the ground.

D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia

Nick Chubb and Sony Michel are leaving, but don’t expect Georgia to abandon the run—especially as some of its more highly recruited offensive linemen come of age. Many of the carries left behind by Chubb and Michel will go to Swift, who averaged 8.2 yards a carry but only 5.6 carries a game this season. Swift also led all of Georgia’s backs in receptions with 15, so expect the Bulldogs to find ways to get him the ball.

Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson

This freshman from Louisiana showed up in the summer and became Clemson’s best back. After averaging 7.2 yards a carry splitting time with Tavien Feaster, Etienne should be even better following his first full offseason with the Tigers.

A Random Ranking

Star Wars: The Last Jedi gets a wide release on Friday, so it’s time to rank some Jedi. We ranked the top 10 Star Wars villains in April. Now the good guys get their turn. Just as with the villain rankings, these characters must appear in at least one movie. (Sorry, Ahsoka Tano fans. But the good news is Rosario Dawson wants to play that character on the big screen.)

1. Yoda
2. Obi-Wan Kenobi
3. Luke Skywalker
4. Anakin Skywalker*
5. Rey (I’m assuming)
6. Finn (I’m hoping)
7. Mace Windu
8. Qui-Gon Jinn
9. Kit Fisto
10. Yarael Poof

* Yes, he slaughtered an awful lot of the Jedi order. But he also killed Emperor Palpatine (as Darth Vader). He may have been the only one powerful enough at the time to pull that off.

Three and Out

1. Congratulations to Army, which claimed its first Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy since 1996 after a 14–13 win against Navy in snowy Philadelphia. The Black Knights, who went 2–10 in 2015 and broke a 14-year losing streak against the Midshipmen in ’16, were the top service academy team this season. They’re now 9–3 and will finish their season Dec. 23 against San Diego State in the Armed Forces Bowl.

2. Most of the players on Oregon’s roster signed a petition—penned by offensive lineman George Moore—in support of promoting offensive coordinator Mario Cristobal to head coach to replace Willie Taggart, who left for Florida State. And those players were thrilled when they got their wish last week.

One of Cristobal’s former Miami teammates was thrilled with the choice as well.

3. Remember Daniel Faalele, the 6'9", 396-pound Australian offensive lineman I wrote about last winter? He has now played his first full season of organized football (at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.), and he has chosen a college. On Saturday, Faalele and IMG Academy teammate Curtis Dunlap decided to row the boat for P.J. Fleck at Minnesota.

Your reactions to this were predictable but still hilarious…

For Your Ears

My former Tampa Tribune co-worker Brett McMurphy—who also has worked at some other places—joined the podcast to discuss the lessons learned from the coaching carousel as well as life after an ESPN layoff.

What’s Eating Andy?

Our Richard Deitsch explains why most of the networks that broadcast college football saw a decline in ratings this season.

What’s Andy Eating?

During a break from interviewing the college football movers and shakers who descended upon New York last week for the National Football Foundation’s Hall of Fame dinner, I had planned to visit the Hell’s Kitchen location of The Meatball Shop. Then something jumped off my Google Maps app. Not far from The Meatball Shop—a mini-chain with multiple New York City locations that you should absolutely try the next time you’re in the area—was something called BarBacon. This demanded further examination. So I walked down 54th Street, hung a right on Ninth Avenue and stepped inside.

The menu was exactly what you’d expect from a place called BarBacon. With the exception of the beer, nearly everything had bacon in it or on it. Was it schticky? Absolutely. Was it delicious? Damn straight it was.

The obvious starting point is the beer and bacon flight appetizer. Four five-ounce servings of different craft beers accompany eight sizzling strips of bacon. The spicy jalapeño bacon and the sweet maple bacon were the best, but there really is no such thing as bad thick-cut bacon. The beer selection was excellent, but the better libation is a barrel-aged Manhattan featuring bacon-infused whiskey. The hint of smokiness from the bacon pairs nicely with the sweetness imparted by the aging process. Plus, if you’ve chosen a place called BarBacon, you’re not the type for half-measures anyway. Your drink also should include bacon.

With pure bacon already digesting, it was time to select a bacon-accented entree. I considered the Lamb Bacon Reuben and the Kentucky Fried Bacon Burger, but my inner five-year-old ultimately settled on the bacon grilled cheese. This one mixed bacon with melted gruyere and fontina on semolina, fennel and golden raisin bread. (The raisins sounded out-of-place, but the sweetness they offered was welcome.) Next to the sandwich was a bowl of tomato soup. The sandwich dunked wonderfully, and the bacon blended beautifully with the two highly meltable cheeses.

The Brussels sprouts came glazed with honey and Greek yogurt and featured giant chunks of bacon swimming between the sprouts. The Bacon Industrial Complex has now fully co-opted the vegetable that served as the butt of so many sitcom jokes, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Meanwhile, the “pork wings” didn’t include any bacon, but they were tasty mini-shanks drizzled in sriracha barbecue sauce. One of our party had the bacon and lobster mac and cheese. The bacon elevated a classic steakhouse side to full entree status, because bacon gives almost everything an instant promotion.

Our nation’s love affair with bacon might have gone a little too far—even for me. There’s bacon mayonnaise*, bacon air fresheners, bacon toothpaste and bacon lube. But I have no issue with building a bar around bacon as long as the schtick doesn’t overwhelm the meat.

*Like I said, bacon gives almost everything an instant promotion. Some things, like mayo, are simply too awful for even bacon to help.

BarBacon would fail if the entire concept was “HEY, LOOK AT ALL THIS BACON.” Instead, it’s “Here are some carefully crafted dishes that happen to include bacon.” That makes all the difference.

The 2018 Heisman Race: Examining 15 Early Frontrunners

Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy in a landslide on Saturday, but it’s never too early to start thinking about which player will hoist the trophy next season. There would be some obvious frontrunners if some NFL decisions go a certain way, but all of those players returning feels highly unlikely. Chances are next season will start without many established stars, which means the field will feel wide open.

Here are a few of the players who could find their way into the race—starting with the ones who would have the best chance if they stayed in college one more season…

If they come back

Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville

Jackson could be a very high draft pick if he leaves for the NFL, but if he decides to return to Louisville, he could wind up in New York in December for a third consecutive year. He told reporters this past weekend that he’ll make his NFL decision after the TaxSlayer Bowl against Mississippi State. The guess is that he’ll go to the NFL. The view of Jackson as a pro is split, but I’m of the opinion that he’ll be an effective quarterback at the next level if he’s selected by the correct team. But if he does decide to return to college, he’ll put up video game numbers again.

Sam Darnold, QB, USC

Darnold is probably a first-round pick if he leaves now, but he also doesn’t seem in that big of a hurry to leave USC. Because he redshirted, he has two more seasons of eligibility. If it looks as if Darnold might be doomed to become a Cleveland Brown, one more season as a USC Trojan might be a much more attractive option.

Bryce Love, RB, Stanford

Given the lack of longevity at the position, tailbacks probably should leave as soon as possible and make as much money as possible. Love has some ambitious post-football goals, but he can earn a good salary while he chases them. He may follow in the footsteps of current Stanford medical student Owen Marecic, who was a two-way star at Stanford and played in the NFL before pursuing medicine. It’s tantalizing to think about what kind of numbers Love could put up if he stayed healthy for a full senior season, but it would be tough to pass up the opportunity in front of him.

Will Grier, QB, West Virginia

Grier’s college career was interrupted by a suspension for a positive test in an NCAA drug screen while at Florida. His breakout season as a redshirt junior was interrupted by a broken finger on his throwing hand. Should Grier and frequent touchdown collaborator David Sills V return for one more season in Morgantown, they could put up some absurd numbers in a wide-open—in every sense of the phrase—Big 12.

Probably coming back

Jarrett Stidham, QB, Auburn

It took about half the season for Stidham to get truly comfortable in Auburn’s offense and for offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey to get comfortable with what Stidham can do in the offense. The first Georgia game and the Iron Bowl were great examples of what Stidham can do in an Auburn offense populated by healthy backs. (There wasn’t much he could do about the injuries to Kerryon Johnson and Kam Martin in the second Georgia game.) Now imagine how good Stidham could be with another offseason in the offense.

Trace McSorley, QB, Penn State

With Saquon Barkley probably headed to the NFL—and possibly getting picked in the top three—McSorley will have to carry more of the load in Penn State’s offense. That should be fine for a guy who plays in a similar fashion to the quarterback who just won the Heisman. The promotion of quarterbacks coach Ricky Rahne to offensive coordinator following Joe Moorhead’s departure for Mississippi State should allow for continuity that should only help McSorley.

No choice but to come back

Khalil Tate, QB, Arizona

Tate’s October was statistically comparable to Cam Newton and Johnny Manziel’s Heisman seasons, but his production tailed off in November. Wildcats coach Rich Rodriguez now has a chance to completely build the offense around Tate. That’s great for Tate’s Heisman chances, but terrible for opposing defensive coordinators.

Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin

Taylor got bottled up by Ohio State in the Big Ten title game (15 carries for 41 yards), but he still averaged 6.8 yards a carry for his true freshman season. He plays at Wisconsin, so he’ll always run behind a quality line. If he stays healthy, he can only get better.

McKenzie Milton, QB, UCF

It’s a shame players don’t have the same freedom of movement as coaches, because Milton (357.7 yards of total offense a game in 2017) would light up the Big Ten if he could follow former Knights coach Scott Frost to Nebraska and play immediately. A Group of Five player has far less chance to win the Heisman, but at least Milton is a known commodity after the season he has had. If new UCF coach Josh Heupel can keep the Knights’ offense humming, Milton might have a chance.

Ed Oliver, DT, Houston

This is not an obligatory mention of a defensive player, nor is it an obligatory mention of a Group of Five player. Oliver might be the nation’s best player next season. This year’s Outland Trophy winner could find himself fighting another defensive tackle—340-pound Clemson gap-stuffer Dexter Lawrence—for the top spot in the 2019 NFL draft.

Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

The numbers for Oregon’s offense with and without Herbert were jarring. With a healthy Herbert starting, Oregon went 6–1 and averaged 52 points. Without him, the Ducks were 1–4 and averaged 15 points. If the Ducks can keep him upright for a season, watch out.?

If he’s healthy

Nick Fitzgerald, QB, Mississippi State

Fitzgerald suffered a gruesome dislocated ankle in the Bulldogs’ Egg Bowl loss to Ole Miss, so it’s unclear when he’ll be fully healthy again. But if he can get back to 100% in time for the season, the 6'5", 235-pounder could have a lot of fun in Moorhead’s offense.

Taking on bigger roles and ready to blow up

Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State

Haskins replaced an injured J.T. Barrett with the Buckeyes trailing against Michigan, and he helped his team to a comeback win. He’ll have to beat out Tate Martell—who redshirted this season—to win the starting job, but Haskins could preside over an offense that will threaten opponents vertically and on the ground.

D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia

Nick Chubb and Sony Michel are leaving, but don’t expect Georgia to abandon the run—especially as some of its more highly recruited offensive linemen come of age. Many of the carries left behind by Chubb and Michel will go to Swift, who averaged 8.2 yards a carry but only 5.6 carries a game this season. Swift also led all of Georgia’s backs in receptions with 15, so expect the Bulldogs to find ways to get him the ball.

Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson

This freshman from Louisiana showed up in the summer and became Clemson’s best back. After averaging 7.2 yards a carry splitting time with Tavien Feaster, Etienne should be even better following his first full offseason with the Tigers.

A Random Ranking

Star Wars: The Last Jedi gets a wide release on Friday, so it’s time to rank some Jedi. We ranked the top 10 Star Wars villains in April. Now the good guys get their turn. Just as with the villain rankings, these characters must appear in at least one movie. (Sorry, Ahsoka Tano fans. But the good news is Rosario Dawson wants to play that character on the big screen.)

1. Yoda
2. Obi-Wan Kenobi
3. Luke Skywalker
4. Anakin Skywalker*
5. Rey (I’m assuming)
6. Finn (I’m hoping)
7. Mace Windu
8. Qui-Gon Jinn
9. Kit Fisto
10. Yarael Poof

* Yes, he slaughtered an awful lot of the Jedi order. But he also killed Emperor Palpatine (as Darth Vader). He may have been the only one powerful enough at the time to pull that off.

Three and Out

1. Congratulations to Army, which claimed its first Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy since 1996 after a 14–13 win against Navy in snowy Philadelphia. The Black Knights, who went 2–10 in 2015 and broke a 14-year losing streak against the Midshipmen in ’16, were the top service academy team this season. They’re now 9–3 and will finish their season Dec. 23 against San Diego State in the Armed Forces Bowl.

2. Most of the players on Oregon’s roster signed a petition—penned by offensive lineman George Moore—in support of promoting offensive coordinator Mario Cristobal to head coach to replace Willie Taggart, who left for Florida State. And those players were thrilled when they got their wish last week.

One of Cristobal’s former Miami teammates was thrilled with the choice as well.

3. Remember Daniel Faalele, the 6'9", 396-pound Australian offensive lineman I wrote about last winter? He has now played his first full season of organized football (at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.), and he has chosen a college. On Saturday, Faalele and IMG Academy teammate Curtis Dunlap decided to row the boat for P.J. Fleck at Minnesota.

Your reactions to this were predictable but still hilarious…

For Your Ears

My former Tampa Tribune co-worker Brett McMurphy—who also has worked at some other places—joined the podcast to discuss the lessons learned from the coaching carousel as well as life after an ESPN layoff.

What’s Eating Andy?

Our Richard Deitsch explains why most of the networks that broadcast college football saw a decline in ratings this season.

What’s Andy Eating?

During a break from interviewing the college football movers and shakers who descended upon New York last week for the National Football Foundation’s Hall of Fame dinner, I had planned to visit the Hell’s Kitchen location of The Meatball Shop. Then something jumped off my Google Maps app. Not far from The Meatball Shop—a mini-chain with multiple New York City locations that you should absolutely try the next time you’re in the area—was something called BarBacon. This demanded further examination. So I walked down 54th Street, hung a right on Ninth Avenue and stepped inside.

The menu was exactly what you’d expect from a place called BarBacon. With the exception of the beer, nearly everything had bacon in it or on it. Was it schticky? Absolutely. Was it delicious? Damn straight it was.

The obvious starting point is the beer and bacon flight appetizer. Four five-ounce servings of different craft beers accompany eight sizzling strips of bacon. The spicy jalapeño bacon and the sweet maple bacon were the best, but there really is no such thing as bad thick-cut bacon. The beer selection was excellent, but the better libation is a barrel-aged Manhattan featuring bacon-infused whiskey. The hint of smokiness from the bacon pairs nicely with the sweetness imparted by the aging process. Plus, if you’ve chosen a place called BarBacon, you’re not the type for half-measures anyway. Your drink also should include bacon.

With pure bacon already digesting, it was time to select a bacon-accented entree. I considered the Lamb Bacon Reuben and the Kentucky Fried Bacon Burger, but my inner five-year-old ultimately settled on the bacon grilled cheese. This one mixed bacon with melted gruyere and fontina on semolina, fennel and golden raisin bread. (The raisins sounded out-of-place, but the sweetness they offered was welcome.) Next to the sandwich was a bowl of tomato soup. The sandwich dunked wonderfully, and the bacon blended beautifully with the two highly meltable cheeses.

The Brussels sprouts came glazed with honey and Greek yogurt and featured giant chunks of bacon swimming between the sprouts. The Bacon Industrial Complex has now fully co-opted the vegetable that served as the butt of so many sitcom jokes, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Meanwhile, the “pork wings” didn’t include any bacon, but they were tasty mini-shanks drizzled in sriracha barbecue sauce. One of our party had the bacon and lobster mac and cheese. The bacon elevated a classic steakhouse side to full entree status, because bacon gives almost everything an instant promotion.

Our nation’s love affair with bacon might have gone a little too far—even for me. There’s bacon mayonnaise*, bacon air fresheners, bacon toothpaste and bacon lube. But I have no issue with building a bar around bacon as long as the schtick doesn’t overwhelm the meat.

*Like I said, bacon gives almost everything an instant promotion. Some things, like mayo, are simply too awful for even bacon to help.

BarBacon would fail if the entire concept was “HEY, LOOK AT ALL THIS BACON.” Instead, it’s “Here are some carefully crafted dishes that happen to include bacon.” That makes all the difference.

The 2018 Heisman Race: Examining 15 Early Frontrunners

Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy in a landslide on Saturday, but it’s never too early to start thinking about which player will hoist the trophy next season. There would be some obvious frontrunners if some NFL decisions go a certain way, but all of those players returning feels highly unlikely. Chances are next season will start without many established stars, which means the field will feel wide open.

Here are a few of the players who could find their way into the race—starting with the ones who would have the best chance if they stayed in college one more season…

If they come back

Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville

Jackson could be a very high draft pick if he leaves for the NFL, but if he decides to return to Louisville, he could wind up in New York in December for a third consecutive year. He told reporters this past weekend that he’ll make his NFL decision after the TaxSlayer Bowl against Mississippi State. The guess is that he’ll go to the NFL. The view of Jackson as a pro is split, but I’m of the opinion that he’ll be an effective quarterback at the next level if he’s selected by the correct team. But if he does decide to return to college, he’ll put up video game numbers again.

Sam Darnold, QB, USC

Darnold is probably a first-round pick if he leaves now, but he also doesn’t seem in that big of a hurry to leave USC. Because he redshirted, he has two more seasons of eligibility. If it looks as if Darnold might be doomed to become a Cleveland Brown, one more season as a USC Trojan might be a much more attractive option.

Bryce Love, RB, Stanford

Given the lack of longevity at the position, tailbacks probably should leave as soon as possible and make as much money as possible. Love has some ambitious post-football goals, but he can earn a good salary while he chases them. He may follow in the footsteps of current Stanford medical student Owen Marecic, who was a two-way star at Stanford and played in the NFL before pursuing medicine. It’s tantalizing to think about what kind of numbers Love could put up if he stayed healthy for a full senior season, but it would be tough to pass up the opportunity in front of him.

Will Grier, QB, West Virginia

Grier’s college career was interrupted by a suspension for a positive test in an NCAA drug screen while at Florida. His breakout season as a redshirt junior was interrupted by a broken finger on his throwing hand. Should Grier and frequent touchdown collaborator David Sills V return for one more season in Morgantown, they could put up some absurd numbers in a wide-open—in every sense of the phrase—Big 12.

Probably coming back

Jarrett Stidham, QB, Auburn

It took about half the season for Stidham to get truly comfortable in Auburn’s offense and for offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey to get comfortable with what Stidham can do in the offense. The first Georgia game and the Iron Bowl were great examples of what Stidham can do in an Auburn offense populated by healthy backs. (There wasn’t much he could do about the injuries to Kerryon Johnson and Kam Martin in the second Georgia game.) Now imagine how good Stidham could be with another offseason in the offense.

Trace McSorley, QB, Penn State

With Saquon Barkley probably headed to the NFL—and possibly getting picked in the top three—McSorley will have to carry more of the load in Penn State’s offense. That should be fine for a guy who plays in a similar fashion to the quarterback who just won the Heisman. The promotion of quarterbacks coach Ricky Rahne to offensive coordinator following Joe Moorhead’s departure for Mississippi State should allow for continuity that should only help McSorley.

No choice but to come back

Khalil Tate, QB, Arizona

Tate’s October was statistically comparable to Cam Newton and Johnny Manziel’s Heisman seasons, but his production tailed off in November. Wildcats coach Rich Rodriguez now has a chance to completely build the offense around Tate. That’s great for Tate’s Heisman chances, but terrible for opposing defensive coordinators.

Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin

Taylor got bottled up by Ohio State in the Big Ten title game (15 carries for 41 yards), but he still averaged 6.8 yards a carry for his true freshman season. He plays at Wisconsin, so he’ll always run behind a quality line. If he stays healthy, he can only get better.

McKenzie Milton, QB, UCF

It’s a shame players don’t have the same freedom of movement as coaches, because Milton (357.7 yards of total offense a game in 2017) would light up the Big Ten if he could follow former Knights coach Scott Frost to Nebraska and play immediately. A Group of Five player has far less chance to win the Heisman, but at least Milton is a known commodity after the season he has had. If new UCF coach Josh Heupel can keep the Knights’ offense humming, Milton might have a chance.

Ed Oliver, DT, Houston

This is not an obligatory mention of a defensive player, nor is it an obligatory mention of a Group of Five player. Oliver might be the nation’s best player next season. This year’s Outland Trophy winner could find himself fighting another defensive tackle—340-pound Clemson gap-stuffer Dexter Lawrence—for the top spot in the 2019 NFL draft.

Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

The numbers for Oregon’s offense with and without Herbert were jarring. With a healthy Herbert starting, Oregon went 6–1 and averaged 52 points. Without him, the Ducks were 1–4 and averaged 15 points. If the Ducks can keep him upright for a season, watch out.?

If he’s healthy

Nick Fitzgerald, QB, Mississippi State

Fitzgerald suffered a gruesome dislocated ankle in the Bulldogs’ Egg Bowl loss to Ole Miss, so it’s unclear when he’ll be fully healthy again. But if he can get back to 100% in time for the season, the 6'5", 235-pounder could have a lot of fun in Moorhead’s offense.

Taking on bigger roles and ready to blow up

Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State

Haskins replaced an injured J.T. Barrett with the Buckeyes trailing against Michigan, and he helped his team to a comeback win. He’ll have to beat out Tate Martell—who redshirted this season—to win the starting job, but Haskins could preside over an offense that will threaten opponents vertically and on the ground.

D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia

Nick Chubb and Sony Michel are leaving, but don’t expect Georgia to abandon the run—especially as some of its more highly recruited offensive linemen come of age. Many of the carries left behind by Chubb and Michel will go to Swift, who averaged 8.2 yards a carry but only 5.6 carries a game this season. Swift also led all of Georgia’s backs in receptions with 15, so expect the Bulldogs to find ways to get him the ball.

Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson

This freshman from Louisiana showed up in the summer and became Clemson’s best back. After averaging 7.2 yards a carry splitting time with Tavien Feaster, Etienne should be even better following his first full offseason with the Tigers.

A Random Ranking

Star Wars: The Last Jedi gets a wide release on Friday, so it’s time to rank some Jedi. We ranked the top 10 Star Wars villains in April. Now the good guys get their turn. Just as with the villain rankings, these characters must appear in at least one movie. (Sorry, Ahsoka Tano fans. But the good news is Rosario Dawson wants to play that character on the big screen.)

1. Yoda
2. Obi-Wan Kenobi
3. Luke Skywalker
4. Anakin Skywalker*
5. Rey (I’m assuming)
6. Finn (I’m hoping)
7. Mace Windu
8. Qui-Gon Jinn
9. Kit Fisto
10. Yarael Poof

* Yes, he slaughtered an awful lot of the Jedi order. But he also killed Emperor Palpatine (as Darth Vader). He may have been the only one powerful enough at the time to pull that off.

Three and Out

1. Congratulations to Army, which claimed its first Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy since 1996 after a 14–13 win against Navy in snowy Philadelphia. The Black Knights, who went 2–10 in 2015 and broke a 14-year losing streak against the Midshipmen in ’16, were the top service academy team this season. They’re now 9–3 and will finish their season Dec. 23 against San Diego State in the Armed Forces Bowl.

2. Most of the players on Oregon’s roster signed a petition—penned by offensive lineman George Moore—in support of promoting offensive coordinator Mario Cristobal to head coach to replace Willie Taggart, who left for Florida State. And those players were thrilled when they got their wish last week.

One of Cristobal’s former Miami teammates was thrilled with the choice as well.

3. Remember Daniel Faalele, the 6'9", 396-pound Australian offensive lineman I wrote about last winter? He has now played his first full season of organized football (at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.), and he has chosen a college. On Saturday, Faalele and IMG Academy teammate Curtis Dunlap decided to row the boat for P.J. Fleck at Minnesota.

Your reactions to this were predictable but still hilarious…

For Your Ears

My former Tampa Tribune co-worker Brett McMurphy—who also has worked at some other places—joined the podcast to discuss the lessons learned from the coaching carousel as well as life after an ESPN layoff.

What’s Eating Andy?

Our Richard Deitsch explains why most of the networks that broadcast college football saw a decline in ratings this season.

What’s Andy Eating?

During a break from interviewing the college football movers and shakers who descended upon New York last week for the National Football Foundation’s Hall of Fame dinner, I had planned to visit the Hell’s Kitchen location of The Meatball Shop. Then something jumped off my Google Maps app. Not far from The Meatball Shop—a mini-chain with multiple New York City locations that you should absolutely try the next time you’re in the area—was something called BarBacon. This demanded further examination. So I walked down 54th Street, hung a right on Ninth Avenue and stepped inside.

The menu was exactly what you’d expect from a place called BarBacon. With the exception of the beer, nearly everything had bacon in it or on it. Was it schticky? Absolutely. Was it delicious? Damn straight it was.

The obvious starting point is the beer and bacon flight appetizer. Four five-ounce servings of different craft beers accompany eight sizzling strips of bacon. The spicy jalapeño bacon and the sweet maple bacon were the best, but there really is no such thing as bad thick-cut bacon. The beer selection was excellent, but the better libation is a barrel-aged Manhattan featuring bacon-infused whiskey. The hint of smokiness from the bacon pairs nicely with the sweetness imparted by the aging process. Plus, if you’ve chosen a place called BarBacon, you’re not the type for half-measures anyway. Your drink also should include bacon.

With pure bacon already digesting, it was time to select a bacon-accented entree. I considered the Lamb Bacon Reuben and the Kentucky Fried Bacon Burger, but my inner five-year-old ultimately settled on the bacon grilled cheese. This one mixed bacon with melted gruyere and fontina on semolina, fennel and golden raisin bread. (The raisins sounded out-of-place, but the sweetness they offered was welcome.) Next to the sandwich was a bowl of tomato soup. The sandwich dunked wonderfully, and the bacon blended beautifully with the two highly meltable cheeses.

The Brussels sprouts came glazed with honey and Greek yogurt and featured giant chunks of bacon swimming between the sprouts. The Bacon Industrial Complex has now fully co-opted the vegetable that served as the butt of so many sitcom jokes, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Meanwhile, the “pork wings” didn’t include any bacon, but they were tasty mini-shanks drizzled in sriracha barbecue sauce. One of our party had the bacon and lobster mac and cheese. The bacon elevated a classic steakhouse side to full entree status, because bacon gives almost everything an instant promotion.

Our nation’s love affair with bacon might have gone a little too far—even for me. There’s bacon mayonnaise*, bacon air fresheners, bacon toothpaste and bacon lube. But I have no issue with building a bar around bacon as long as the schtick doesn’t overwhelm the meat.

*Like I said, bacon gives almost everything an instant promotion. Some things, like mayo, are simply too awful for even bacon to help.

BarBacon would fail if the entire concept was “HEY, LOOK AT ALL THIS BACON.” Instead, it’s “Here are some carefully crafted dishes that happen to include bacon.” That makes all the difference.

The 2018 Heisman Race: Examining 15 Early Frontrunners

Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy in a landslide on Saturday, but it’s never too early to start thinking about which player will hoist the trophy next season. There would be some obvious frontrunners if some NFL decisions go a certain way, but all of those players returning feels highly unlikely. Chances are next season will start without many established stars, which means the field will feel wide open.

Here are a few of the players who could find their way into the race—starting with the ones who would have the best chance if they stayed in college one more season…

If they come back

Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville

Jackson could be a very high draft pick if he leaves for the NFL, but if he decides to return to Louisville, he could wind up in New York in December for a third consecutive year. He told reporters this past weekend that he’ll make his NFL decision after the TaxSlayer Bowl against Mississippi State. The guess is that he’ll go to the NFL. The view of Jackson as a pro is split, but I’m of the opinion that he’ll be an effective quarterback at the next level if he’s selected by the correct team. But if he does decide to return to college, he’ll put up video game numbers again.

Sam Darnold, QB, USC

Darnold is probably a first-round pick if he leaves now, but he also doesn’t seem in that big of a hurry to leave USC. Because he redshirted, he has two more seasons of eligibility. If it looks as if Darnold might be doomed to become a Cleveland Brown, one more season as a USC Trojan might be a much more attractive option.

Bryce Love, RB, Stanford

Given the lack of longevity at the position, tailbacks probably should leave as soon as possible and make as much money as possible. Love has some ambitious post-football goals, but he can earn a good salary while he chases them. He may follow in the footsteps of current Stanford medical student Owen Marecic, who was a two-way star at Stanford and played in the NFL before pursuing medicine. It’s tantalizing to think about what kind of numbers Love could put up if he stayed healthy for a full senior season, but it would be tough to pass up the opportunity in front of him.

Will Grier, QB, West Virginia

Grier’s college career was interrupted by a suspension for a positive test in an NCAA drug screen while at Florida. His breakout season as a redshirt junior was interrupted by a broken finger on his throwing hand. Should Grier and frequent touchdown collaborator David Sills V return for one more season in Morgantown, they could put up some absurd numbers in a wide-open—in every sense of the phrase—Big 12.

Probably coming back

Jarrett Stidham, QB, Auburn

It took about half the season for Stidham to get truly comfortable in Auburn’s offense and for offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey to get comfortable with what Stidham can do in the offense. The first Georgia game and the Iron Bowl were great examples of what Stidham can do in an Auburn offense populated by healthy backs. (There wasn’t much he could do about the injuries to Kerryon Johnson and Kam Martin in the second Georgia game.) Now imagine how good Stidham could be with another offseason in the offense.

Trace McSorley, QB, Penn State

With Saquon Barkley probably headed to the NFL—and possibly getting picked in the top three—McSorley will have to carry more of the load in Penn State’s offense. That should be fine for a guy who plays in a similar fashion to the quarterback who just won the Heisman. The promotion of quarterbacks coach Ricky Rahne to offensive coordinator following Joe Moorhead’s departure for Mississippi State should allow for continuity that should only help McSorley.

No choice but to come back

Khalil Tate, QB, Arizona

Tate’s October was statistically comparable to Cam Newton and Johnny Manziel’s Heisman seasons, but his production tailed off in November. Wildcats coach Rich Rodriguez now has a chance to completely build the offense around Tate. That’s great for Tate’s Heisman chances, but terrible for opposing defensive coordinators.

Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin

Taylor got bottled up by Ohio State in the Big Ten title game (15 carries for 41 yards), but he still averaged 6.8 yards a carry for his true freshman season. He plays at Wisconsin, so he’ll always run behind a quality line. If he stays healthy, he can only get better.

McKenzie Milton, QB, UCF

It’s a shame players don’t have the same freedom of movement as coaches, because Milton (357.7 yards of total offense a game in 2017) would light up the Big Ten if he could follow former Knights coach Scott Frost to Nebraska and play immediately. A Group of Five player has far less chance to win the Heisman, but at least Milton is a known commodity after the season he has had. If new UCF coach Josh Heupel can keep the Knights’ offense humming, Milton might have a chance.

Ed Oliver, DT, Houston

This is not an obligatory mention of a defensive player, nor is it an obligatory mention of a Group of Five player. Oliver might be the nation’s best player next season. This year’s Outland Trophy winner could find himself fighting another defensive tackle—340-pound Clemson gap-stuffer Dexter Lawrence—for the top spot in the 2019 NFL draft.

Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

The numbers for Oregon’s offense with and without Herbert were jarring. With a healthy Herbert starting, Oregon went 6–1 and averaged 52 points. Without him, the Ducks were 1–4 and averaged 15 points. If the Ducks can keep him upright for a season, watch out.?

If he’s healthy

Nick Fitzgerald, QB, Mississippi State

Fitzgerald suffered a gruesome dislocated ankle in the Bulldogs’ Egg Bowl loss to Ole Miss, so it’s unclear when he’ll be fully healthy again. But if he can get back to 100% in time for the season, the 6'5", 235-pounder could have a lot of fun in Moorhead’s offense.

Taking on bigger roles and ready to blow up

Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State

Haskins replaced an injured J.T. Barrett with the Buckeyes trailing against Michigan, and he helped his team to a comeback win. He’ll have to beat out Tate Martell—who redshirted this season—to win the starting job, but Haskins could preside over an offense that will threaten opponents vertically and on the ground.

D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia

Nick Chubb and Sony Michel are leaving, but don’t expect Georgia to abandon the run—especially as some of its more highly recruited offensive linemen come of age. Many of the carries left behind by Chubb and Michel will go to Swift, who averaged 8.2 yards a carry but only 5.6 carries a game this season. Swift also led all of Georgia’s backs in receptions with 15, so expect the Bulldogs to find ways to get him the ball.

Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson

This freshman from Louisiana showed up in the summer and became Clemson’s best back. After averaging 7.2 yards a carry splitting time with Tavien Feaster, Etienne should be even better following his first full offseason with the Tigers.

A Random Ranking

Star Wars: The Last Jedi gets a wide release on Friday, so it’s time to rank some Jedi. We ranked the top 10 Star Wars villains in April. Now the good guys get their turn. Just as with the villain rankings, these characters must appear in at least one movie. (Sorry, Ahsoka Tano fans. But the good news is Rosario Dawson wants to play that character on the big screen.)

1. Yoda
2. Obi-Wan Kenobi
3. Luke Skywalker
4. Anakin Skywalker*
5. Rey (I’m assuming)
6. Finn (I’m hoping)
7. Mace Windu
8. Qui-Gon Jinn
9. Kit Fisto
10. Yarael Poof

* Yes, he slaughtered an awful lot of the Jedi order. But he also killed Emperor Palpatine (as Darth Vader). He may have been the only one powerful enough at the time to pull that off.

Three and Out

1. Congratulations to Army, which claimed its first Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy since 1996 after a 14–13 win against Navy in snowy Philadelphia. The Black Knights, who went 2–10 in 2015 and broke a 14-year losing streak against the Midshipmen in ’16, were the top service academy team this season. They’re now 9–3 and will finish their season Dec. 23 against San Diego State in the Armed Forces Bowl.

2. Most of the players on Oregon’s roster signed a petition—penned by offensive lineman George Moore—in support of promoting offensive coordinator Mario Cristobal to head coach to replace Willie Taggart, who left for Florida State. And those players were thrilled when they got their wish last week.

One of Cristobal’s former Miami teammates was thrilled with the choice as well.

3. Remember Daniel Faalele, the 6'9", 396-pound Australian offensive lineman I wrote about last winter? He has now played his first full season of organized football (at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.), and he has chosen a college. On Saturday, Faalele and IMG Academy teammate Curtis Dunlap decided to row the boat for P.J. Fleck at Minnesota.

Your reactions to this were predictable but still hilarious…

For Your Ears

My former Tampa Tribune co-worker Brett McMurphy—who also has worked at some other places—joined the podcast to discuss the lessons learned from the coaching carousel as well as life after an ESPN layoff.

What’s Eating Andy?

Our Richard Deitsch explains why most of the networks that broadcast college football saw a decline in ratings this season.

What’s Andy Eating?

During a break from interviewing the college football movers and shakers who descended upon New York last week for the National Football Foundation’s Hall of Fame dinner, I had planned to visit the Hell’s Kitchen location of The Meatball Shop. Then something jumped off my Google Maps app. Not far from The Meatball Shop—a mini-chain with multiple New York City locations that you should absolutely try the next time you’re in the area—was something called BarBacon. This demanded further examination. So I walked down 54th Street, hung a right on Ninth Avenue and stepped inside.

The menu was exactly what you’d expect from a place called BarBacon. With the exception of the beer, nearly everything had bacon in it or on it. Was it schticky? Absolutely. Was it delicious? Damn straight it was.

The obvious starting point is the beer and bacon flight appetizer. Four five-ounce servings of different craft beers accompany eight sizzling strips of bacon. The spicy jalapeño bacon and the sweet maple bacon were the best, but there really is no such thing as bad thick-cut bacon. The beer selection was excellent, but the better libation is a barrel-aged Manhattan featuring bacon-infused whiskey. The hint of smokiness from the bacon pairs nicely with the sweetness imparted by the aging process. Plus, if you’ve chosen a place called BarBacon, you’re not the type for half-measures anyway. Your drink also should include bacon.

With pure bacon already digesting, it was time to select a bacon-accented entree. I considered the Lamb Bacon Reuben and the Kentucky Fried Bacon Burger, but my inner five-year-old ultimately settled on the bacon grilled cheese. This one mixed bacon with melted gruyere and fontina on semolina, fennel and golden raisin bread. (The raisins sounded out-of-place, but the sweetness they offered was welcome.) Next to the sandwich was a bowl of tomato soup. The sandwich dunked wonderfully, and the bacon blended beautifully with the two highly meltable cheeses.

The Brussels sprouts came glazed with honey and Greek yogurt and featured giant chunks of bacon swimming between the sprouts. The Bacon Industrial Complex has now fully co-opted the vegetable that served as the butt of so many sitcom jokes, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Meanwhile, the “pork wings” didn’t include any bacon, but they were tasty mini-shanks drizzled in sriracha barbecue sauce. One of our party had the bacon and lobster mac and cheese. The bacon elevated a classic steakhouse side to full entree status, because bacon gives almost everything an instant promotion.

Our nation’s love affair with bacon might have gone a little too far—even for me. There’s bacon mayonnaise*, bacon air fresheners, bacon toothpaste and bacon lube. But I have no issue with building a bar around bacon as long as the schtick doesn’t overwhelm the meat.

*Like I said, bacon gives almost everything an instant promotion. Some things, like mayo, are simply too awful for even bacon to help.

BarBacon would fail if the entire concept was “HEY, LOOK AT ALL THIS BACON.” Instead, it’s “Here are some carefully crafted dishes that happen to include bacon.” That makes all the difference.

The 2018 Heisman Race: Examining 15 Early Frontrunners

Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy in a landslide on Saturday, but it’s never too early to start thinking about which player will hoist the trophy next season. There would be some obvious frontrunners if some NFL decisions go a certain way, but all of those players returning feels highly unlikely. Chances are next season will start without many established stars, which means the field will feel wide open.

Here are a few of the players who could find their way into the race—starting with the ones who would have the best chance if they stayed in college one more season…

If they come back

Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville

Jackson could be a very high draft pick if he leaves for the NFL, but if he decides to return to Louisville, he could wind up in New York in December for a third consecutive year. He told reporters this past weekend that he’ll make his NFL decision after the TaxSlayer Bowl against Mississippi State. The guess is that he’ll go to the NFL. The view of Jackson as a pro is split, but I’m of the opinion that he’ll be an effective quarterback at the next level if he’s selected by the correct team. But if he does decide to return to college, he’ll put up video game numbers again.

Sam Darnold, QB, USC

Darnold is probably a first-round pick if he leaves now, but he also doesn’t seem in that big of a hurry to leave USC. Because he redshirted, he has two more seasons of eligibility. If it looks as if Darnold might be doomed to become a Cleveland Brown, one more season as a USC Trojan might be a much more attractive option.

Bryce Love, RB, Stanford

Given the lack of longevity at the position, tailbacks probably should leave as soon as possible and make as much money as possible. Love has some ambitious post-football goals, but he can earn a good salary while he chases them. He may follow in the footsteps of current Stanford medical student Owen Marecic, who was a two-way star at Stanford and played in the NFL before pursuing medicine. It’s tantalizing to think about what kind of numbers Love could put up if he stayed healthy for a full senior season, but it would be tough to pass up the opportunity in front of him.

Will Grier, QB, West Virginia

Grier’s college career was interrupted by a suspension for a positive test in an NCAA drug screen while at Florida. His breakout season as a redshirt junior was interrupted by a broken finger on his throwing hand. Should Grier and frequent touchdown collaborator David Sills V return for one more season in Morgantown, they could put up some absurd numbers in a wide-open—in every sense of the phrase—Big 12.

Probably coming back

Jarrett Stidham, QB, Auburn

It took about half the season for Stidham to get truly comfortable in Auburn’s offense and for offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey to get comfortable with what Stidham can do in the offense. The first Georgia game and the Iron Bowl were great examples of what Stidham can do in an Auburn offense populated by healthy backs. (There wasn’t much he could do about the injuries to Kerryon Johnson and Kam Martin in the second Georgia game.) Now imagine how good Stidham could be with another offseason in the offense.

Trace McSorley, QB, Penn State

With Saquon Barkley probably headed to the NFL—and possibly getting picked in the top three—McSorley will have to carry more of the load in Penn State’s offense. That should be fine for a guy who plays in a similar fashion to the quarterback who just won the Heisman. The promotion of quarterbacks coach Ricky Rahne to offensive coordinator following Joe Moorhead’s departure for Mississippi State should allow for continuity that should only help McSorley.

No choice but to come back

Khalil Tate, QB, Arizona

Tate’s October was statistically comparable to Cam Newton and Johnny Manziel’s Heisman seasons, but his production tailed off in November. Wildcats coach Rich Rodriguez now has a chance to completely build the offense around Tate. That’s great for Tate’s Heisman chances, but terrible for opposing defensive coordinators.

Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin

Taylor got bottled up by Ohio State in the Big Ten title game (15 carries for 41 yards), but he still averaged 6.8 yards a carry for his true freshman season. He plays at Wisconsin, so he’ll always run behind a quality line. If he stays healthy, he can only get better.

McKenzie Milton, QB, UCF

It’s a shame players don’t have the same freedom of movement as coaches, because Milton (357.7 yards of total offense a game in 2017) would light up the Big Ten if he could follow former Knights coach Scott Frost to Nebraska and play immediately. A Group of Five player has far less chance to win the Heisman, but at least Milton is a known commodity after the season he has had. If new UCF coach Josh Heupel can keep the Knights’ offense humming, Milton might have a chance.

Ed Oliver, DT, Houston

This is not an obligatory mention of a defensive player, nor is it an obligatory mention of a Group of Five player. Oliver might be the nation’s best player next season. This year’s Outland Trophy winner could find himself fighting another defensive tackle—340-pound Clemson gap-stuffer Dexter Lawrence—for the top spot in the 2019 NFL draft.

Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

The numbers for Oregon’s offense with and without Herbert were jarring. With a healthy Herbert starting, Oregon went 6–1 and averaged 52 points. Without him, the Ducks were 1–4 and averaged 15 points. If the Ducks can keep him upright for a season, watch out.?

If he’s healthy

Nick Fitzgerald, QB, Mississippi State

Fitzgerald suffered a gruesome dislocated ankle in the Bulldogs’ Egg Bowl loss to Ole Miss, so it’s unclear when he’ll be fully healthy again. But if he can get back to 100% in time for the season, the 6'5", 235-pounder could have a lot of fun in Moorhead’s offense.

Taking on bigger roles and ready to blow up

Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State

Haskins replaced an injured J.T. Barrett with the Buckeyes trailing against Michigan, and he helped his team to a comeback win. He’ll have to beat out Tate Martell—who redshirted this season—to win the starting job, but Haskins could preside over an offense that will threaten opponents vertically and on the ground.

D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia

Nick Chubb and Sony Michel are leaving, but don’t expect Georgia to abandon the run—especially as some of its more highly recruited offensive linemen come of age. Many of the carries left behind by Chubb and Michel will go to Swift, who averaged 8.2 yards a carry but only 5.6 carries a game this season. Swift also led all of Georgia’s backs in receptions with 15, so expect the Bulldogs to find ways to get him the ball.

Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson

This freshman from Louisiana showed up in the summer and became Clemson’s best back. After averaging 7.2 yards a carry splitting time with Tavien Feaster, Etienne should be even better following his first full offseason with the Tigers.

A Random Ranking

Star Wars: The Last Jedi gets a wide release on Friday, so it’s time to rank some Jedi. We ranked the top 10 Star Wars villains in April. Now the good guys get their turn. Just as with the villain rankings, these characters must appear in at least one movie. (Sorry, Ahsoka Tano fans. But the good news is Rosario Dawson wants to play that character on the big screen.)

1. Yoda
2. Obi-Wan Kenobi
3. Luke Skywalker
4. Anakin Skywalker*
5. Rey (I’m assuming)
6. Finn (I’m hoping)
7. Mace Windu
8. Qui-Gon Jinn
9. Kit Fisto
10. Yarael Poof

* Yes, he slaughtered an awful lot of the Jedi order. But he also killed Emperor Palpatine (as Darth Vader). He may have been the only one powerful enough at the time to pull that off.

Three and Out

1. Congratulations to Army, which claimed its first Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy since 1996 after a 14–13 win against Navy in snowy Philadelphia. The Black Knights, who went 2–10 in 2015 and broke a 14-year losing streak against the Midshipmen in ’16, were the top service academy team this season. They’re now 9–3 and will finish their season Dec. 23 against San Diego State in the Armed Forces Bowl.

2. Most of the players on Oregon’s roster signed a petition—penned by offensive lineman George Moore—in support of promoting offensive coordinator Mario Cristobal to head coach to replace Willie Taggart, who left for Florida State. And those players were thrilled when they got their wish last week.

One of Cristobal’s former Miami teammates was thrilled with the choice as well.

3. Remember Daniel Faalele, the 6'9", 396-pound Australian offensive lineman I wrote about last winter? He has now played his first full season of organized football (at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.), and he has chosen a college. On Saturday, Faalele and IMG Academy teammate Curtis Dunlap decided to row the boat for P.J. Fleck at Minnesota.

Your reactions to this were predictable but still hilarious…

For Your Ears

My former Tampa Tribune co-worker Brett McMurphy—who also has worked at some other places—joined the podcast to discuss the lessons learned from the coaching carousel as well as life after an ESPN layoff.

What’s Eating Andy?

Our Richard Deitsch explains why most of the networks that broadcast college football saw a decline in ratings this season.

What’s Andy Eating?

During a break from interviewing the college football movers and shakers who descended upon New York last week for the National Football Foundation’s Hall of Fame dinner, I had planned to visit the Hell’s Kitchen location of The Meatball Shop. Then something jumped off my Google Maps app. Not far from The Meatball Shop—a mini-chain with multiple New York City locations that you should absolutely try the next time you’re in the area—was something called BarBacon. This demanded further examination. So I walked down 54th Street, hung a right on Ninth Avenue and stepped inside.

The menu was exactly what you’d expect from a place called BarBacon. With the exception of the beer, nearly everything had bacon in it or on it. Was it schticky? Absolutely. Was it delicious? Damn straight it was.

The obvious starting point is the beer and bacon flight appetizer. Four five-ounce servings of different craft beers accompany eight sizzling strips of bacon. The spicy jalapeño bacon and the sweet maple bacon were the best, but there really is no such thing as bad thick-cut bacon. The beer selection was excellent, but the better libation is a barrel-aged Manhattan featuring bacon-infused whiskey. The hint of smokiness from the bacon pairs nicely with the sweetness imparted by the aging process. Plus, if you’ve chosen a place called BarBacon, you’re not the type for half-measures anyway. Your drink also should include bacon.

With pure bacon already digesting, it was time to select a bacon-accented entree. I considered the Lamb Bacon Reuben and the Kentucky Fried Bacon Burger, but my inner five-year-old ultimately settled on the bacon grilled cheese. This one mixed bacon with melted gruyere and fontina on semolina, fennel and golden raisin bread. (The raisins sounded out-of-place, but the sweetness they offered was welcome.) Next to the sandwich was a bowl of tomato soup. The sandwich dunked wonderfully, and the bacon blended beautifully with the two highly meltable cheeses.

The Brussels sprouts came glazed with honey and Greek yogurt and featured giant chunks of bacon swimming between the sprouts. The Bacon Industrial Complex has now fully co-opted the vegetable that served as the butt of so many sitcom jokes, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Meanwhile, the “pork wings” didn’t include any bacon, but they were tasty mini-shanks drizzled in sriracha barbecue sauce. One of our party had the bacon and lobster mac and cheese. The bacon elevated a classic steakhouse side to full entree status, because bacon gives almost everything an instant promotion.

Our nation’s love affair with bacon might have gone a little too far—even for me. There’s bacon mayonnaise*, bacon air fresheners, bacon toothpaste and bacon lube. But I have no issue with building a bar around bacon as long as the schtick doesn’t overwhelm the meat.

*Like I said, bacon gives almost everything an instant promotion. Some things, like mayo, are simply too awful for even bacon to help.

BarBacon would fail if the entire concept was “HEY, LOOK AT ALL THIS BACON.” Instead, it’s “Here are some carefully crafted dishes that happen to include bacon.” That makes all the difference.

CIUDAD DE MÉXICO, Swimming/Natación-Michael Phelps

CIUDAD DE MÉXICO, Swimming/Natación-Michael Phelps.- Como parte del 2017 Phelps LATAM Tour, el máximo ganador de medallas en Juegos Olímpicos, Michael Phelps, ofreció una charla a jóvenes nadadores que sueñan con alcanzar su legado, este 10 de diciembre de 2017. "Por cinco años no dejé de ir a entrenar un solo día", expresó en la conferencia el "Tiburón de Baltimore", quien insistió en reiteradas ocasiones en el tema de superar propias metas. Foto: Agencia EL UNIVERSAL/Ayax Mondragón/AFBV

CIUDAD DE MÉXICO, Swimming/Natación-Michael Phelps

CIUDAD DE MÉXICO, Swimming/Natación-Michael Phelps.- Como parte del 2017 Phelps LATAM Tour, el máximo ganador de medallas en Juegos Olímpicos, Michael Phelps, ofreció una charla a jóvenes nadadores que sueñan con alcanzar su legado, este 10 de diciembre de 2017. "Por cinco años no dejé de ir a entrenar un solo día", expresó en la conferencia el "Tiburón de Baltimore", quien insistió en reiteradas ocasiones en el tema de superar propias metas. Foto: Agencia EL UNIVERSAL/Ayax Mondragón/AFBV

CIUDAD DE MÉXICO, Swimming/Natación-Michael Phelps

CIUDAD DE MÉXICO, Swimming/Natación-Michael Phelps.- Como parte del 2017 Phelps LATAM Tour, el máximo ganador de medallas en Juegos Olímpicos, Michael Phelps, ofreció una charla a jóvenes nadadores que sueñan con alcanzar su legado, este 10 de diciembre de 2017. "Por cinco años no dejé de ir a entrenar un solo día", expresó en la conferencia el "Tiburón de Baltimore", quien insistió en reiteradas ocasiones en el tema de superar propias metas. Foto: Agencia EL UNIVERSAL/Ayax Mondragón/AFBV

Liverpool 1 Everton 1: Wayne Rooney converts for a point after Dejan Lovren's costly push

In a schoolmasterly fashion, Jurgen Klopp asked journalists for a show of hands. “How many of you thought it was a penalty?” he said. Some responded and a few willingly kept arms down. Others thought the inquisition a tad irrelevant and wanted no role in the theatre. Had the Liverpool manager asked who thought he picked the wrong line-up against Everton, adding if anyone felt he made unnecessarily risky substitutions, the more ambivalent would have stretched their limbs. Managers can be forgiven such displays of emotion under duress, particularly after a Merseyside derby. This felt like a classic deflection. Merseyside derby tradition dictates there must be at least one perplexing decision to cause suitable levels of rage. There were several at Anfield as Sam Allardyce claimed the most unlikely point in what will rank one of the curious recent meetings between the clubs. Everton left satisfied with the result having left their supporters perturbed by much of what they had seen, especially for a dire 76 minutes. Klopp declared himself satisfied with the performance but disturbed by the circumstances of the 1-1 draw, superiority absurdly surrendered. The Liverpool manager’s gaze was fixed on referee Craig Pawson for gifting Everton the penalty from which Wayne Rooney struck the equaliser, his first goal in this fixture. “I don’t think it was a penalty,” he said. “We have to take it. Obviously you all think it is a penalty then all the fouls between (Ashley) Williams and (Dominic) Solanke should have been free kicks. That is how it is. We have to take it. The last moment Calvert-Lewin makes a step, he doesn’t push him or anything. It’s just body contact. That happens in midfield and 60 or 70 times it is not a free-kick. Today we get a penalty which wasn’t a penalty.”  Chastising the referee disguises multiple reasons why Mohamed Salah’s latest exquisite strike was not the winner – just as against Chelsea a fortnight ago. This is more than Liverpool ill-fortune. It is an unhealthy habit. Jurgen Klopp is visibly disappointed at the final whistle Credit: Reuters Before Pawson had any influence Liverpool could point to Sadio Mane’s decision to shoot rather than pass to two team-mates, who would have had a tap-in to make it 2-0 just before half time. They could point to Dejan Lovren’s decision to make any contact with Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who did not look in an especially dangerous position when he felt the Croatian’s shove leading to the 76th minute spot kick. Mohamed Salah scores to give Liverpool a much-deserved lead  Credit: Getty Images They could point to Klopp’s generosity when deciding to omit Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino from his line-up, and his even greater assistance when substituting Salah with the game still in the balance. If teamsheets can surrender momentum, Klopp had already offered the visitors hope before kick-off. Allardyce confirmed that, although he also suggested his side’s defensive could also have nullified the Brazilians.  Liverpool vs Everton player ratings Resting some of your best players in a Merseyside derby is unprecedented. Given Coutinho stayed on against Spartak Moscow for 90 minutes, despite Liverpool strolling through that second half, sparing him for Everton when West Bromwich Albion and Bournemouth are up next is bizarre. “I thought before the game (it was right), yes. After the game, still yes,” said Klopp. “Even when the result doesn’t show it. We did it like this for seven weeks. When we don’t win it I take the blame. I have no problem with that. The boys who came in were fresh and worked hard. We felt we needed fresh legs. We could have won it but didn’t, so blame me.” There will be denial, of course, but it smacked of being too preoccupied with how to win the next game instead of the current one. Liverpool were under no pressure but there was always the possibility they would give up one chance. That was all Everton needed after toiling their way through two-thirds of the game. From the first whistle the visitors assumed what can only be described as the Rorke’s Drift formation, dropping deep and trying to deny space. You could admire how their new manager had organised their defence, but it was archaic stuff in the direction of Simon Mignolet’s goal. Rooney, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Calvert-Lewin could do little more than chase long and second balls. It still yielded reward when Lovren was penalised and Rooney ensured it was the away fans who took most from the outcome, even if they too will expect much more when returning for the FA Cup tie in the New Year. That, too, is now guaranteed to be feisty. Klopp may think twice before leaving too many of his stars on the bench next time. 4:15PM A picture paints a thousand words... Jurgen Klopp bemoans a decision Credit: Reuters Sam Allardyce celebrates a derby day point Credit: Reuters 4:09PM Full-time You have to give Everton credit for keeping it at 1-0 for so long and then taking that opportunity when it arose.  Lovren had to be pulled away from the officials at the end but he shouldn't be moaning. He created a situation and gave the referee a decision to make.  It is definitely two points lost for Liverpool, but one gained for Everton as they move into tenth. The Reds end the weekend in fourth.  4:07PM 90 + 4 mins Liverpool are all camped out in the Everton box and Henderson takes a shot but it flies into Row Z.  With seconds left, Everton know they just have to keep it calm.  4:04PM 90 + 2 mins Firmino tries to meet Robertson's cross but he's stretching and the ball goes out of play. Klopp is now the more energetic of the two managers. 4:01PM 89 mins Liverpool get their 12th corner, which Coutinho takes but Lovren's header is well over.  Klavan takes his go at pushing Calvert-Lewin in the back but he -at least - does it in a relatively harmless area. Sigurdsson gets the free-kick into the box it comes to nothing. 3:58PM 86 mins Another Everton card with Schneirlin seeing yellow for a tackle on Milner, it was sloppy more than anything.  Coutinho takes the resulting free-kick and it's heading for the top left corner, but Pickford is wise to it as we head into the last five minutes. The snow has restarted as well so that pitch is very wet and slippy. 3:55PM Happy with a point, Sam? Jagielka will be the final Everton substitution. He's on in place of the captain and scorer, Rooney. Before that Solanke is replaced by Danny Ings. Great to see the striker back fit and getting those minutes in. 3:53PM 81 mins The visitors have the wind in their sails now as Lennon bombs down the right wing.  It will be a nervy ten minute for the Reds who were in complete control until Lovren's rush of blood to the head.  3:51PM 78 mins Lovren has just cost his team there. He pushes the Everton forward in the middle of his back and the referee has no choice as Calvert-Lewin hits the deck. The youngster was actually running onto a great Rooney pass, so you could say the veteran started and finished that goal.  It is definitely game on now as Coutinho replaces Oxlade-Chamberlain. 3:49PM EVERTON HAVE A PENALTY Lovren pushes Calvert-Lewin in the box. It's stupid, it's a pen. And it's a Rooney equaliser. His first goal in a Merseyside derby. 3:46PM 73 mins Everton have a corner! This is not a drill. Sigurdsson takes and Mignolet pushes it out but only as far as Lennon, who plays Kenny in. The youngster crosses into the box but the home keeper collects and normal service is resumed as Liverpool go on the attack. 3:43PM 70 mins It looks like Everton will make their final substitution soon with Lookman warming up.  There is still only one goal in it but the visitors can't get a foot on the ball with Liverpool just playing keep-ball until they feel the opportunity to attack is there.  3:40PM 67 mins Firmino comes, or Bobby, as the Reds fans love to call him. He replaces the goalscorer and gives Martina a moment to breathe after a torrid 67 mins failing to keep the Egyptian quiet.  3:37PM 64 mins Pickford keeps it at 1-0 as he gets the slightest of touches to push Oxlade-Chamberlain's cross away from Mane, who would've had a tap-in had he connected.  The home side getting into their stride again and Mane is fouled by Lennon about 25 yards from goal. Salah steps up  and Gomez heads it but can only send it over Pickford's bar.  3:35PM Not a great stat for the visitors Everton have had just two touches in the Red box. TWO! Liverpool have had 35... 3:33PM 60 mins Another Mane shot but Pickford is alert to the overhead kick. The Toffees keeper hasn't had much to do despite the home teams possession in the opening hour.  3:30PM Merry Christmas everyone There's a rendition of the famous song being sung around Anfield. Not the most tuneful I've ever heard. Apparently it was 'Everton', not everyone. I think I was blocking out the festive cheer 3:29PM 56 mins All Liverpool again at the moment. Klavan has clearly been sent forward for set-pieces and the Red keeps alternating their corner takers. Martina is still struggling to cope with Salah, but who wouldn't when the league's top scorer is on this form. 3:25PM 52 mins Sigurdsson plays in Calvert-Lewis and the youngster gets a shot off but it's wide. It won't matter because they already look more dangerous in the opening five minutes of the second-half, than they did the first 45 mins. Liverpool keen to get their second though. Holgate manages to flick the ball away after the home side get another corner.   3:21PM 49 mins Kenny has been so good for the visitors today and his header defies Solanke. Salah thinks he's got his second but his header, from just inside the six-yard box, goes past Pickford's near post.  3:20PM Second-half underway Liverpool have the lead thanks to Salah's super strike. The Toffees have only come from behind to win the derby once, when Peter Beardsley scored the winner in 1992. Can they pull off an Anfield miracle? 3:17PM Two changes Schneiderlin and Lennon come on for Niasse and Davies. Interesting... 3:05PM Half-time.  Liverpool go into the break with a 1-0 lead that is deserved after they were the only team attacking.  Salah's goal was superb but the home side may come to waste that possession if Everton manage to get an equaliser in the second-half. 3:03PM 45 + 2 mins  Mane tries to get in on the individual skill as he runs down the left, but he drags his shot wide of the post.  If he had looked up he had three teammates running into the box to join him and Klopp's face suggests he will tell him so at half-time.  3:01PM 45 mins An individual moment gives Liverpool the lead and their first shot on target. Martina had been struggling with Salah for most of the game.  Not content with giving his team the lead he has another shot but Williams heads it over.  2:58PM 42 mins - GOAL! SALAH! The Egyptian breaks the deadlock. Martina loses the ball on the edge of the box, Salah cuts in and his left foot shot sails past Pickford into the far left corner.  2:56PM 41 mins Despite Everton being stuck in their own half the fact they have kept Liverpool quiet should give them confidence going into the second-half.  Gueye gets the second yellow after he tackles Mane from behind. He kind of gets the ball but you can't come through a player's legs like that. 2:52PM 37 mins The first yellow goes to Sigurdsson and to be fair, it was late on Henderson, but I'm not sure if we haven't seen some more physical moments in the opening third of the game.  Red captain is receiving treatment but it doesn't look like anything the magic spray won't fix. 2:50PM 34 mins Rooney lets Mane sail past him and the Red continue their latest attack. It ends with a Robertson shot from the edge of the box that sails over Pickford goal.  Klopp's men lacking any real composure.  2:46PM 31 mins Despite all their possession, Liverpool haven't had a shot on target. Would that still be the case if Coutinho and Firmino were on the pitch? Oxlade-Chamberlain takes a corner and despite keeping possession there is no end result for the reds. As Lovren tries to play in Milner, Rooney goes down the heavy handed defensive route by pushing his former England teammate into the hoardings. By his head... 2:43PM 28 mins Everton actually get into Liverpool's box but Sigurdsson's tame shot is blocked - it was their first real attack which is a positive. But the home side are soon back on the front foot with Oxlade-Chamberlain sending his free-kick towards the far post but it sails out.  2:41PM 25 mins Gomez catches Martina with a knee that is a little bit too close to a certain area and although he is about 1 yard from the linesman there is no further action.  Henderson plays in Gomez whose cross into the box is cut back by Mane but Everton again manage to clear. Somehow. 2:36PM 21 mins Although the home side have had nearly all of the ball and some decent attacks they don't look as penetrative as we are used to seeing.  Everton are just camped out in their own half will have to pay attention if this is what they plan to do for the next 70-odd minutes.  2:34PM 18 mins The Toffees seem to have unstuck their feet and calmed their play slightly, compared to the opening 15 minutes.  Robertson is looking like a serious threat down the left though and Rooney will need to stay alert to help his defense. 2:30PM 15 mins  Martina is having a nightmare with Salah on the right and now Gomez joins the attack before Niasse comes and tackles the young defender. It bounces off the former Charlton man for a goal-kick.  It is all Liverpool at the moment and they have 76% possession. The visitors are riding their luck a little bit.  2:28PM 13 mins Rooney showing why defending has never been his strong point. He loses Robertson on the edge of the box and Kenny comes to the rescue. It is all go at Anfield. Oxlade-Chamberlain sees his shot blocked and Allardyce may want to get that heart monitor back on with all the screaming and shouting he is doing. 2:26PM 11 mins Sigurdsson blocks Milner's shot after Salah loses Martina. The Everton defender could be in for a tricky afternoon.  Mignolet comes rushing out and clears after Niasse latches onto a long ball with only Lovren near the striker. He manages to take the man and the striker. 2:24PM 9 mins All Liverpool at the moment and Henderson plays in Salah who sends a cross into the box for Mane but it's too high for the forward to get to and Pickford takes.  Both teams displaying British youth in the form of Calvert-Lewin, Robertson, Solanke, Gomez and Davies. Williams breaks down an attack on the edge of the box and Rooney tried to get it too Niasse but it's overhit.  Mane looks like he's going to get beyond Holgate but he slips in the box at the crucial moment. 2:21PM 6 mins Kenny takes a free-kick just inside the opposition half but it's too long for Calvert-Lewin to collect. I sense a trend with the Toffees knocking the ball long at every attempt.  Liverpool on the attack and Mane plays in Robertson on his left but his tame effort is easily collected by Pickford.  2:19PM 4 mins Liverpool on the attack and Martina's clearance leave Williams struggling. Lucking for the visitors Henderson sends it over the bar. Allardyce motions for his team to calm down.  2:16PM Kick-off Everton gets the game underway - at the second attempt -  as they go from left to right. Rooney sends it to Holgate, who sends it long and out of play. Is this their gameplan? 2:14PM Derby Day begins It's freezing outside so get comfortable and get those snacks sorted for Liverpool vs Everton. 2:11PM Minutes until kick-off This is a hard one to predict. Will Klopp's rotation defeat Allardyce's lack of changes? It feels like there will be goals with the team sides having conceded 47 between them so far this season. 2:06PM The visiting boss "We want to be committed and passionate but we don't want to lose our cool. " There have been 21 red cards in 50 Merseyside derbies and remember that Everton haven't won at Anfield in 17 Premier League games. The last one was in 1999. 2:00PM 15 minutes until kick-off Here's a reminder of the teams that sees Klopp making six changes and Allardyce making one. The big news is that Coutinho and Firmino are on the bench and Solanke starts only his second Premier League game. Liverpool: Mignolet, Gomez, Klavan, Lovren, Robertson, Milner, Henderson, Mane, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Solanke. Subs: Karius, Wijnaldum, Firmino, Coutinho, Can, Ings, Alexander-Arnold Everton: Pickford, Kenny, Martina, Holgate, Williams, Gueye, Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Niasse Subs: Robles, Schneiderlin, Keane, Jagielka, Lennon, Vlasic, Lookman 1:55PM Super Speedo Mick The Everton fan goes to games in his swimming attire for charity.  Speedo Mick continues his charity fundraising Credit: Getty Images 1:51PM We all agree then Even our columnist, Jamie Carragher, is surprised by the home team.  Liverpool teams a big surprise!!!!!!!— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) December 10, 2017 1:44PM Looking dapper, lads The lads arriving at Anfield... �� pic.twitter.com/3WO6asWGjq— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 10, 2017 1:43PM When your dog has got skills A Liverpool supporting dog Credit: Action Images 1:40PM Those teams Liverpool: Mignolet, Gomez, Klavan, Lovren, Robertson, Milner, Henderson, Mane, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Solanke. Subs: Karius, Wijnaldum, Firmino, Coutinho, Can, Ings, Alexander-Arnold Everton: Pickford, Kenny, Martina, Holgate, Williams, Gueye, Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Niasse Subs: Robles, Schneiderlin, Keane, Jagielka, Lennon, Vlasic, Lookman 1:37PM Just, no I'm not a fan of this phenomenon Half and half scarves Credit: Action Images 1:34PM That's one way to look at it... Henderson and Millner in the midfield. God bless our team.#LIVEVE— Mrinmoy Biswas (@Mrinmoy_sg8) December 10, 2017 1:30PM Sam keeping it steady The visitors have made only one change as Allardyce looks to beat Liverpool with his fourth different club after Crystal palace, West Ham and Bolton.  He got off to a winning start with the 2-0 victory over Hudderfield in the league last weekend and both scorer's - Calvert-Lewin and Sigurdsson - start today.  1:26PM Are we all over that surprise? No Firmino and Coutinho in the starting XI and I think we can safely say that it's a shock. Neither player is injured and they have already scored nine goals between them this season.  Six changes  in contrast to Everton's one seems a lot for a team that has won four of their last five league games. The team scored 15 goals in those four victories. 1:19PM Everton team Not too many surprises for the Toffees... Pickford, Kenny, Martina, Holgate, Williams, Gueye, Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Niasse Subs:  Robles, Schneiderlin, Keane, Jagielka, Lennon, Vlasic, Lookman 1:17PM Liverpool team The home fans may be a little surprised by this team... Mignolet, Gomez, Klavan, Lovren, Robertson, Milner, Henderson, Mane, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Solanke. Subs: Karius, Wijnaldum, Firmino, Coutinho, Can, Ings, Alexander-Arnold 1:15PM Good afternoon Hello! It's 'Derby Day' and we're starting with the Merseyside derby. Let's get the teams news.

Liverpool 1 Everton 1: Wayne Rooney converts for a point after Dejan Lovren's costly push

In a schoolmasterly fashion, Jurgen Klopp asked journalists for a show of hands. “How many of you thought it was a penalty?” he said. Some responded and a few willingly kept arms down. Others thought the inquisition a tad irrelevant and wanted no role in the theatre. Had the Liverpool manager asked who thought he picked the wrong line-up against Everton, adding if anyone felt he made unnecessarily risky substitutions, the more ambivalent would have stretched their limbs. Managers can be forgiven such displays of emotion under duress, particularly after a Merseyside derby. This felt like a classic deflection. Merseyside derby tradition dictates there must be at least one perplexing decision to cause suitable levels of rage. There were several at Anfield as Sam Allardyce claimed the most unlikely point in what will rank one of the curious recent meetings between the clubs. Everton left satisfied with the result having left their supporters perturbed by much of what they had seen, especially for a dire 76 minutes. Klopp declared himself satisfied with the performance but disturbed by the circumstances of the 1-1 draw, superiority absurdly surrendered. The Liverpool manager’s gaze was fixed on referee Craig Pawson for gifting Everton the penalty from which Wayne Rooney struck the equaliser, his first goal in this fixture. “I don’t think it was a penalty,” he said. “We have to take it. Obviously you all think it is a penalty then all the fouls between (Ashley) Williams and (Dominic) Solanke should have been free kicks. That is how it is. We have to take it. The last moment Calvert-Lewin makes a step, he doesn’t push him or anything. It’s just body contact. That happens in midfield and 60 or 70 times it is not a free-kick. Today we get a penalty which wasn’t a penalty.”  Chastising the referee disguises multiple reasons why Mohamed Salah’s latest exquisite strike was not the winner – just as against Chelsea a fortnight ago. This is more than Liverpool ill-fortune. It is an unhealthy habit. Jurgen Klopp is visibly disappointed at the final whistle Credit: Reuters Before Pawson had any influence Liverpool could point to Sadio Mane’s decision to shoot rather than pass to two team-mates, who would have had a tap-in to make it 2-0 just before half time. They could point to Dejan Lovren’s decision to make any contact with Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who did not look in an especially dangerous position when he felt the Croatian’s shove leading to the 76th minute spot kick. Mohamed Salah scores to give Liverpool a much-deserved lead  Credit: Getty Images They could point to Klopp’s generosity when deciding to omit Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino from his line-up, and his even greater assistance when substituting Salah with the game still in the balance. If teamsheets can surrender momentum, Klopp had already offered the visitors hope before kick-off. Allardyce confirmed that, although he also suggested his side’s defensive could also have nullified the Brazilians.  Liverpool vs Everton player ratings Resting some of your best players in a Merseyside derby is unprecedented. Given Coutinho stayed on against Spartak Moscow for 90 minutes, despite Liverpool strolling through that second half, sparing him for Everton when West Bromwich Albion and Bournemouth are up next is bizarre. “I thought before the game (it was right), yes. After the game, still yes,” said Klopp. “Even when the result doesn’t show it. We did it like this for seven weeks. When we don’t win it I take the blame. I have no problem with that. The boys who came in were fresh and worked hard. We felt we needed fresh legs. We could have won it but didn’t, so blame me.” There will be denial, of course, but it smacked of being too preoccupied with how to win the next game instead of the current one. Liverpool were under no pressure but there was always the possibility they would give up one chance. That was all Everton needed after toiling their way through two-thirds of the game. From the first whistle the visitors assumed what can only be described as the Rorke’s Drift formation, dropping deep and trying to deny space. You could admire how their new manager had organised their defence, but it was archaic stuff in the direction of Simon Mignolet’s goal. Rooney, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Calvert-Lewin could do little more than chase long and second balls. It still yielded reward when Lovren was penalised and Rooney ensured it was the away fans who took most from the outcome, even if they too will expect much more when returning for the FA Cup tie in the New Year. That, too, is now guaranteed to be feisty. Klopp may think twice before leaving too many of his stars on the bench next time. 4:15PM A picture paints a thousand words... Jurgen Klopp bemoans a decision Credit: Reuters Sam Allardyce celebrates a derby day point Credit: Reuters 4:09PM Full-time You have to give Everton credit for keeping it at 1-0 for so long and then taking that opportunity when it arose.  Lovren had to be pulled away from the officials at the end but he shouldn't be moaning. He created a situation and gave the referee a decision to make.  It is definitely two points lost for Liverpool, but one gained for Everton as they move into tenth. The Reds end the weekend in fourth.  4:07PM 90 + 4 mins Liverpool are all camped out in the Everton box and Henderson takes a shot but it flies into Row Z.  With seconds left, Everton know they just have to keep it calm.  4:04PM 90 + 2 mins Firmino tries to meet Robertson's cross but he's stretching and the ball goes out of play. Klopp is now the more energetic of the two managers. 4:01PM 89 mins Liverpool get their 12th corner, which Coutinho takes but Lovren's header is well over.  Klavan takes his go at pushing Calvert-Lewin in the back but he -at least - does it in a relatively harmless area. Sigurdsson gets the free-kick into the box it comes to nothing. 3:58PM 86 mins Another Everton card with Schneirlin seeing yellow for a tackle on Milner, it was sloppy more than anything.  Coutinho takes the resulting free-kick and it's heading for the top left corner, but Pickford is wise to it as we head into the last five minutes. The snow has restarted as well so that pitch is very wet and slippy. 3:55PM Happy with a point, Sam? Jagielka will be the final Everton substitution. He's on in place of the captain and scorer, Rooney. Before that Solanke is replaced by Danny Ings. Great to see the striker back fit and getting those minutes in. 3:53PM 81 mins The visitors have the wind in their sails now as Lennon bombs down the right wing.  It will be a nervy ten minute for the Reds who were in complete control until Lovren's rush of blood to the head.  3:51PM 78 mins Lovren has just cost his team there. He pushes the Everton forward in the middle of his back and the referee has no choice as Calvert-Lewin hits the deck. The youngster was actually running onto a great Rooney pass, so you could say the veteran started and finished that goal.  It is definitely game on now as Coutinho replaces Oxlade-Chamberlain. 3:49PM EVERTON HAVE A PENALTY Lovren pushes Calvert-Lewin in the box. It's stupid, it's a pen. And it's a Rooney equaliser. His first goal in a Merseyside derby. 3:46PM 73 mins Everton have a corner! This is not a drill. Sigurdsson takes and Mignolet pushes it out but only as far as Lennon, who plays Kenny in. The youngster crosses into the box but the home keeper collects and normal service is resumed as Liverpool go on the attack. 3:43PM 70 mins It looks like Everton will make their final substitution soon with Lookman warming up.  There is still only one goal in it but the visitors can't get a foot on the ball with Liverpool just playing keep-ball until they feel the opportunity to attack is there.  3:40PM 67 mins Firmino comes, or Bobby, as the Reds fans love to call him. He replaces the goalscorer and gives Martina a moment to breathe after a torrid 67 mins failing to keep the Egyptian quiet.  3:37PM 64 mins Pickford keeps it at 1-0 as he gets the slightest of touches to push Oxlade-Chamberlain's cross away from Mane, who would've had a tap-in had he connected.  The home side getting into their stride again and Mane is fouled by Lennon about 25 yards from goal. Salah steps up  and Gomez heads it but can only send it over Pickford's bar.  3:35PM Not a great stat for the visitors Everton have had just two touches in the Red box. TWO! Liverpool have had 35... 3:33PM 60 mins Another Mane shot but Pickford is alert to the overhead kick. The Toffees keeper hasn't had much to do despite the home teams possession in the opening hour.  3:30PM Merry Christmas everyone There's a rendition of the famous song being sung around Anfield. Not the most tuneful I've ever heard. Apparently it was 'Everton', not everyone. I think I was blocking out the festive cheer 3:29PM 56 mins All Liverpool again at the moment. Klavan has clearly been sent forward for set-pieces and the Red keeps alternating their corner takers. Martina is still struggling to cope with Salah, but who wouldn't when the league's top scorer is on this form. 3:25PM 52 mins Sigurdsson plays in Calvert-Lewis and the youngster gets a shot off but it's wide. It won't matter because they already look more dangerous in the opening five minutes of the second-half, than they did the first 45 mins. Liverpool keen to get their second though. Holgate manages to flick the ball away after the home side get another corner.   3:21PM 49 mins Kenny has been so good for the visitors today and his header defies Solanke. Salah thinks he's got his second but his header, from just inside the six-yard box, goes past Pickford's near post.  3:20PM Second-half underway Liverpool have the lead thanks to Salah's super strike. The Toffees have only come from behind to win the derby once, when Peter Beardsley scored the winner in 1992. Can they pull off an Anfield miracle? 3:17PM Two changes Schneiderlin and Lennon come on for Niasse and Davies. Interesting... 3:05PM Half-time.  Liverpool go into the break with a 1-0 lead that is deserved after they were the only team attacking.  Salah's goal was superb but the home side may come to waste that possession if Everton manage to get an equaliser in the second-half. 3:03PM 45 + 2 mins  Mane tries to get in on the individual skill as he runs down the left, but he drags his shot wide of the post.  If he had looked up he had three teammates running into the box to join him and Klopp's face suggests he will tell him so at half-time.  3:01PM 45 mins An individual moment gives Liverpool the lead and their first shot on target. Martina had been struggling with Salah for most of the game.  Not content with giving his team the lead he has another shot but Williams heads it over.  2:58PM 42 mins - GOAL! SALAH! The Egyptian breaks the deadlock. Martina loses the ball on the edge of the box, Salah cuts in and his left foot shot sails past Pickford into the far left corner.  2:56PM 41 mins Despite Everton being stuck in their own half the fact they have kept Liverpool quiet should give them confidence going into the second-half.  Gueye gets the second yellow after he tackles Mane from behind. He kind of gets the ball but you can't come through a player's legs like that. 2:52PM 37 mins The first yellow goes to Sigurdsson and to be fair, it was late on Henderson, but I'm not sure if we haven't seen some more physical moments in the opening third of the game.  Red captain is receiving treatment but it doesn't look like anything the magic spray won't fix. 2:50PM 34 mins Rooney lets Mane sail past him and the Red continue their latest attack. It ends with a Robertson shot from the edge of the box that sails over Pickford goal.  Klopp's men lacking any real composure.  2:46PM 31 mins Despite all their possession, Liverpool haven't had a shot on target. Would that still be the case if Coutinho and Firmino were on the pitch? Oxlade-Chamberlain takes a corner and despite keeping possession there is no end result for the reds. As Lovren tries to play in Milner, Rooney goes down the heavy handed defensive route by pushing his former England teammate into the hoardings. By his head... 2:43PM 28 mins Everton actually get into Liverpool's box but Sigurdsson's tame shot is blocked - it was their first real attack which is a positive. But the home side are soon back on the front foot with Oxlade-Chamberlain sending his free-kick towards the far post but it sails out.  2:41PM 25 mins Gomez catches Martina with a knee that is a little bit too close to a certain area and although he is about 1 yard from the linesman there is no further action.  Henderson plays in Gomez whose cross into the box is cut back by Mane but Everton again manage to clear. Somehow. 2:36PM 21 mins Although the home side have had nearly all of the ball and some decent attacks they don't look as penetrative as we are used to seeing.  Everton are just camped out in their own half will have to pay attention if this is what they plan to do for the next 70-odd minutes.  2:34PM 18 mins The Toffees seem to have unstuck their feet and calmed their play slightly, compared to the opening 15 minutes.  Robertson is looking like a serious threat down the left though and Rooney will need to stay alert to help his defense. 2:30PM 15 mins  Martina is having a nightmare with Salah on the right and now Gomez joins the attack before Niasse comes and tackles the young defender. It bounces off the former Charlton man for a goal-kick.  It is all Liverpool at the moment and they have 76% possession. The visitors are riding their luck a little bit.  2:28PM 13 mins Rooney showing why defending has never been his strong point. He loses Robertson on the edge of the box and Kenny comes to the rescue. It is all go at Anfield. Oxlade-Chamberlain sees his shot blocked and Allardyce may want to get that heart monitor back on with all the screaming and shouting he is doing. 2:26PM 11 mins Sigurdsson blocks Milner's shot after Salah loses Martina. The Everton defender could be in for a tricky afternoon.  Mignolet comes rushing out and clears after Niasse latches onto a long ball with only Lovren near the striker. He manages to take the man and the striker. 2:24PM 9 mins All Liverpool at the moment and Henderson plays in Salah who sends a cross into the box for Mane but it's too high for the forward to get to and Pickford takes.  Both teams displaying British youth in the form of Calvert-Lewin, Robertson, Solanke, Gomez and Davies. Williams breaks down an attack on the edge of the box and Rooney tried to get it too Niasse but it's overhit.  Mane looks like he's going to get beyond Holgate but he slips in the box at the crucial moment. 2:21PM 6 mins Kenny takes a free-kick just inside the opposition half but it's too long for Calvert-Lewin to collect. I sense a trend with the Toffees knocking the ball long at every attempt.  Liverpool on the attack and Mane plays in Robertson on his left but his tame effort is easily collected by Pickford.  2:19PM 4 mins Liverpool on the attack and Martina's clearance leave Williams struggling. Lucking for the visitors Henderson sends it over the bar. Allardyce motions for his team to calm down.  2:16PM Kick-off Everton gets the game underway - at the second attempt -  as they go from left to right. Rooney sends it to Holgate, who sends it long and out of play. Is this their gameplan? 2:14PM Derby Day begins It's freezing outside so get comfortable and get those snacks sorted for Liverpool vs Everton. 2:11PM Minutes until kick-off This is a hard one to predict. Will Klopp's rotation defeat Allardyce's lack of changes? It feels like there will be goals with the team sides having conceded 47 between them so far this season. 2:06PM The visiting boss "We want to be committed and passionate but we don't want to lose our cool. " There have been 21 red cards in 50 Merseyside derbies and remember that Everton haven't won at Anfield in 17 Premier League games. The last one was in 1999. 2:00PM 15 minutes until kick-off Here's a reminder of the teams that sees Klopp making six changes and Allardyce making one. The big news is that Coutinho and Firmino are on the bench and Solanke starts only his second Premier League game. Liverpool: Mignolet, Gomez, Klavan, Lovren, Robertson, Milner, Henderson, Mane, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Solanke. Subs: Karius, Wijnaldum, Firmino, Coutinho, Can, Ings, Alexander-Arnold Everton: Pickford, Kenny, Martina, Holgate, Williams, Gueye, Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Niasse Subs: Robles, Schneiderlin, Keane, Jagielka, Lennon, Vlasic, Lookman 1:55PM Super Speedo Mick The Everton fan goes to games in his swimming attire for charity.  Speedo Mick continues his charity fundraising Credit: Getty Images 1:51PM We all agree then Even our columnist, Jamie Carragher, is surprised by the home team.  Liverpool teams a big surprise!!!!!!!— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) December 10, 2017 1:44PM Looking dapper, lads The lads arriving at Anfield... �� pic.twitter.com/3WO6asWGjq— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 10, 2017 1:43PM When your dog has got skills A Liverpool supporting dog Credit: Action Images 1:40PM Those teams Liverpool: Mignolet, Gomez, Klavan, Lovren, Robertson, Milner, Henderson, Mane, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Solanke. Subs: Karius, Wijnaldum, Firmino, Coutinho, Can, Ings, Alexander-Arnold Everton: Pickford, Kenny, Martina, Holgate, Williams, Gueye, Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Niasse Subs: Robles, Schneiderlin, Keane, Jagielka, Lennon, Vlasic, Lookman 1:37PM Just, no I'm not a fan of this phenomenon Half and half scarves Credit: Action Images 1:34PM That's one way to look at it... Henderson and Millner in the midfield. God bless our team.#LIVEVE— Mrinmoy Biswas (@Mrinmoy_sg8) December 10, 2017 1:30PM Sam keeping it steady The visitors have made only one change as Allardyce looks to beat Liverpool with his fourth different club after Crystal palace, West Ham and Bolton.  He got off to a winning start with the 2-0 victory over Hudderfield in the league last weekend and both scorer's - Calvert-Lewin and Sigurdsson - start today.  1:26PM Are we all over that surprise? No Firmino and Coutinho in the starting XI and I think we can safely say that it's a shock. Neither player is injured and they have already scored nine goals between them this season.  Six changes  in contrast to Everton's one seems a lot for a team that has won four of their last five league games. The team scored 15 goals in those four victories. 1:19PM Everton team Not too many surprises for the Toffees... Pickford, Kenny, Martina, Holgate, Williams, Gueye, Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Niasse Subs:  Robles, Schneiderlin, Keane, Jagielka, Lennon, Vlasic, Lookman 1:17PM Liverpool team The home fans may be a little surprised by this team... Mignolet, Gomez, Klavan, Lovren, Robertson, Milner, Henderson, Mane, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Solanke. Subs: Karius, Wijnaldum, Firmino, Coutinho, Can, Ings, Alexander-Arnold 1:15PM Good afternoon Hello! It's 'Derby Day' and we're starting with the Merseyside derby. Let's get the teams news.

Liverpool 1 Everton 1: Wayne Rooney converts for a point after Dejan Lovren's costly push

In a schoolmasterly fashion, Jurgen Klopp asked journalists for a show of hands. “How many of you thought it was a penalty?” he said. Some responded and a few willingly kept arms down. Others thought the inquisition a tad irrelevant and wanted no role in the theatre. Had the Liverpool manager asked who thought he picked the wrong line-up against Everton, adding if anyone felt he made unnecessarily risky substitutions, the more ambivalent would have stretched their limbs. Managers can be forgiven such displays of emotion under duress, particularly after a Merseyside derby. This felt like a classic deflection. Merseyside derby tradition dictates there must be at least one perplexing decision to cause suitable levels of rage. There were several at Anfield as Sam Allardyce claimed the most unlikely point in what will rank one of the curious recent meetings between the clubs. Everton left satisfied with the result having left their supporters perturbed by much of what they had seen, especially for a dire 76 minutes. Klopp declared himself satisfied with the performance but disturbed by the circumstances of the 1-1 draw, superiority absurdly surrendered. The Liverpool manager’s gaze was fixed on referee Craig Pawson for gifting Everton the penalty from which Wayne Rooney struck the equaliser, his first goal in this fixture. “I don’t think it was a penalty,” he said. “We have to take it. Obviously you all think it is a penalty then all the fouls between (Ashley) Williams and (Dominic) Solanke should have been free kicks. That is how it is. We have to take it. The last moment Calvert-Lewin makes a step, he doesn’t push him or anything. It’s just body contact. That happens in midfield and 60 or 70 times it is not a free-kick. Today we get a penalty which wasn’t a penalty.”  Chastising the referee disguises multiple reasons why Mohamed Salah’s latest exquisite strike was not the winner – just as against Chelsea a fortnight ago. This is more than Liverpool ill-fortune. It is an unhealthy habit. Jurgen Klopp is visibly disappointed at the final whistle Credit: Reuters Before Pawson had any influence Liverpool could point to Sadio Mane’s decision to shoot rather than pass to two team-mates, who would have had a tap-in to make it 2-0 just before half time. They could point to Dejan Lovren’s decision to make any contact with Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who did not look in an especially dangerous position when he felt the Croatian’s shove leading to the 76th minute spot kick. Mohamed Salah scores to give Liverpool a much-deserved lead  Credit: Getty Images They could point to Klopp’s generosity when deciding to omit Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino from his line-up, and his even greater assistance when substituting Salah with the game still in the balance. If teamsheets can surrender momentum, Klopp had already offered the visitors hope before kick-off. Allardyce confirmed that, although he also suggested his side’s defensive could also have nullified the Brazilians.  Liverpool vs Everton player ratings Resting some of your best players in a Merseyside derby is unprecedented. Given Coutinho stayed on against Spartak Moscow for 90 minutes, despite Liverpool strolling through that second half, sparing him for Everton when West Bromwich Albion and Bournemouth are up next is bizarre. “I thought before the game (it was right), yes. After the game, still yes,” said Klopp. “Even when the result doesn’t show it. We did it like this for seven weeks. When we don’t win it I take the blame. I have no problem with that. The boys who came in were fresh and worked hard. We felt we needed fresh legs. We could have won it but didn’t, so blame me.” There will be denial, of course, but it smacked of being too preoccupied with how to win the next game instead of the current one. Liverpool were under no pressure but there was always the possibility they would give up one chance. That was all Everton needed after toiling their way through two-thirds of the game. From the first whistle the visitors assumed what can only be described as the Rorke’s Drift formation, dropping deep and trying to deny space. You could admire how their new manager had organised their defence, but it was archaic stuff in the direction of Simon Mignolet’s goal. Rooney, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Calvert-Lewin could do little more than chase long and second balls. It still yielded reward when Lovren was penalised and Rooney ensured it was the away fans who took most from the outcome, even if they too will expect much more when returning for the FA Cup tie in the New Year. That, too, is now guaranteed to be feisty. Klopp may think twice before leaving too many of his stars on the bench next time. 4:15PM A picture paints a thousand words... Jurgen Klopp bemoans a decision Credit: Reuters Sam Allardyce celebrates a derby day point Credit: Reuters 4:09PM Full-time You have to give Everton credit for keeping it at 1-0 for so long and then taking that opportunity when it arose.  Lovren had to be pulled away from the officials at the end but he shouldn't be moaning. He created a situation and gave the referee a decision to make.  It is definitely two points lost for Liverpool, but one gained for Everton as they move into tenth. The Reds end the weekend in fourth.  4:07PM 90 + 4 mins Liverpool are all camped out in the Everton box and Henderson takes a shot but it flies into Row Z.  With seconds left, Everton know they just have to keep it calm.  4:04PM 90 + 2 mins Firmino tries to meet Robertson's cross but he's stretching and the ball goes out of play. Klopp is now the more energetic of the two managers. 4:01PM 89 mins Liverpool get their 12th corner, which Coutinho takes but Lovren's header is well over.  Klavan takes his go at pushing Calvert-Lewin in the back but he -at least - does it in a relatively harmless area. Sigurdsson gets the free-kick into the box it comes to nothing. 3:58PM 86 mins Another Everton card with Schneirlin seeing yellow for a tackle on Milner, it was sloppy more than anything.  Coutinho takes the resulting free-kick and it's heading for the top left corner, but Pickford is wise to it as we head into the last five minutes. The snow has restarted as well so that pitch is very wet and slippy. 3:55PM Happy with a point, Sam? Jagielka will be the final Everton substitution. He's on in place of the captain and scorer, Rooney. Before that Solanke is replaced by Danny Ings. Great to see the striker back fit and getting those minutes in. 3:53PM 81 mins The visitors have the wind in their sails now as Lennon bombs down the right wing.  It will be a nervy ten minute for the Reds who were in complete control until Lovren's rush of blood to the head.  3:51PM 78 mins Lovren has just cost his team there. He pushes the Everton forward in the middle of his back and the referee has no choice as Calvert-Lewin hits the deck. The youngster was actually running onto a great Rooney pass, so you could say the veteran started and finished that goal.  It is definitely game on now as Coutinho replaces Oxlade-Chamberlain. 3:49PM EVERTON HAVE A PENALTY Lovren pushes Calvert-Lewin in the box. It's stupid, it's a pen. And it's a Rooney equaliser. His first goal in a Merseyside derby. 3:46PM 73 mins Everton have a corner! This is not a drill. Sigurdsson takes and Mignolet pushes it out but only as far as Lennon, who plays Kenny in. The youngster crosses into the box but the home keeper collects and normal service is resumed as Liverpool go on the attack. 3:43PM 70 mins It looks like Everton will make their final substitution soon with Lookman warming up.  There is still only one goal in it but the visitors can't get a foot on the ball with Liverpool just playing keep-ball until they feel the opportunity to attack is there.  3:40PM 67 mins Firmino comes, or Bobby, as the Reds fans love to call him. He replaces the goalscorer and gives Martina a moment to breathe after a torrid 67 mins failing to keep the Egyptian quiet.  3:37PM 64 mins Pickford keeps it at 1-0 as he gets the slightest of touches to push Oxlade-Chamberlain's cross away from Mane, who would've had a tap-in had he connected.  The home side getting into their stride again and Mane is fouled by Lennon about 25 yards from goal. Salah steps up  and Gomez heads it but can only send it over Pickford's bar.  3:35PM Not a great stat for the visitors Everton have had just two touches in the Red box. TWO! Liverpool have had 35... 3:33PM 60 mins Another Mane shot but Pickford is alert to the overhead kick. The Toffees keeper hasn't had much to do despite the home teams possession in the opening hour.  3:30PM Merry Christmas everyone There's a rendition of the famous song being sung around Anfield. Not the most tuneful I've ever heard. Apparently it was 'Everton', not everyone. I think I was blocking out the festive cheer 3:29PM 56 mins All Liverpool again at the moment. Klavan has clearly been sent forward for set-pieces and the Red keeps alternating their corner takers. Martina is still struggling to cope with Salah, but who wouldn't when the league's top scorer is on this form. 3:25PM 52 mins Sigurdsson plays in Calvert-Lewis and the youngster gets a shot off but it's wide. It won't matter because they already look more dangerous in the opening five minutes of the second-half, than they did the first 45 mins. Liverpool keen to get their second though. Holgate manages to flick the ball away after the home side get another corner.   3:21PM 49 mins Kenny has been so good for the visitors today and his header defies Solanke. Salah thinks he's got his second but his header, from just inside the six-yard box, goes past Pickford's near post.  3:20PM Second-half underway Liverpool have the lead thanks to Salah's super strike. The Toffees have only come from behind to win the derby once, when Peter Beardsley scored the winner in 1992. Can they pull off an Anfield miracle? 3:17PM Two changes Schneiderlin and Lennon come on for Niasse and Davies. Interesting... 3:05PM Half-time.  Liverpool go into the break with a 1-0 lead that is deserved after they were the only team attacking.  Salah's goal was superb but the home side may come to waste that possession if Everton manage to get an equaliser in the second-half. 3:03PM 45 + 2 mins  Mane tries to get in on the individual skill as he runs down the left, but he drags his shot wide of the post.  If he had looked up he had three teammates running into the box to join him and Klopp's face suggests he will tell him so at half-time.  3:01PM 45 mins An individual moment gives Liverpool the lead and their first shot on target. Martina had been struggling with Salah for most of the game.  Not content with giving his team the lead he has another shot but Williams heads it over.  2:58PM 42 mins - GOAL! SALAH! The Egyptian breaks the deadlock. Martina loses the ball on the edge of the box, Salah cuts in and his left foot shot sails past Pickford into the far left corner.  2:56PM 41 mins Despite Everton being stuck in their own half the fact they have kept Liverpool quiet should give them confidence going into the second-half.  Gueye gets the second yellow after he tackles Mane from behind. He kind of gets the ball but you can't come through a player's legs like that. 2:52PM 37 mins The first yellow goes to Sigurdsson and to be fair, it was late on Henderson, but I'm not sure if we haven't seen some more physical moments in the opening third of the game.  Red captain is receiving treatment but it doesn't look like anything the magic spray won't fix. 2:50PM 34 mins Rooney lets Mane sail past him and the Red continue their latest attack. It ends with a Robertson shot from the edge of the box that sails over Pickford goal.  Klopp's men lacking any real composure.  2:46PM 31 mins Despite all their possession, Liverpool haven't had a shot on target. Would that still be the case if Coutinho and Firmino were on the pitch? Oxlade-Chamberlain takes a corner and despite keeping possession there is no end result for the reds. As Lovren tries to play in Milner, Rooney goes down the heavy handed defensive route by pushing his former England teammate into the hoardings. By his head... 2:43PM 28 mins Everton actually get into Liverpool's box but Sigurdsson's tame shot is blocked - it was their first real attack which is a positive. But the home side are soon back on the front foot with Oxlade-Chamberlain sending his free-kick towards the far post but it sails out.  2:41PM 25 mins Gomez catches Martina with a knee that is a little bit too close to a certain area and although he is about 1 yard from the linesman there is no further action.  Henderson plays in Gomez whose cross into the box is cut back by Mane but Everton again manage to clear. Somehow. 2:36PM 21 mins Although the home side have had nearly all of the ball and some decent attacks they don't look as penetrative as we are used to seeing.  Everton are just camped out in their own half will have to pay attention if this is what they plan to do for the next 70-odd minutes.  2:34PM 18 mins The Toffees seem to have unstuck their feet and calmed their play slightly, compared to the opening 15 minutes.  Robertson is looking like a serious threat down the left though and Rooney will need to stay alert to help his defense. 2:30PM 15 mins  Martina is having a nightmare with Salah on the right and now Gomez joins the attack before Niasse comes and tackles the young defender. It bounces off the former Charlton man for a goal-kick.  It is all Liverpool at the moment and they have 76% possession. The visitors are riding their luck a little bit.  2:28PM 13 mins Rooney showing why defending has never been his strong point. He loses Robertson on the edge of the box and Kenny comes to the rescue. It is all go at Anfield. Oxlade-Chamberlain sees his shot blocked and Allardyce may want to get that heart monitor back on with all the screaming and shouting he is doing. 2:26PM 11 mins Sigurdsson blocks Milner's shot after Salah loses Martina. The Everton defender could be in for a tricky afternoon.  Mignolet comes rushing out and clears after Niasse latches onto a long ball with only Lovren near the striker. He manages to take the man and the striker. 2:24PM 9 mins All Liverpool at the moment and Henderson plays in Salah who sends a cross into the box for Mane but it's too high for the forward to get to and Pickford takes.  Both teams displaying British youth in the form of Calvert-Lewin, Robertson, Solanke, Gomez and Davies. Williams breaks down an attack on the edge of the box and Rooney tried to get it too Niasse but it's overhit.  Mane looks like he's going to get beyond Holgate but he slips in the box at the crucial moment. 2:21PM 6 mins Kenny takes a free-kick just inside the opposition half but it's too long for Calvert-Lewin to collect. I sense a trend with the Toffees knocking the ball long at every attempt.  Liverpool on the attack and Mane plays in Robertson on his left but his tame effort is easily collected by Pickford.  2:19PM 4 mins Liverpool on the attack and Martina's clearance leave Williams struggling. Lucking for the visitors Henderson sends it over the bar. Allardyce motions for his team to calm down.  2:16PM Kick-off Everton gets the game underway - at the second attempt -  as they go from left to right. Rooney sends it to Holgate, who sends it long and out of play. Is this their gameplan? 2:14PM Derby Day begins It's freezing outside so get comfortable and get those snacks sorted for Liverpool vs Everton. 2:11PM Minutes until kick-off This is a hard one to predict. Will Klopp's rotation defeat Allardyce's lack of changes? It feels like there will be goals with the team sides having conceded 47 between them so far this season. 2:06PM The visiting boss "We want to be committed and passionate but we don't want to lose our cool. " There have been 21 red cards in 50 Merseyside derbies and remember that Everton haven't won at Anfield in 17 Premier League games. The last one was in 1999. 2:00PM 15 minutes until kick-off Here's a reminder of the teams that sees Klopp making six changes and Allardyce making one. The big news is that Coutinho and Firmino are on the bench and Solanke starts only his second Premier League game. Liverpool: Mignolet, Gomez, Klavan, Lovren, Robertson, Milner, Henderson, Mane, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Solanke. Subs: Karius, Wijnaldum, Firmino, Coutinho, Can, Ings, Alexander-Arnold Everton: Pickford, Kenny, Martina, Holgate, Williams, Gueye, Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Niasse Subs: Robles, Schneiderlin, Keane, Jagielka, Lennon, Vlasic, Lookman 1:55PM Super Speedo Mick The Everton fan goes to games in his swimming attire for charity.  Speedo Mick continues his charity fundraising Credit: Getty Images 1:51PM We all agree then Even our columnist, Jamie Carragher, is surprised by the home team.  Liverpool teams a big surprise!!!!!!!— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) December 10, 2017 1:44PM Looking dapper, lads The lads arriving at Anfield... �� pic.twitter.com/3WO6asWGjq— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 10, 2017 1:43PM When your dog has got skills A Liverpool supporting dog Credit: Action Images 1:40PM Those teams Liverpool: Mignolet, Gomez, Klavan, Lovren, Robertson, Milner, Henderson, Mane, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Solanke. Subs: Karius, Wijnaldum, Firmino, Coutinho, Can, Ings, Alexander-Arnold Everton: Pickford, Kenny, Martina, Holgate, Williams, Gueye, Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Niasse Subs: Robles, Schneiderlin, Keane, Jagielka, Lennon, Vlasic, Lookman 1:37PM Just, no I'm not a fan of this phenomenon Half and half scarves Credit: Action Images 1:34PM That's one way to look at it... Henderson and Millner in the midfield. God bless our team.#LIVEVE— Mrinmoy Biswas (@Mrinmoy_sg8) December 10, 2017 1:30PM Sam keeping it steady The visitors have made only one change as Allardyce looks to beat Liverpool with his fourth different club after Crystal palace, West Ham and Bolton.  He got off to a winning start with the 2-0 victory over Hudderfield in the league last weekend and both scorer's - Calvert-Lewin and Sigurdsson - start today.  1:26PM Are we all over that surprise? No Firmino and Coutinho in the starting XI and I think we can safely say that it's a shock. Neither player is injured and they have already scored nine goals between them this season.  Six changes  in contrast to Everton's one seems a lot for a team that has won four of their last five league games. The team scored 15 goals in those four victories. 1:19PM Everton team Not too many surprises for the Toffees... Pickford, Kenny, Martina, Holgate, Williams, Gueye, Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Niasse Subs:  Robles, Schneiderlin, Keane, Jagielka, Lennon, Vlasic, Lookman 1:17PM Liverpool team The home fans may be a little surprised by this team... Mignolet, Gomez, Klavan, Lovren, Robertson, Milner, Henderson, Mane, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Solanke. Subs: Karius, Wijnaldum, Firmino, Coutinho, Can, Ings, Alexander-Arnold 1:15PM Good afternoon Hello! It's 'Derby Day' and we're starting with the Merseyside derby. Let's get the teams news.

Liverpool 1 Everton 1: Wayne Rooney converts for a point after Dejan Lovren's costly push

In a schoolmasterly fashion, Jurgen Klopp asked journalists for a show of hands. “How many of you thought it was a penalty?” he said. Some responded and a few willingly kept arms down. Others thought the inquisition a tad irrelevant and wanted no role in the theatre. Had the Liverpool manager asked who thought he picked the wrong line-up against Everton, adding if anyone felt he made unnecessarily risky substitutions, the more ambivalent would have stretched their limbs. Managers can be forgiven such displays of emotion under duress, particularly after a Merseyside derby. This felt like a classic deflection. Merseyside derby tradition dictates there must be at least one perplexing decision to cause suitable levels of rage. There were several at Anfield as Sam Allardyce claimed the most unlikely point in what will rank one of the curious recent meetings between the clubs. Everton left satisfied with the result having left their supporters perturbed by much of what they had seen, especially for a dire 76 minutes. Klopp declared himself satisfied with the performance but disturbed by the circumstances of the 1-1 draw, superiority absurdly surrendered. The Liverpool manager’s gaze was fixed on referee Craig Pawson for gifting Everton the penalty from which Wayne Rooney struck the equaliser, his first goal in this fixture. “I don’t think it was a penalty,” he said. “We have to take it. Obviously you all think it is a penalty then all the fouls between (Ashley) Williams and (Dominic) Solanke should have been free kicks. That is how it is. We have to take it. The last moment Calvert-Lewin makes a step, he doesn’t push him or anything. It’s just body contact. That happens in midfield and 60 or 70 times it is not a free-kick. Today we get a penalty which wasn’t a penalty.”  Chastising the referee disguises multiple reasons why Mohamed Salah’s latest exquisite strike was not the winner – just as against Chelsea a fortnight ago. This is more than Liverpool ill-fortune. It is an unhealthy habit. Jurgen Klopp is visibly disappointed at the final whistle Credit: Reuters Before Pawson had any influence Liverpool could point to Sadio Mane’s decision to shoot rather than pass to two team-mates, who would have had a tap-in to make it 2-0 just before half time. They could point to Dejan Lovren’s decision to make any contact with Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who did not look in an especially dangerous position when he felt the Croatian’s shove leading to the 76th minute spot kick. Mohamed Salah scores to give Liverpool a much-deserved lead  Credit: Getty Images They could point to Klopp’s generosity when deciding to omit Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino from his line-up, and his even greater assistance when substituting Salah with the game still in the balance. If teamsheets can surrender momentum, Klopp had already offered the visitors hope before kick-off. Allardyce confirmed that, although he also suggested his side’s defensive could also have nullified the Brazilians.  Liverpool vs Everton player ratings Resting some of your best players in a Merseyside derby is unprecedented. Given Coutinho stayed on against Spartak Moscow for 90 minutes, despite Liverpool strolling through that second half, sparing him for Everton when West Bromwich Albion and Bournemouth are up next is bizarre. “I thought before the game (it was right), yes. After the game, still yes,” said Klopp. “Even when the result doesn’t show it. We did it like this for seven weeks. When we don’t win it I take the blame. I have no problem with that. The boys who came in were fresh and worked hard. We felt we needed fresh legs. We could have won it but didn’t, so blame me.” There will be denial, of course, but it smacked of being too preoccupied with how to win the next game instead of the current one. Liverpool were under no pressure but there was always the possibility they would give up one chance. That was all Everton needed after toiling their way through two-thirds of the game. From the first whistle the visitors assumed what can only be described as the Rorke’s Drift formation, dropping deep and trying to deny space. You could admire how their new manager had organised their defence, but it was archaic stuff in the direction of Simon Mignolet’s goal. Rooney, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Calvert-Lewin could do little more than chase long and second balls. It still yielded reward when Lovren was penalised and Rooney ensured it was the away fans who took most from the outcome, even if they too will expect much more when returning for the FA Cup tie in the New Year. That, too, is now guaranteed to be feisty. Klopp may think twice before leaving too many of his stars on the bench next time. 4:15PM A picture paints a thousand words... Jurgen Klopp bemoans a decision Credit: Reuters Sam Allardyce celebrates a derby day point Credit: Reuters 4:09PM Full-time You have to give Everton credit for keeping it at 1-0 for so long and then taking that opportunity when it arose.  Lovren had to be pulled away from the officials at the end but he shouldn't be moaning. He created a situation and gave the referee a decision to make.  It is definitely two points lost for Liverpool, but one gained for Everton as they move into tenth. The Reds end the weekend in fourth.  4:07PM 90 + 4 mins Liverpool are all camped out in the Everton box and Henderson takes a shot but it flies into Row Z.  With seconds left, Everton know they just have to keep it calm.  4:04PM 90 + 2 mins Firmino tries to meet Robertson's cross but he's stretching and the ball goes out of play. Klopp is now the more energetic of the two managers. 4:01PM 89 mins Liverpool get their 12th corner, which Coutinho takes but Lovren's header is well over.  Klavan takes his go at pushing Calvert-Lewin in the back but he -at least - does it in a relatively harmless area. Sigurdsson gets the free-kick into the box it comes to nothing. 3:58PM 86 mins Another Everton card with Schneirlin seeing yellow for a tackle on Milner, it was sloppy more than anything.  Coutinho takes the resulting free-kick and it's heading for the top left corner, but Pickford is wise to it as we head into the last five minutes. The snow has restarted as well so that pitch is very wet and slippy. 3:55PM Happy with a point, Sam? Jagielka will be the final Everton substitution. He's on in place of the captain and scorer, Rooney. Before that Solanke is replaced by Danny Ings. Great to see the striker back fit and getting those minutes in. 3:53PM 81 mins The visitors have the wind in their sails now as Lennon bombs down the right wing.  It will be a nervy ten minute for the Reds who were in complete control until Lovren's rush of blood to the head.  3:51PM 78 mins Lovren has just cost his team there. He pushes the Everton forward in the middle of his back and the referee has no choice as Calvert-Lewin hits the deck. The youngster was actually running onto a great Rooney pass, so you could say the veteran started and finished that goal.  It is definitely game on now as Coutinho replaces Oxlade-Chamberlain. 3:49PM EVERTON HAVE A PENALTY Lovren pushes Calvert-Lewin in the box. It's stupid, it's a pen. And it's a Rooney equaliser. His first goal in a Merseyside derby. 3:46PM 73 mins Everton have a corner! This is not a drill. Sigurdsson takes and Mignolet pushes it out but only as far as Lennon, who plays Kenny in. The youngster crosses into the box but the home keeper collects and normal service is resumed as Liverpool go on the attack. 3:43PM 70 mins It looks like Everton will make their final substitution soon with Lookman warming up.  There is still only one goal in it but the visitors can't get a foot on the ball with Liverpool just playing keep-ball until they feel the opportunity to attack is there.  3:40PM 67 mins Firmino comes, or Bobby, as the Reds fans love to call him. He replaces the goalscorer and gives Martina a moment to breathe after a torrid 67 mins failing to keep the Egyptian quiet.  3:37PM 64 mins Pickford keeps it at 1-0 as he gets the slightest of touches to push Oxlade-Chamberlain's cross away from Mane, who would've had a tap-in had he connected.  The home side getting into their stride again and Mane is fouled by Lennon about 25 yards from goal. Salah steps up  and Gomez heads it but can only send it over Pickford's bar.  3:35PM Not a great stat for the visitors Everton have had just two touches in the Red box. TWO! Liverpool have had 35... 3:33PM 60 mins Another Mane shot but Pickford is alert to the overhead kick. The Toffees keeper hasn't had much to do despite the home teams possession in the opening hour.  3:30PM Merry Christmas everyone There's a rendition of the famous song being sung around Anfield. Not the most tuneful I've ever heard. Apparently it was 'Everton', not everyone. I think I was blocking out the festive cheer 3:29PM 56 mins All Liverpool again at the moment. Klavan has clearly been sent forward for set-pieces and the Red keeps alternating their corner takers. Martina is still struggling to cope with Salah, but who wouldn't when the league's top scorer is on this form. 3:25PM 52 mins Sigurdsson plays in Calvert-Lewis and the youngster gets a shot off but it's wide. It won't matter because they already look more dangerous in the opening five minutes of the second-half, than they did the first 45 mins. Liverpool keen to get their second though. Holgate manages to flick the ball away after the home side get another corner.   3:21PM 49 mins Kenny has been so good for the visitors today and his header defies Solanke. Salah thinks he's got his second but his header, from just inside the six-yard box, goes past Pickford's near post.  3:20PM Second-half underway Liverpool have the lead thanks to Salah's super strike. The Toffees have only come from behind to win the derby once, when Peter Beardsley scored the winner in 1992. Can they pull off an Anfield miracle? 3:17PM Two changes Schneiderlin and Lennon come on for Niasse and Davies. Interesting... 3:05PM Half-time.  Liverpool go into the break with a 1-0 lead that is deserved after they were the only team attacking.  Salah's goal was superb but the home side may come to waste that possession if Everton manage to get an equaliser in the second-half. 3:03PM 45 + 2 mins  Mane tries to get in on the individual skill as he runs down the left, but he drags his shot wide of the post.  If he had looked up he had three teammates running into the box to join him and Klopp's face suggests he will tell him so at half-time.  3:01PM 45 mins An individual moment gives Liverpool the lead and their first shot on target. Martina had been struggling with Salah for most of the game.  Not content with giving his team the lead he has another shot but Williams heads it over.  2:58PM 42 mins - GOAL! SALAH! The Egyptian breaks the deadlock. Martina loses the ball on the edge of the box, Salah cuts in and his left foot shot sails past Pickford into the far left corner.  2:56PM 41 mins Despite Everton being stuck in their own half the fact they have kept Liverpool quiet should give them confidence going into the second-half.  Gueye gets the second yellow after he tackles Mane from behind. He kind of gets the ball but you can't come through a player's legs like that. 2:52PM 37 mins The first yellow goes to Sigurdsson and to be fair, it was late on Henderson, but I'm not sure if we haven't seen some more physical moments in the opening third of the game.  Red captain is receiving treatment but it doesn't look like anything the magic spray won't fix. 2:50PM 34 mins Rooney lets Mane sail past him and the Red continue their latest attack. It ends with a Robertson shot from the edge of the box that sails over Pickford goal.  Klopp's men lacking any real composure.  2:46PM 31 mins Despite all their possession, Liverpool haven't had a shot on target. Would that still be the case if Coutinho and Firmino were on the pitch? Oxlade-Chamberlain takes a corner and despite keeping possession there is no end result for the reds. As Lovren tries to play in Milner, Rooney goes down the heavy handed defensive route by pushing his former England teammate into the hoardings. By his head... 2:43PM 28 mins Everton actually get into Liverpool's box but Sigurdsson's tame shot is blocked - it was their first real attack which is a positive. But the home side are soon back on the front foot with Oxlade-Chamberlain sending his free-kick towards the far post but it sails out.  2:41PM 25 mins Gomez catches Martina with a knee that is a little bit too close to a certain area and although he is about 1 yard from the linesman there is no further action.  Henderson plays in Gomez whose cross into the box is cut back by Mane but Everton again manage to clear. Somehow. 2:36PM 21 mins Although the home side have had nearly all of the ball and some decent attacks they don't look as penetrative as we are used to seeing.  Everton are just camped out in their own half will have to pay attention if this is what they plan to do for the next 70-odd minutes.  2:34PM 18 mins The Toffees seem to have unstuck their feet and calmed their play slightly, compared to the opening 15 minutes.  Robertson is looking like a serious threat down the left though and Rooney will need to stay alert to help his defense. 2:30PM 15 mins  Martina is having a nightmare with Salah on the right and now Gomez joins the attack before Niasse comes and tackles the young defender. It bounces off the former Charlton man for a goal-kick.  It is all Liverpool at the moment and they have 76% possession. The visitors are riding their luck a little bit.  2:28PM 13 mins Rooney showing why defending has never been his strong point. He loses Robertson on the edge of the box and Kenny comes to the rescue. It is all go at Anfield. Oxlade-Chamberlain sees his shot blocked and Allardyce may want to get that heart monitor back on with all the screaming and shouting he is doing. 2:26PM 11 mins Sigurdsson blocks Milner's shot after Salah loses Martina. The Everton defender could be in for a tricky afternoon.  Mignolet comes rushing out and clears after Niasse latches onto a long ball with only Lovren near the striker. He manages to take the man and the striker. 2:24PM 9 mins All Liverpool at the moment and Henderson plays in Salah who sends a cross into the box for Mane but it's too high for the forward to get to and Pickford takes.  Both teams displaying British youth in the form of Calvert-Lewin, Robertson, Solanke, Gomez and Davies. Williams breaks down an attack on the edge of the box and Rooney tried to get it too Niasse but it's overhit.  Mane looks like he's going to get beyond Holgate but he slips in the box at the crucial moment. 2:21PM 6 mins Kenny takes a free-kick just inside the opposition half but it's too long for Calvert-Lewin to collect. I sense a trend with the Toffees knocking the ball long at every attempt.  Liverpool on the attack and Mane plays in Robertson on his left but his tame effort is easily collected by Pickford.  2:19PM 4 mins Liverpool on the attack and Martina's clearance leave Williams struggling. Lucking for the visitors Henderson sends it over the bar. Allardyce motions for his team to calm down.  2:16PM Kick-off Everton gets the game underway - at the second attempt -  as they go from left to right. Rooney sends it to Holgate, who sends it long and out of play. Is this their gameplan? 2:14PM Derby Day begins It's freezing outside so get comfortable and get those snacks sorted for Liverpool vs Everton. 2:11PM Minutes until kick-off This is a hard one to predict. Will Klopp's rotation defeat Allardyce's lack of changes? It feels like there will be goals with the team sides having conceded 47 between them so far this season. 2:06PM The visiting boss "We want to be committed and passionate but we don't want to lose our cool. " There have been 21 red cards in 50 Merseyside derbies and remember that Everton haven't won at Anfield in 17 Premier League games. The last one was in 1999. 2:00PM 15 minutes until kick-off Here's a reminder of the teams that sees Klopp making six changes and Allardyce making one. The big news is that Coutinho and Firmino are on the bench and Solanke starts only his second Premier League game. Liverpool: Mignolet, Gomez, Klavan, Lovren, Robertson, Milner, Henderson, Mane, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Solanke. Subs: Karius, Wijnaldum, Firmino, Coutinho, Can, Ings, Alexander-Arnold Everton: Pickford, Kenny, Martina, Holgate, Williams, Gueye, Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Niasse Subs: Robles, Schneiderlin, Keane, Jagielka, Lennon, Vlasic, Lookman 1:55PM Super Speedo Mick The Everton fan goes to games in his swimming attire for charity.  Speedo Mick continues his charity fundraising Credit: Getty Images 1:51PM We all agree then Even our columnist, Jamie Carragher, is surprised by the home team.  Liverpool teams a big surprise!!!!!!!— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) December 10, 2017 1:44PM Looking dapper, lads The lads arriving at Anfield... �� pic.twitter.com/3WO6asWGjq— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 10, 2017 1:43PM When your dog has got skills A Liverpool supporting dog Credit: Action Images 1:40PM Those teams Liverpool: Mignolet, Gomez, Klavan, Lovren, Robertson, Milner, Henderson, Mane, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Solanke. Subs: Karius, Wijnaldum, Firmino, Coutinho, Can, Ings, Alexander-Arnold Everton: Pickford, Kenny, Martina, Holgate, Williams, Gueye, Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Niasse Subs: Robles, Schneiderlin, Keane, Jagielka, Lennon, Vlasic, Lookman 1:37PM Just, no I'm not a fan of this phenomenon Half and half scarves Credit: Action Images 1:34PM That's one way to look at it... Henderson and Millner in the midfield. God bless our team.#LIVEVE— Mrinmoy Biswas (@Mrinmoy_sg8) December 10, 2017 1:30PM Sam keeping it steady The visitors have made only one change as Allardyce looks to beat Liverpool with his fourth different club after Crystal palace, West Ham and Bolton.  He got off to a winning start with the 2-0 victory over Hudderfield in the league last weekend and both scorer's - Calvert-Lewin and Sigurdsson - start today.  1:26PM Are we all over that surprise? No Firmino and Coutinho in the starting XI and I think we can safely say that it's a shock. Neither player is injured and they have already scored nine goals between them this season.  Six changes  in contrast to Everton's one seems a lot for a team that has won four of their last five league games. The team scored 15 goals in those four victories. 1:19PM Everton team Not too many surprises for the Toffees... Pickford, Kenny, Martina, Holgate, Williams, Gueye, Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Niasse Subs:  Robles, Schneiderlin, Keane, Jagielka, Lennon, Vlasic, Lookman 1:17PM Liverpool team The home fans may be a little surprised by this team... Mignolet, Gomez, Klavan, Lovren, Robertson, Milner, Henderson, Mane, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Solanke. Subs: Karius, Wijnaldum, Firmino, Coutinho, Can, Ings, Alexander-Arnold 1:15PM Good afternoon Hello! It's 'Derby Day' and we're starting with the Merseyside derby. Let's get the teams news.

Liverpool 1 Everton 1: Wayne Rooney converts for a point after Dejan Lovren's costly push

In a schoolmasterly fashion, Jurgen Klopp asked journalists for a show of hands. “How many of you thought it was a penalty?” he said. Some responded and a few willingly kept arms down. Others thought the inquisition a tad irrelevant and wanted no role in the theatre. Had the Liverpool manager asked who thought he picked the wrong line-up against Everton, adding if anyone felt he made unnecessarily risky substitutions, the more ambivalent would have stretched their limbs. Managers can be forgiven such displays of emotion under duress, particularly after a Merseyside derby. This felt like a classic deflection. Merseyside derby tradition dictates there must be at least one perplexing decision to cause suitable levels of rage. There were several at Anfield as Sam Allardyce claimed the most unlikely point in what will rank one of the curious recent meetings between the clubs. Everton left satisfied with the result having left their supporters perturbed by much of what they had seen, especially for a dire 76 minutes. Klopp declared himself satisfied with the performance but disturbed by the circumstances of the 1-1 draw, superiority absurdly surrendered. The Liverpool manager’s gaze was fixed on referee Craig Pawson for gifting Everton the penalty from which Wayne Rooney struck the equaliser, his first goal in this fixture. “I don’t think it was a penalty,” he said. “We have to take it. Obviously you all think it is a penalty then all the fouls between (Ashley) Williams and (Dominic) Solanke should have been free kicks. That is how it is. We have to take it. The last moment Calvert-Lewin makes a step, he doesn’t push him or anything. It’s just body contact. That happens in midfield and 60 or 70 times it is not a free-kick. Today we get a penalty which wasn’t a penalty.”  Chastising the referee disguises multiple reasons why Mohamed Salah’s latest exquisite strike was not the winner – just as against Chelsea a fortnight ago. This is more than Liverpool ill-fortune. It is an unhealthy habit. Jurgen Klopp is visibly disappointed at the final whistle Credit: Reuters Before Pawson had any influence Liverpool could point to Sadio Mane’s decision to shoot rather than pass to two team-mates, who would have had a tap-in to make it 2-0 just before half time. They could point to Dejan Lovren’s decision to make any contact with Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who did not look in an especially dangerous position when he felt the Croatian’s shove leading to the 76th minute spot kick. Mohamed Salah scores to give Liverpool a much-deserved lead  Credit: Getty Images They could point to Klopp’s generosity when deciding to omit Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino from his line-up, and his even greater assistance when substituting Salah with the game still in the balance. If teamsheets can surrender momentum, Klopp had already offered the visitors hope before kick-off. Allardyce confirmed that, although he also suggested his side’s defensive could also have nullified the Brazilians.  Liverpool vs Everton player ratings Resting some of your best players in a Merseyside derby is unprecedented. Given Coutinho stayed on against Spartak Moscow for 90 minutes, despite Liverpool strolling through that second half, sparing him for Everton when West Bromwich Albion and Bournemouth are up next is bizarre. “I thought before the game (it was right), yes. After the game, still yes,” said Klopp. “Even when the result doesn’t show it. We did it like this for seven weeks. When we don’t win it I take the blame. I have no problem with that. The boys who came in were fresh and worked hard. We felt we needed fresh legs. We could have won it but didn’t, so blame me.” There will be denial, of course, but it smacked of being too preoccupied with how to win the next game instead of the current one. Liverpool were under no pressure but there was always the possibility they would give up one chance. That was all Everton needed after toiling their way through two-thirds of the game. From the first whistle the visitors assumed what can only be described as the Rorke’s Drift formation, dropping deep and trying to deny space. You could admire how their new manager had organised their defence, but it was archaic stuff in the direction of Simon Mignolet’s goal. Rooney, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Calvert-Lewin could do little more than chase long and second balls. It still yielded reward when Lovren was penalised and Rooney ensured it was the away fans who took most from the outcome, even if they too will expect much more when returning for the FA Cup tie in the New Year. That, too, is now guaranteed to be feisty. Klopp may think twice before leaving too many of his stars on the bench next time. 4:15PM A picture paints a thousand words... Jurgen Klopp bemoans a decision Credit: Reuters Sam Allardyce celebrates a derby day point Credit: Reuters 4:09PM Full-time You have to give Everton credit for keeping it at 1-0 for so long and then taking that opportunity when it arose.  Lovren had to be pulled away from the officials at the end but he shouldn't be moaning. He created a situation and gave the referee a decision to make.  It is definitely two points lost for Liverpool, but one gained for Everton as they move into tenth. The Reds end the weekend in fourth.  4:07PM 90 + 4 mins Liverpool are all camped out in the Everton box and Henderson takes a shot but it flies into Row Z.  With seconds left, Everton know they just have to keep it calm.  4:04PM 90 + 2 mins Firmino tries to meet Robertson's cross but he's stretching and the ball goes out of play. Klopp is now the more energetic of the two managers. 4:01PM 89 mins Liverpool get their 12th corner, which Coutinho takes but Lovren's header is well over.  Klavan takes his go at pushing Calvert-Lewin in the back but he -at least - does it in a relatively harmless area. Sigurdsson gets the free-kick into the box it comes to nothing. 3:58PM 86 mins Another Everton card with Schneirlin seeing yellow for a tackle on Milner, it was sloppy more than anything.  Coutinho takes the resulting free-kick and it's heading for the top left corner, but Pickford is wise to it as we head into the last five minutes. The snow has restarted as well so that pitch is very wet and slippy. 3:55PM Happy with a point, Sam? Jagielka will be the final Everton substitution. He's on in place of the captain and scorer, Rooney. Before that Solanke is replaced by Danny Ings. Great to see the striker back fit and getting those minutes in. 3:53PM 81 mins The visitors have the wind in their sails now as Lennon bombs down the right wing.  It will be a nervy ten minute for the Reds who were in complete control until Lovren's rush of blood to the head.  3:51PM 78 mins Lovren has just cost his team there. He pushes the Everton forward in the middle of his back and the referee has no choice as Calvert-Lewin hits the deck. The youngster was actually running onto a great Rooney pass, so you could say the veteran started and finished that goal.  It is definitely game on now as Coutinho replaces Oxlade-Chamberlain. 3:49PM EVERTON HAVE A PENALTY Lovren pushes Calvert-Lewin in the box. It's stupid, it's a pen. And it's a Rooney equaliser. His first goal in a Merseyside derby. 3:46PM 73 mins Everton have a corner! This is not a drill. Sigurdsson takes and Mignolet pushes it out but only as far as Lennon, who plays Kenny in. The youngster crosses into the box but the home keeper collects and normal service is resumed as Liverpool go on the attack. 3:43PM 70 mins It looks like Everton will make their final substitution soon with Lookman warming up.  There is still only one goal in it but the visitors can't get a foot on the ball with Liverpool just playing keep-ball until they feel the opportunity to attack is there.  3:40PM 67 mins Firmino comes, or Bobby, as the Reds fans love to call him. He replaces the goalscorer and gives Martina a moment to breathe after a torrid 67 mins failing to keep the Egyptian quiet.  3:37PM 64 mins Pickford keeps it at 1-0 as he gets the slightest of touches to push Oxlade-Chamberlain's cross away from Mane, who would've had a tap-in had he connected.  The home side getting into their stride again and Mane is fouled by Lennon about 25 yards from goal. Salah steps up  and Gomez heads it but can only send it over Pickford's bar.  3:35PM Not a great stat for the visitors Everton have had just two touches in the Red box. TWO! Liverpool have had 35... 3:33PM 60 mins Another Mane shot but Pickford is alert to the overhead kick. The Toffees keeper hasn't had much to do despite the home teams possession in the opening hour.  3:30PM Merry Christmas everyone There's a rendition of the famous song being sung around Anfield. Not the most tuneful I've ever heard. Apparently it was 'Everton', not everyone. I think I was blocking out the festive cheer 3:29PM 56 mins All Liverpool again at the moment. Klavan has clearly been sent forward for set-pieces and the Red keeps alternating their corner takers. Martina is still struggling to cope with Salah, but who wouldn't when the league's top scorer is on this form. 3:25PM 52 mins Sigurdsson plays in Calvert-Lewis and the youngster gets a shot off but it's wide. It won't matter because they already look more dangerous in the opening five minutes of the second-half, than they did the first 45 mins. Liverpool keen to get their second though. Holgate manages to flick the ball away after the home side get another corner.   3:21PM 49 mins Kenny has been so good for the visitors today and his header defies Solanke. Salah thinks he's got his second but his header, from just inside the six-yard box, goes past Pickford's near post.  3:20PM Second-half underway Liverpool have the lead thanks to Salah's super strike. The Toffees have only come from behind to win the derby once, when Peter Beardsley scored the winner in 1992. Can they pull off an Anfield miracle? 3:17PM Two changes Schneiderlin and Lennon come on for Niasse and Davies. Interesting... 3:05PM Half-time.  Liverpool go into the break with a 1-0 lead that is deserved after they were the only team attacking.  Salah's goal was superb but the home side may come to waste that possession if Everton manage to get an equaliser in the second-half. 3:03PM 45 + 2 mins  Mane tries to get in on the individual skill as he runs down the left, but he drags his shot wide of the post.  If he had looked up he had three teammates running into the box to join him and Klopp's face suggests he will tell him so at half-time.  3:01PM 45 mins An individual moment gives Liverpool the lead and their first shot on target. Martina had been struggling with Salah for most of the game.  Not content with giving his team the lead he has another shot but Williams heads it over.  2:58PM 42 mins - GOAL! SALAH! The Egyptian breaks the deadlock. Martina loses the ball on the edge of the box, Salah cuts in and his left foot shot sails past Pickford into the far left corner.  2:56PM 41 mins Despite Everton being stuck in their own half the fact they have kept Liverpool quiet should give them confidence going into the second-half.  Gueye gets the second yellow after he tackles Mane from behind. He kind of gets the ball but you can't come through a player's legs like that. 2:52PM 37 mins The first yellow goes to Sigurdsson and to be fair, it was late on Henderson, but I'm not sure if we haven't seen some more physical moments in the opening third of the game.  Red captain is receiving treatment but it doesn't look like anything the magic spray won't fix. 2:50PM 34 mins Rooney lets Mane sail past him and the Red continue their latest attack. It ends with a Robertson shot from the edge of the box that sails over Pickford goal.  Klopp's men lacking any real composure.  2:46PM 31 mins Despite all their possession, Liverpool haven't had a shot on target. Would that still be the case if Coutinho and Firmino were on the pitch? Oxlade-Chamberlain takes a corner and despite keeping possession there is no end result for the reds. As Lovren tries to play in Milner, Rooney goes down the heavy handed defensive route by pushing his former England teammate into the hoardings. By his head... 2:43PM 28 mins Everton actually get into Liverpool's box but Sigurdsson's tame shot is blocked - it was their first real attack which is a positive. But the home side are soon back on the front foot with Oxlade-Chamberlain sending his free-kick towards the far post but it sails out.  2:41PM 25 mins Gomez catches Martina with a knee that is a little bit too close to a certain area and although he is about 1 yard from the linesman there is no further action.  Henderson plays in Gomez whose cross into the box is cut back by Mane but Everton again manage to clear. Somehow. 2:36PM 21 mins Although the home side have had nearly all of the ball and some decent attacks they don't look as penetrative as we are used to seeing.  Everton are just camped out in their own half will have to pay attention if this is what they plan to do for the next 70-odd minutes.  2:34PM 18 mins The Toffees seem to have unstuck their feet and calmed their play slightly, compared to the opening 15 minutes.  Robertson is looking like a serious threat down the left though and Rooney will need to stay alert to help his defense. 2:30PM 15 mins  Martina is having a nightmare with Salah on the right and now Gomez joins the attack before Niasse comes and tackles the young defender. It bounces off the former Charlton man for a goal-kick.  It is all Liverpool at the moment and they have 76% possession. The visitors are riding their luck a little bit.  2:28PM 13 mins Rooney showing why defending has never been his strong point. He loses Robertson on the edge of the box and Kenny comes to the rescue. It is all go at Anfield. Oxlade-Chamberlain sees his shot blocked and Allardyce may want to get that heart monitor back on with all the screaming and shouting he is doing. 2:26PM 11 mins Sigurdsson blocks Milner's shot after Salah loses Martina. The Everton defender could be in for a tricky afternoon.  Mignolet comes rushing out and clears after Niasse latches onto a long ball with only Lovren near the striker. He manages to take the man and the striker. 2:24PM 9 mins All Liverpool at the moment and Henderson plays in Salah who sends a cross into the box for Mane but it's too high for the forward to get to and Pickford takes.  Both teams displaying British youth in the form of Calvert-Lewin, Robertson, Solanke, Gomez and Davies. Williams breaks down an attack on the edge of the box and Rooney tried to get it too Niasse but it's overhit.  Mane looks like he's going to get beyond Holgate but he slips in the box at the crucial moment. 2:21PM 6 mins Kenny takes a free-kick just inside the opposition half but it's too long for Calvert-Lewin to collect. I sense a trend with the Toffees knocking the ball long at every attempt.  Liverpool on the attack and Mane plays in Robertson on his left but his tame effort is easily collected by Pickford.  2:19PM 4 mins Liverpool on the attack and Martina's clearance leave Williams struggling. Lucking for the visitors Henderson sends it over the bar. Allardyce motions for his team to calm down.  2:16PM Kick-off Everton gets the game underway - at the second attempt -  as they go from left to right. Rooney sends it to Holgate, who sends it long and out of play. Is this their gameplan? 2:14PM Derby Day begins It's freezing outside so get comfortable and get those snacks sorted for Liverpool vs Everton. 2:11PM Minutes until kick-off This is a hard one to predict. Will Klopp's rotation defeat Allardyce's lack of changes? It feels like there will be goals with the team sides having conceded 47 between them so far this season. 2:06PM The visiting boss "We want to be committed and passionate but we don't want to lose our cool. " There have been 21 red cards in 50 Merseyside derbies and remember that Everton haven't won at Anfield in 17 Premier League games. The last one was in 1999. 2:00PM 15 minutes until kick-off Here's a reminder of the teams that sees Klopp making six changes and Allardyce making one. The big news is that Coutinho and Firmino are on the bench and Solanke starts only his second Premier League game. Liverpool: Mignolet, Gomez, Klavan, Lovren, Robertson, Milner, Henderson, Mane, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Solanke. Subs: Karius, Wijnaldum, Firmino, Coutinho, Can, Ings, Alexander-Arnold Everton: Pickford, Kenny, Martina, Holgate, Williams, Gueye, Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Niasse Subs: Robles, Schneiderlin, Keane, Jagielka, Lennon, Vlasic, Lookman 1:55PM Super Speedo Mick The Everton fan goes to games in his swimming attire for charity.  Speedo Mick continues his charity fundraising Credit: Getty Images 1:51PM We all agree then Even our columnist, Jamie Carragher, is surprised by the home team.  Liverpool teams a big surprise!!!!!!!— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) December 10, 2017 1:44PM Looking dapper, lads The lads arriving at Anfield... �� pic.twitter.com/3WO6asWGjq— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 10, 2017 1:43PM When your dog has got skills A Liverpool supporting dog Credit: Action Images 1:40PM Those teams Liverpool: Mignolet, Gomez, Klavan, Lovren, Robertson, Milner, Henderson, Mane, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Solanke. Subs: Karius, Wijnaldum, Firmino, Coutinho, Can, Ings, Alexander-Arnold Everton: Pickford, Kenny, Martina, Holgate, Williams, Gueye, Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Niasse Subs: Robles, Schneiderlin, Keane, Jagielka, Lennon, Vlasic, Lookman 1:37PM Just, no I'm not a fan of this phenomenon Half and half scarves Credit: Action Images 1:34PM That's one way to look at it... Henderson and Millner in the midfield. God bless our team.#LIVEVE— Mrinmoy Biswas (@Mrinmoy_sg8) December 10, 2017 1:30PM Sam keeping it steady The visitors have made only one change as Allardyce looks to beat Liverpool with his fourth different club after Crystal palace, West Ham and Bolton.  He got off to a winning start with the 2-0 victory over Hudderfield in the league last weekend and both scorer's - Calvert-Lewin and Sigurdsson - start today.  1:26PM Are we all over that surprise? No Firmino and Coutinho in the starting XI and I think we can safely say that it's a shock. Neither player is injured and they have already scored nine goals between them this season.  Six changes  in contrast to Everton's one seems a lot for a team that has won four of their last five league games. The team scored 15 goals in those four victories. 1:19PM Everton team Not too many surprises for the Toffees... Pickford, Kenny, Martina, Holgate, Williams, Gueye, Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Niasse Subs:  Robles, Schneiderlin, Keane, Jagielka, Lennon, Vlasic, Lookman 1:17PM Liverpool team The home fans may be a little surprised by this team... Mignolet, Gomez, Klavan, Lovren, Robertson, Milner, Henderson, Mane, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Solanke. Subs: Karius, Wijnaldum, Firmino, Coutinho, Can, Ings, Alexander-Arnold 1:15PM Good afternoon Hello! It's 'Derby Day' and we're starting with the Merseyside derby. Let's get the teams news.

Liverpool 1 Everton 1: Wayne Rooney converts for a point after Dejan Lovren's costly push

In a schoolmasterly fashion, Jurgen Klopp asked journalists for a show of hands. “How many of you thought it was a penalty?” he said. Some responded and a few willingly kept arms down. Others thought the inquisition a tad irrelevant and wanted no role in the theatre. Had the Liverpool manager asked who thought he picked the wrong line-up against Everton, adding if anyone felt he made unnecessarily risky substitutions, the more ambivalent would have stretched their limbs. Managers can be forgiven such displays of emotion under duress, particularly after a Merseyside derby. This felt like a classic deflection. Merseyside derby tradition dictates there must be at least one perplexing decision to cause suitable levels of rage. There were several at Anfield as Sam Allardyce claimed the most unlikely point in what will rank one of the curious recent meetings between the clubs. Everton left satisfied with the result having left their supporters perturbed by much of what they had seen, especially for a dire 76 minutes. Klopp declared himself satisfied with the performance but disturbed by the circumstances of the 1-1 draw, superiority absurdly surrendered. The Liverpool manager’s gaze was fixed on referee Craig Pawson for gifting Everton the penalty from which Wayne Rooney struck the equaliser, his first goal in this fixture. “I don’t think it was a penalty,” he said. “We have to take it. Obviously you all think it is a penalty then all the fouls between (Ashley) Williams and (Dominic) Solanke should have been free kicks. That is how it is. We have to take it. The last moment Calvert-Lewin makes a step, he doesn’t push him or anything. It’s just body contact. That happens in midfield and 60 or 70 times it is not a free-kick. Today we get a penalty which wasn’t a penalty.”  Chastising the referee disguises multiple reasons why Mohamed Salah’s latest exquisite strike was not the winner – just as against Chelsea a fortnight ago. This is more than Liverpool ill-fortune. It is an unhealthy habit. Jurgen Klopp is visibly disappointed at the final whistle Credit: Reuters Before Pawson had any influence Liverpool could point to Sadio Mane’s decision to shoot rather than pass to two team-mates, who would have had a tap-in to make it 2-0 just before half time. They could point to Dejan Lovren’s decision to make any contact with Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who did not look in an especially dangerous position when he felt the Croatian’s shove leading to the 76th minute spot kick. Mohamed Salah scores to give Liverpool a much-deserved lead  Credit: Getty Images They could point to Klopp’s generosity when deciding to omit Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino from his line-up, and his even greater assistance when substituting Salah with the game still in the balance. If teamsheets can surrender momentum, Klopp had already offered the visitors hope before kick-off. Allardyce confirmed that, although he also suggested his side’s defensive could also have nullified the Brazilians.  Liverpool vs Everton player ratings Resting some of your best players in a Merseyside derby is unprecedented. Given Coutinho stayed on against Spartak Moscow for 90 minutes, despite Liverpool strolling through that second half, sparing him for Everton when West Bromwich Albion and Bournemouth are up next is bizarre. “I thought before the game (it was right), yes. After the game, still yes,” said Klopp. “Even when the result doesn’t show it. We did it like this for seven weeks. When we don’t win it I take the blame. I have no problem with that. The boys who came in were fresh and worked hard. We felt we needed fresh legs. We could have won it but didn’t, so blame me.” There will be denial, of course, but it smacked of being too preoccupied with how to win the next game instead of the current one. Liverpool were under no pressure but there was always the possibility they would give up one chance. That was all Everton needed after toiling their way through two-thirds of the game. From the first whistle the visitors assumed what can only be described as the Rorke’s Drift formation, dropping deep and trying to deny space. You could admire how their new manager had organised their defence, but it was archaic stuff in the direction of Simon Mignolet’s goal. Rooney, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Calvert-Lewin could do little more than chase long and second balls. It still yielded reward when Lovren was penalised and Rooney ensured it was the away fans who took most from the outcome, even if they too will expect much more when returning for the FA Cup tie in the New Year. That, too, is now guaranteed to be feisty. Klopp may think twice before leaving too many of his stars on the bench next time. 4:15PM A picture paints a thousand words... Jurgen Klopp bemoans a decision Credit: Reuters Sam Allardyce celebrates a derby day point Credit: Reuters 4:09PM Full-time You have to give Everton credit for keeping it at 1-0 for so long and then taking that opportunity when it arose.  Lovren had to be pulled away from the officials at the end but he shouldn't be moaning. He created a situation and gave the referee a decision to make.  It is definitely two points lost for Liverpool, but one gained for Everton as they move into tenth. The Reds end the weekend in fourth.  4:07PM 90 + 4 mins Liverpool are all camped out in the Everton box and Henderson takes a shot but it flies into Row Z.  With seconds left, Everton know they just have to keep it calm.  4:04PM 90 + 2 mins Firmino tries to meet Robertson's cross but he's stretching and the ball goes out of play. Klopp is now the more energetic of the two managers. 4:01PM 89 mins Liverpool get their 12th corner, which Coutinho takes but Lovren's header is well over.  Klavan takes his go at pushing Calvert-Lewin in the back but he -at least - does it in a relatively harmless area. Sigurdsson gets the free-kick into the box it comes to nothing. 3:58PM 86 mins Another Everton card with Schneirlin seeing yellow for a tackle on Milner, it was sloppy more than anything.  Coutinho takes the resulting free-kick and it's heading for the top left corner, but Pickford is wise to it as we head into the last five minutes. The snow has restarted as well so that pitch is very wet and slippy. 3:55PM Happy with a point, Sam? Jagielka will be the final Everton substitution. He's on in place of the captain and scorer, Rooney. Before that Solanke is replaced by Danny Ings. Great to see the striker back fit and getting those minutes in. 3:53PM 81 mins The visitors have the wind in their sails now as Lennon bombs down the right wing.  It will be a nervy ten minute for the Reds who were in complete control until Lovren's rush of blood to the head.  3:51PM 78 mins Lovren has just cost his team there. He pushes the Everton forward in the middle of his back and the referee has no choice as Calvert-Lewin hits the deck. The youngster was actually running onto a great Rooney pass, so you could say the veteran started and finished that goal.  It is definitely game on now as Coutinho replaces Oxlade-Chamberlain. 3:49PM EVERTON HAVE A PENALTY Lovren pushes Calvert-Lewin in the box. It's stupid, it's a pen. And it's a Rooney equaliser. His first goal in a Merseyside derby. 3:46PM 73 mins Everton have a corner! This is not a drill. Sigurdsson takes and Mignolet pushes it out but only as far as Lennon, who plays Kenny in. The youngster crosses into the box but the home keeper collects and normal service is resumed as Liverpool go on the attack. 3:43PM 70 mins It looks like Everton will make their final substitution soon with Lookman warming up.  There is still only one goal in it but the visitors can't get a foot on the ball with Liverpool just playing keep-ball until they feel the opportunity to attack is there.  3:40PM 67 mins Firmino comes, or Bobby, as the Reds fans love to call him. He replaces the goalscorer and gives Martina a moment to breathe after a torrid 67 mins failing to keep the Egyptian quiet.  3:37PM 64 mins Pickford keeps it at 1-0 as he gets the slightest of touches to push Oxlade-Chamberlain's cross away from Mane, who would've had a tap-in had he connected.  The home side getting into their stride again and Mane is fouled by Lennon about 25 yards from goal. Salah steps up  and Gomez heads it but can only send it over Pickford's bar.  3:35PM Not a great stat for the visitors Everton have had just two touches in the Red box. TWO! Liverpool have had 35... 3:33PM 60 mins Another Mane shot but Pickford is alert to the overhead kick. The Toffees keeper hasn't had much to do despite the home teams possession in the opening hour.  3:30PM Merry Christmas everyone There's a rendition of the famous song being sung around Anfield. Not the most tuneful I've ever heard. Apparently it was 'Everton', not everyone. I think I was blocking out the festive cheer 3:29PM 56 mins All Liverpool again at the moment. Klavan has clearly been sent forward for set-pieces and the Red keeps alternating their corner takers. Martina is still struggling to cope with Salah, but who wouldn't when the league's top scorer is on this form. 3:25PM 52 mins Sigurdsson plays in Calvert-Lewis and the youngster gets a shot off but it's wide. It won't matter because they already look more dangerous in the opening five minutes of the second-half, than they did the first 45 mins. Liverpool keen to get their second though. Holgate manages to flick the ball away after the home side get another corner.   3:21PM 49 mins Kenny has been so good for the visitors today and his header defies Solanke. Salah thinks he's got his second but his header, from just inside the six-yard box, goes past Pickford's near post.  3:20PM Second-half underway Liverpool have the lead thanks to Salah's super strike. The Toffees have only come from behind to win the derby once, when Peter Beardsley scored the winner in 1992. Can they pull off an Anfield miracle? 3:17PM Two changes Schneiderlin and Lennon come on for Niasse and Davies. Interesting... 3:05PM Half-time.  Liverpool go into the break with a 1-0 lead that is deserved after they were the only team attacking.  Salah's goal was superb but the home side may come to waste that possession if Everton manage to get an equaliser in the second-half. 3:03PM 45 + 2 mins  Mane tries to get in on the individual skill as he runs down the left, but he drags his shot wide of the post.  If he had looked up he had three teammates running into the box to join him and Klopp's face suggests he will tell him so at half-time.  3:01PM 45 mins An individual moment gives Liverpool the lead and their first shot on target. Martina had been struggling with Salah for most of the game.  Not content with giving his team the lead he has another shot but Williams heads it over.  2:58PM 42 mins - GOAL! SALAH! The Egyptian breaks the deadlock. Martina loses the ball on the edge of the box, Salah cuts in and his left foot shot sails past Pickford into the far left corner.  2:56PM 41 mins Despite Everton being stuck in their own half the fact they have kept Liverpool quiet should give them confidence going into the second-half.  Gueye gets the second yellow after he tackles Mane from behind. He kind of gets the ball but you can't come through a player's legs like that. 2:52PM 37 mins The first yellow goes to Sigurdsson and to be fair, it was late on Henderson, but I'm not sure if we haven't seen some more physical moments in the opening third of the game.  Red captain is receiving treatment but it doesn't look like anything the magic spray won't fix. 2:50PM 34 mins Rooney lets Mane sail past him and the Red continue their latest attack. It ends with a Robertson shot from the edge of the box that sails over Pickford goal.  Klopp's men lacking any real composure.  2:46PM 31 mins Despite all their possession, Liverpool haven't had a shot on target. Would that still be the case if Coutinho and Firmino were on the pitch? Oxlade-Chamberlain takes a corner and despite keeping possession there is no end result for the reds. As Lovren tries to play in Milner, Rooney goes down the heavy handed defensive route by pushing his former England teammate into the hoardings. By his head... 2:43PM 28 mins Everton actually get into Liverpool's box but Sigurdsson's tame shot is blocked - it was their first real attack which is a positive. But the home side are soon back on the front foot with Oxlade-Chamberlain sending his free-kick towards the far post but it sails out.  2:41PM 25 mins Gomez catches Martina with a knee that is a little bit too close to a certain area and although he is about 1 yard from the linesman there is no further action.  Henderson plays in Gomez whose cross into the box is cut back by Mane but Everton again manage to clear. Somehow. 2:36PM 21 mins Although the home side have had nearly all of the ball and some decent attacks they don't look as penetrative as we are used to seeing.  Everton are just camped out in their own half will have to pay attention if this is what they plan to do for the next 70-odd minutes.  2:34PM 18 mins The Toffees seem to have unstuck their feet and calmed their play slightly, compared to the opening 15 minutes.  Robertson is looking like a serious threat down the left though and Rooney will need to stay alert to help his defense. 2:30PM 15 mins  Martina is having a nightmare with Salah on the right and now Gomez joins the attack before Niasse comes and tackles the young defender. It bounces off the former Charlton man for a goal-kick.  It is all Liverpool at the moment and they have 76% possession. The visitors are riding their luck a little bit.  2:28PM 13 mins Rooney showing why defending has never been his strong point. He loses Robertson on the edge of the box and Kenny comes to the rescue. It is all go at Anfield. Oxlade-Chamberlain sees his shot blocked and Allardyce may want to get that heart monitor back on with all the screaming and shouting he is doing. 2:26PM 11 mins Sigurdsson blocks Milner's shot after Salah loses Martina. The Everton defender could be in for a tricky afternoon.  Mignolet comes rushing out and clears after Niasse latches onto a long ball with only Lovren near the striker. He manages to take the man and the striker. 2:24PM 9 mins All Liverpool at the moment and Henderson plays in Salah who sends a cross into the box for Mane but it's too high for the forward to get to and Pickford takes.  Both teams displaying British youth in the form of Calvert-Lewin, Robertson, Solanke, Gomez and Davies. Williams breaks down an attack on the edge of the box and Rooney tried to get it too Niasse but it's overhit.  Mane looks like he's going to get beyond Holgate but he slips in the box at the crucial moment. 2:21PM 6 mins Kenny takes a free-kick just inside the opposition half but it's too long for Calvert-Lewin to collect. I sense a trend with the Toffees knocking the ball long at every attempt.  Liverpool on the attack and Mane plays in Robertson on his left but his tame effort is easily collected by Pickford.  2:19PM 4 mins Liverpool on the attack and Martina's clearance leave Williams struggling. Lucking for the visitors Henderson sends it over the bar. Allardyce motions for his team to calm down.  2:16PM Kick-off Everton gets the game underway - at the second attempt -  as they go from left to right. Rooney sends it to Holgate, who sends it long and out of play. Is this their gameplan? 2:14PM Derby Day begins It's freezing outside so get comfortable and get those snacks sorted for Liverpool vs Everton. 2:11PM Minutes until kick-off This is a hard one to predict. Will Klopp's rotation defeat Allardyce's lack of changes? It feels like there will be goals with the team sides having conceded 47 between them so far this season. 2:06PM The visiting boss "We want to be committed and passionate but we don't want to lose our cool. " There have been 21 red cards in 50 Merseyside derbies and remember that Everton haven't won at Anfield in 17 Premier League games. The last one was in 1999. 2:00PM 15 minutes until kick-off Here's a reminder of the teams that sees Klopp making six changes and Allardyce making one. The big news is that Coutinho and Firmino are on the bench and Solanke starts only his second Premier League game. Liverpool: Mignolet, Gomez, Klavan, Lovren, Robertson, Milner, Henderson, Mane, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Solanke. Subs: Karius, Wijnaldum, Firmino, Coutinho, Can, Ings, Alexander-Arnold Everton: Pickford, Kenny, Martina, Holgate, Williams, Gueye, Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Niasse Subs: Robles, Schneiderlin, Keane, Jagielka, Lennon, Vlasic, Lookman 1:55PM Super Speedo Mick The Everton fan goes to games in his swimming attire for charity.  Speedo Mick continues his charity fundraising Credit: Getty Images 1:51PM We all agree then Even our columnist, Jamie Carragher, is surprised by the home team.  Liverpool teams a big surprise!!!!!!!— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) December 10, 2017 1:44PM Looking dapper, lads The lads arriving at Anfield... �� pic.twitter.com/3WO6asWGjq— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 10, 2017 1:43PM When your dog has got skills A Liverpool supporting dog Credit: Action Images 1:40PM Those teams Liverpool: Mignolet, Gomez, Klavan, Lovren, Robertson, Milner, Henderson, Mane, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Solanke. Subs: Karius, Wijnaldum, Firmino, Coutinho, Can, Ings, Alexander-Arnold Everton: Pickford, Kenny, Martina, Holgate, Williams, Gueye, Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Niasse Subs: Robles, Schneiderlin, Keane, Jagielka, Lennon, Vlasic, Lookman 1:37PM Just, no I'm not a fan of this phenomenon Half and half scarves Credit: Action Images 1:34PM That's one way to look at it... Henderson and Millner in the midfield. God bless our team.#LIVEVE— Mrinmoy Biswas (@Mrinmoy_sg8) December 10, 2017 1:30PM Sam keeping it steady The visitors have made only one change as Allardyce looks to beat Liverpool with his fourth different club after Crystal palace, West Ham and Bolton.  He got off to a winning start with the 2-0 victory over Hudderfield in the league last weekend and both scorer's - Calvert-Lewin and Sigurdsson - start today.  1:26PM Are we all over that surprise? No Firmino and Coutinho in the starting XI and I think we can safely say that it's a shock. Neither player is injured and they have already scored nine goals between them this season.  Six changes  in contrast to Everton's one seems a lot for a team that has won four of their last five league games. The team scored 15 goals in those four victories. 1:19PM Everton team Not too many surprises for the Toffees... Pickford, Kenny, Martina, Holgate, Williams, Gueye, Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Niasse Subs:  Robles, Schneiderlin, Keane, Jagielka, Lennon, Vlasic, Lookman 1:17PM Liverpool team The home fans may be a little surprised by this team... Mignolet, Gomez, Klavan, Lovren, Robertson, Milner, Henderson, Mane, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Solanke. Subs: Karius, Wijnaldum, Firmino, Coutinho, Can, Ings, Alexander-Arnold 1:15PM Good afternoon Hello! It's 'Derby Day' and we're starting with the Merseyside derby. Let's get the teams news.

Liverpool 1 Everton 1: Wayne Rooney converts for a point after Dejan Lovren's costly push

In a schoolmasterly fashion, Jurgen Klopp asked journalists for a show of hands. “How many of you thought it was a penalty?” he said. Some responded and a few willingly kept arms down. Others thought the inquisition a tad irrelevant and wanted no role in the theatre. Had the Liverpool manager asked who thought he picked the wrong line-up against Everton, adding if anyone felt he made unnecessarily risky substitutions, the more ambivalent would have stretched their limbs. Managers can be forgiven such displays of emotion under duress, particularly after a Merseyside derby. This felt like a classic deflection. Merseyside derby tradition dictates there must be at least one perplexing decision to cause suitable levels of rage. There were several at Anfield as Sam Allardyce claimed the most unlikely point in what will rank one of the curious recent meetings between the clubs. Everton left satisfied with the result having left their supporters perturbed by much of what they had seen, especially for a dire 76 minutes. Klopp declared himself satisfied with the performance but disturbed by the circumstances of the 1-1 draw, superiority absurdly surrendered. The Liverpool manager’s gaze was fixed on referee Craig Pawson for gifting Everton the penalty from which Wayne Rooney struck the equaliser, his first goal in this fixture. “I don’t think it was a penalty,” he said. “We have to take it. Obviously you all think it is a penalty then all the fouls between (Ashley) Williams and (Dominic) Solanke should have been free kicks. That is how it is. We have to take it. The last moment Calvert-Lewin makes a step, he doesn’t push him or anything. It’s just body contact. That happens in midfield and 60 or 70 times it is not a free-kick. Today we get a penalty which wasn’t a penalty.”  Chastising the referee disguises multiple reasons why Mohamed Salah’s latest exquisite strike was not the winner – just as against Chelsea a fortnight ago. This is more than Liverpool ill-fortune. It is an unhealthy habit. Jurgen Klopp is visibly disappointed at the final whistle Credit: Reuters Before Pawson had any influence Liverpool could point to Sadio Mane’s decision to shoot rather than pass to two team-mates, who would have had a tap-in to make it 2-0 just before half time. They could point to Dejan Lovren’s decision to make any contact with Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who did not look in an especially dangerous position when he felt the Croatian’s shove leading to the 76th minute spot kick. Mohamed Salah scores to give Liverpool a much-deserved lead  Credit: Getty Images They could point to Klopp’s generosity when deciding to omit Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino from his line-up, and his even greater assistance when substituting Salah with the game still in the balance. If teamsheets can surrender momentum, Klopp had already offered the visitors hope before kick-off. Allardyce confirmed that, although he also suggested his side’s defensive could also have nullified the Brazilians.  Liverpool vs Everton player ratings Resting some of your best players in a Merseyside derby is unprecedented. Given Coutinho stayed on against Spartak Moscow for 90 minutes, despite Liverpool strolling through that second half, sparing him for Everton when West Bromwich Albion and Bournemouth are up next is bizarre. “I thought before the game (it was right), yes. After the game, still yes,” said Klopp. “Even when the result doesn’t show it. We did it like this for seven weeks. When we don’t win it I take the blame. I have no problem with that. The boys who came in were fresh and worked hard. We felt we needed fresh legs. We could have won it but didn’t, so blame me.” There will be denial, of course, but it smacked of being too preoccupied with how to win the next game instead of the current one. Liverpool were under no pressure but there was always the possibility they would give up one chance. That was all Everton needed after toiling their way through two-thirds of the game. From the first whistle the visitors assumed what can only be described as the Rorke’s Drift formation, dropping deep and trying to deny space. You could admire how their new manager had organised their defence, but it was archaic stuff in the direction of Simon Mignolet’s goal. Rooney, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Calvert-Lewin could do little more than chase long and second balls. It still yielded reward when Lovren was penalised and Rooney ensured it was the away fans who took most from the outcome, even if they too will expect much more when returning for the FA Cup tie in the New Year. That, too, is now guaranteed to be feisty. Klopp may think twice before leaving too many of his stars on the bench next time. 4:15PM A picture paints a thousand words... Jurgen Klopp bemoans a decision Credit: Reuters Sam Allardyce celebrates a derby day point Credit: Reuters 4:09PM Full-time You have to give Everton credit for keeping it at 1-0 for so long and then taking that opportunity when it arose.  Lovren had to be pulled away from the officials at the end but he shouldn't be moaning. He created a situation and gave the referee a decision to make.  It is definitely two points lost for Liverpool, but one gained for Everton as they move into tenth. The Reds end the weekend in fourth.  4:07PM 90 + 4 mins Liverpool are all camped out in the Everton box and Henderson takes a shot but it flies into Row Z.  With seconds left, Everton know they just have to keep it calm.  4:04PM 90 + 2 mins Firmino tries to meet Robertson's cross but he's stretching and the ball goes out of play. Klopp is now the more energetic of the two managers. 4:01PM 89 mins Liverpool get their 12th corner, which Coutinho takes but Lovren's header is well over.  Klavan takes his go at pushing Calvert-Lewin in the back but he -at least - does it in a relatively harmless area. Sigurdsson gets the free-kick into the box it comes to nothing. 3:58PM 86 mins Another Everton card with Schneirlin seeing yellow for a tackle on Milner, it was sloppy more than anything.  Coutinho takes the resulting free-kick and it's heading for the top left corner, but Pickford is wise to it as we head into the last five minutes. The snow has restarted as well so that pitch is very wet and slippy. 3:55PM Happy with a point, Sam? Jagielka will be the final Everton substitution. He's on in place of the captain and scorer, Rooney. Before that Solanke is replaced by Danny Ings. Great to see the striker back fit and getting those minutes in. 3:53PM 81 mins The visitors have the wind in their sails now as Lennon bombs down the right wing.  It will be a nervy ten minute for the Reds who were in complete control until Lovren's rush of blood to the head.  3:51PM 78 mins Lovren has just cost his team there. He pushes the Everton forward in the middle of his back and the referee has no choice as Calvert-Lewin hits the deck. The youngster was actually running onto a great Rooney pass, so you could say the veteran started and finished that goal.  It is definitely game on now as Coutinho replaces Oxlade-Chamberlain. 3:49PM EVERTON HAVE A PENALTY Lovren pushes Calvert-Lewin in the box. It's stupid, it's a pen. And it's a Rooney equaliser. His first goal in a Merseyside derby. 3:46PM 73 mins Everton have a corner! This is not a drill. Sigurdsson takes and Mignolet pushes it out but only as far as Lennon, who plays Kenny in. The youngster crosses into the box but the home keeper collects and normal service is resumed as Liverpool go on the attack. 3:43PM 70 mins It looks like Everton will make their final substitution soon with Lookman warming up.  There is still only one goal in it but the visitors can't get a foot on the ball with Liverpool just playing keep-ball until they feel the opportunity to attack is there.  3:40PM 67 mins Firmino comes, or Bobby, as the Reds fans love to call him. He replaces the goalscorer and gives Martina a moment to breathe after a torrid 67 mins failing to keep the Egyptian quiet.  3:37PM 64 mins Pickford keeps it at 1-0 as he gets the slightest of touches to push Oxlade-Chamberlain's cross away from Mane, who would've had a tap-in had he connected.  The home side getting into their stride again and Mane is fouled by Lennon about 25 yards from goal. Salah steps up  and Gomez heads it but can only send it over Pickford's bar.  3:35PM Not a great stat for the visitors Everton have had just two touches in the Red box. TWO! Liverpool have had 35... 3:33PM 60 mins Another Mane shot but Pickford is alert to the overhead kick. The Toffees keeper hasn't had much to do despite the home teams possession in the opening hour.  3:30PM Merry Christmas everyone There's a rendition of the famous song being sung around Anfield. Not the most tuneful I've ever heard. Apparently it was 'Everton', not everyone. I think I was blocking out the festive cheer 3:29PM 56 mins All Liverpool again at the moment. Klavan has clearly been sent forward for set-pieces and the Red keeps alternating their corner takers. Martina is still struggling to cope with Salah, but who wouldn't when the league's top scorer is on this form. 3:25PM 52 mins Sigurdsson plays in Calvert-Lewis and the youngster gets a shot off but it's wide. It won't matter because they already look more dangerous in the opening five minutes of the second-half, than they did the first 45 mins. Liverpool keen to get their second though. Holgate manages to flick the ball away after the home side get another corner.   3:21PM 49 mins Kenny has been so good for the visitors today and his header defies Solanke. Salah thinks he's got his second but his header, from just inside the six-yard box, goes past Pickford's near post.  3:20PM Second-half underway Liverpool have the lead thanks to Salah's super strike. The Toffees have only come from behind to win the derby once, when Peter Beardsley scored the winner in 1992. Can they pull off an Anfield miracle? 3:17PM Two changes Schneiderlin and Lennon come on for Niasse and Davies. Interesting... 3:05PM Half-time.  Liverpool go into the break with a 1-0 lead that is deserved after they were the only team attacking.  Salah's goal was superb but the home side may come to waste that possession if Everton manage to get an equaliser in the second-half. 3:03PM 45 + 2 mins  Mane tries to get in on the individual skill as he runs down the left, but he drags his shot wide of the post.  If he had looked up he had three teammates running into the box to join him and Klopp's face suggests he will tell him so at half-time.  3:01PM 45 mins An individual moment gives Liverpool the lead and their first shot on target. Martina had been struggling with Salah for most of the game.  Not content with giving his team the lead he has another shot but Williams heads it over.  2:58PM 42 mins - GOAL! SALAH! The Egyptian breaks the deadlock. Martina loses the ball on the edge of the box, Salah cuts in and his left foot shot sails past Pickford into the far left corner.  2:56PM 41 mins Despite Everton being stuck in their own half the fact they have kept Liverpool quiet should give them confidence going into the second-half.  Gueye gets the second yellow after he tackles Mane from behind. He kind of gets the ball but you can't come through a player's legs like that. 2:52PM 37 mins The first yellow goes to Sigurdsson and to be fair, it was late on Henderson, but I'm not sure if we haven't seen some more physical moments in the opening third of the game.  Red captain is receiving treatment but it doesn't look like anything the magic spray won't fix. 2:50PM 34 mins Rooney lets Mane sail past him and the Red continue their latest attack. It ends with a Robertson shot from the edge of the box that sails over Pickford goal.  Klopp's men lacking any real composure.  2:46PM 31 mins Despite all their possession, Liverpool haven't had a shot on target. Would that still be the case if Coutinho and Firmino were on the pitch? Oxlade-Chamberlain takes a corner and despite keeping possession there is no end result for the reds. As Lovren tries to play in Milner, Rooney goes down the heavy handed defensive route by pushing his former England teammate into the hoardings. By his head... 2:43PM 28 mins Everton actually get into Liverpool's box but Sigurdsson's tame shot is blocked - it was their first real attack which is a positive. But the home side are soon back on the front foot with Oxlade-Chamberlain sending his free-kick towards the far post but it sails out.  2:41PM 25 mins Gomez catches Martina with a knee that is a little bit too close to a certain area and although he is about 1 yard from the linesman there is no further action.  Henderson plays in Gomez whose cross into the box is cut back by Mane but Everton again manage to clear. Somehow. 2:36PM 21 mins Although the home side have had nearly all of the ball and some decent attacks they don't look as penetrative as we are used to seeing.  Everton are just camped out in their own half will have to pay attention if this is what they plan to do for the next 70-odd minutes.  2:34PM 18 mins The Toffees seem to have unstuck their feet and calmed their play slightly, compared to the opening 15 minutes.  Robertson is looking like a serious threat down the left though and Rooney will need to stay alert to help his defense. 2:30PM 15 mins  Martina is having a nightmare with Salah on the right and now Gomez joins the attack before Niasse comes and tackles the young defender. It bounces off the former Charlton man for a goal-kick.  It is all Liverpool at the moment and they have 76% possession. The visitors are riding their luck a little bit.  2:28PM 13 mins Rooney showing why defending has never been his strong point. He loses Robertson on the edge of the box and Kenny comes to the rescue. It is all go at Anfield. Oxlade-Chamberlain sees his shot blocked and Allardyce may want to get that heart monitor back on with all the screaming and shouting he is doing. 2:26PM 11 mins Sigurdsson blocks Milner's shot after Salah loses Martina. The Everton defender could be in for a tricky afternoon.  Mignolet comes rushing out and clears after Niasse latches onto a long ball with only Lovren near the striker. He manages to take the man and the striker. 2:24PM 9 mins All Liverpool at the moment and Henderson plays in Salah who sends a cross into the box for Mane but it's too high for the forward to get to and Pickford takes.  Both teams displaying British youth in the form of Calvert-Lewin, Robertson, Solanke, Gomez and Davies. Williams breaks down an attack on the edge of the box and Rooney tried to get it too Niasse but it's overhit.  Mane looks like he's going to get beyond Holgate but he slips in the box at the crucial moment. 2:21PM 6 mins Kenny takes a free-kick just inside the opposition half but it's too long for Calvert-Lewin to collect. I sense a trend with the Toffees knocking the ball long at every attempt.  Liverpool on the attack and Mane plays in Robertson on his left but his tame effort is easily collected by Pickford.  2:19PM 4 mins Liverpool on the attack and Martina's clearance leave Williams struggling. Lucking for the visitors Henderson sends it over the bar. Allardyce motions for his team to calm down.  2:16PM Kick-off Everton gets the game underway - at the second attempt -  as they go from left to right. Rooney sends it to Holgate, who sends it long and out of play. Is this their gameplan? 2:14PM Derby Day begins It's freezing outside so get comfortable and get those snacks sorted for Liverpool vs Everton. 2:11PM Minutes until kick-off This is a hard one to predict. Will Klopp's rotation defeat Allardyce's lack of changes? It feels like there will be goals with the team sides having conceded 47 between them so far this season. 2:06PM The visiting boss "We want to be committed and passionate but we don't want to lose our cool. " There have been 21 red cards in 50 Merseyside derbies and remember that Everton haven't won at Anfield in 17 Premier League games. The last one was in 1999. 2:00PM 15 minutes until kick-off Here's a reminder of the teams that sees Klopp making six changes and Allardyce making one. The big news is that Coutinho and Firmino are on the bench and Solanke starts only his second Premier League game. Liverpool: Mignolet, Gomez, Klavan, Lovren, Robertson, Milner, Henderson, Mane, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Solanke. Subs: Karius, Wijnaldum, Firmino, Coutinho, Can, Ings, Alexander-Arnold Everton: Pickford, Kenny, Martina, Holgate, Williams, Gueye, Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Niasse Subs: Robles, Schneiderlin, Keane, Jagielka, Lennon, Vlasic, Lookman 1:55PM Super Speedo Mick The Everton fan goes to games in his swimming attire for charity.  Speedo Mick continues his charity fundraising Credit: Getty Images 1:51PM We all agree then Even our columnist, Jamie Carragher, is surprised by the home team.  Liverpool teams a big surprise!!!!!!!— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) December 10, 2017 1:44PM Looking dapper, lads The lads arriving at Anfield... �� pic.twitter.com/3WO6asWGjq— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 10, 2017 1:43PM When your dog has got skills A Liverpool supporting dog Credit: Action Images 1:40PM Those teams Liverpool: Mignolet, Gomez, Klavan, Lovren, Robertson, Milner, Henderson, Mane, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Solanke. Subs: Karius, Wijnaldum, Firmino, Coutinho, Can, Ings, Alexander-Arnold Everton: Pickford, Kenny, Martina, Holgate, Williams, Gueye, Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Niasse Subs: Robles, Schneiderlin, Keane, Jagielka, Lennon, Vlasic, Lookman 1:37PM Just, no I'm not a fan of this phenomenon Half and half scarves Credit: Action Images 1:34PM That's one way to look at it... Henderson and Millner in the midfield. God bless our team.#LIVEVE— Mrinmoy Biswas (@Mrinmoy_sg8) December 10, 2017 1:30PM Sam keeping it steady The visitors have made only one change as Allardyce looks to beat Liverpool with his fourth different club after Crystal palace, West Ham and Bolton.  He got off to a winning start with the 2-0 victory over Hudderfield in the league last weekend and both scorer's - Calvert-Lewin and Sigurdsson - start today.  1:26PM Are we all over that surprise? No Firmino and Coutinho in the starting XI and I think we can safely say that it's a shock. Neither player is injured and they have already scored nine goals between them this season.  Six changes  in contrast to Everton's one seems a lot for a team that has won four of their last five league games. The team scored 15 goals in those four victories. 1:19PM Everton team Not too many surprises for the Toffees... Pickford, Kenny, Martina, Holgate, Williams, Gueye, Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Niasse Subs:  Robles, Schneiderlin, Keane, Jagielka, Lennon, Vlasic, Lookman 1:17PM Liverpool team The home fans may be a little surprised by this team... Mignolet, Gomez, Klavan, Lovren, Robertson, Milner, Henderson, Mane, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Solanke. Subs: Karius, Wijnaldum, Firmino, Coutinho, Can, Ings, Alexander-Arnold 1:15PM Good afternoon Hello! It's 'Derby Day' and we're starting with the Merseyside derby. Let's get the teams news.

Liverpool 1 Everton 1: Wayne Rooney converts for a point after Dejan Lovren's costly push

In a schoolmasterly fashion, Jurgen Klopp asked journalists for a show of hands. “How many of you thought it was a penalty?” he said. Some responded and a few willingly kept arms down. Others thought the inquisition a tad irrelevant and wanted no role in the theatre. Had the Liverpool manager asked who thought he picked the wrong line-up against Everton, adding if anyone felt he made unnecessarily risky substitutions, the more ambivalent would have stretched their limbs. Managers can be forgiven such displays of emotion under duress, particularly after a Merseyside derby. This felt like a classic deflection. Merseyside derby tradition dictates there must be at least one perplexing decision to cause suitable levels of rage. There were several at Anfield as Sam Allardyce claimed the most unlikely point in what will rank one of the curious recent meetings between the clubs. Everton left satisfied with the result having left their supporters perturbed by much of what they had seen, especially for a dire 76 minutes. Klopp declared himself satisfied with the performance but disturbed by the circumstances of the 1-1 draw, superiority absurdly surrendered. The Liverpool manager’s gaze was fixed on referee Craig Pawson for gifting Everton the penalty from which Wayne Rooney struck the equaliser, his first goal in this fixture. “I don’t think it was a penalty,” he said. “We have to take it. Obviously you all think it is a penalty then all the fouls between (Ashley) Williams and (Dominic) Solanke should have been free kicks. That is how it is. We have to take it. The last moment Calvert-Lewin makes a step, he doesn’t push him or anything. It’s just body contact. That happens in midfield and 60 or 70 times it is not a free-kick. Today we get a penalty which wasn’t a penalty.”  Chastising the referee disguises multiple reasons why Mohamed Salah’s latest exquisite strike was not the winner – just as against Chelsea a fortnight ago. This is more than Liverpool ill-fortune. It is an unhealthy habit. Jurgen Klopp is visibly disappointed at the final whistle Credit: Reuters Before Pawson had any influence Liverpool could point to Sadio Mane’s decision to shoot rather than pass to two team-mates, who would have had a tap-in to make it 2-0 just before half time. They could point to Dejan Lovren’s decision to make any contact with Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who did not look in an especially dangerous position when he felt the Croatian’s shove leading to the 76th minute spot kick. Mohamed Salah scores to give Liverpool a much-deserved lead  Credit: Getty Images They could point to Klopp’s generosity when deciding to omit Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino from his line-up, and his even greater assistance when substituting Salah with the game still in the balance. If teamsheets can surrender momentum, Klopp had already offered the visitors hope before kick-off. Allardyce confirmed that, although he also suggested his side’s defensive could also have nullified the Brazilians.  Liverpool vs Everton player ratings Resting some of your best players in a Merseyside derby is unprecedented. Given Coutinho stayed on against Spartak Moscow for 90 minutes, despite Liverpool strolling through that second half, sparing him for Everton when West Bromwich Albion and Bournemouth are up next is bizarre. “I thought before the game (it was right), yes. After the game, still yes,” said Klopp. “Even when the result doesn’t show it. We did it like this for seven weeks. When we don’t win it I take the blame. I have no problem with that. The boys who came in were fresh and worked hard. We felt we needed fresh legs. We could have won it but didn’t, so blame me.” There will be denial, of course, but it smacked of being too preoccupied with how to win the next game instead of the current one. Liverpool were under no pressure but there was always the possibility they would give up one chance. That was all Everton needed after toiling their way through two-thirds of the game. From the first whistle the visitors assumed what can only be described as the Rorke’s Drift formation, dropping deep and trying to deny space. You could admire how their new manager had organised their defence, but it was archaic stuff in the direction of Simon Mignolet’s goal. Rooney, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Calvert-Lewin could do little more than chase long and second balls. It still yielded reward when Lovren was penalised and Rooney ensured it was the away fans who took most from the outcome, even if they too will expect much more when returning for the FA Cup tie in the New Year. That, too, is now guaranteed to be feisty. Klopp may think twice before leaving too many of his stars on the bench next time. 4:15PM A picture paints a thousand words... Jurgen Klopp bemoans a decision Credit: Reuters Sam Allardyce celebrates a derby day point Credit: Reuters 4:09PM Full-time You have to give Everton credit for keeping it at 1-0 for so long and then taking that opportunity when it arose.  Lovren had to be pulled away from the officials at the end but he shouldn't be moaning. He created a situation and gave the referee a decision to make.  It is definitely two points lost for Liverpool, but one gained for Everton as they move into tenth. The Reds end the weekend in fourth.  4:07PM 90 + 4 mins Liverpool are all camped out in the Everton box and Henderson takes a shot but it flies into Row Z.  With seconds left, Everton know they just have to keep it calm.  4:04PM 90 + 2 mins Firmino tries to meet Robertson's cross but he's stretching and the ball goes out of play. Klopp is now the more energetic of the two managers. 4:01PM 89 mins Liverpool get their 12th corner, which Coutinho takes but Lovren's header is well over.  Klavan takes his go at pushing Calvert-Lewin in the back but he -at least - does it in a relatively harmless area. Sigurdsson gets the free-kick into the box it comes to nothing. 3:58PM 86 mins Another Everton card with Schneirlin seeing yellow for a tackle on Milner, it was sloppy more than anything.  Coutinho takes the resulting free-kick and it's heading for the top left corner, but Pickford is wise to it as we head into the last five minutes. The snow has restarted as well so that pitch is very wet and slippy. 3:55PM Happy with a point, Sam? Jagielka will be the final Everton substitution. He's on in place of the captain and scorer, Rooney. Before that Solanke is replaced by Danny Ings. Great to see the striker back fit and getting those minutes in. 3:53PM 81 mins The visitors have the wind in their sails now as Lennon bombs down the right wing.  It will be a nervy ten minute for the Reds who were in complete control until Lovren's rush of blood to the head.  3:51PM 78 mins Lovren has just cost his team there. He pushes the Everton forward in the middle of his back and the referee has no choice as Calvert-Lewin hits the deck. The youngster was actually running onto a great Rooney pass, so you could say the veteran started and finished that goal.  It is definitely game on now as Coutinho replaces Oxlade-Chamberlain. 3:49PM EVERTON HAVE A PENALTY Lovren pushes Calvert-Lewin in the box. It's stupid, it's a pen. And it's a Rooney equaliser. His first goal in a Merseyside derby. 3:46PM 73 mins Everton have a corner! This is not a drill. Sigurdsson takes and Mignolet pushes it out but only as far as Lennon, who plays Kenny in. The youngster crosses into the box but the home keeper collects and normal service is resumed as Liverpool go on the attack. 3:43PM 70 mins It looks like Everton will make their final substitution soon with Lookman warming up.  There is still only one goal in it but the visitors can't get a foot on the ball with Liverpool just playing keep-ball until they feel the opportunity to attack is there.  3:40PM 67 mins Firmino comes, or Bobby, as the Reds fans love to call him. He replaces the goalscorer and gives Martina a moment to breathe after a torrid 67 mins failing to keep the Egyptian quiet.  3:37PM 64 mins Pickford keeps it at 1-0 as he gets the slightest of touches to push Oxlade-Chamberlain's cross away from Mane, who would've had a tap-in had he connected.  The home side getting into their stride again and Mane is fouled by Lennon about 25 yards from goal. Salah steps up  and Gomez heads it but can only send it over Pickford's bar.  3:35PM Not a great stat for the visitors Everton have had just two touches in the Red box. TWO! Liverpool have had 35... 3:33PM 60 mins Another Mane shot but Pickford is alert to the overhead kick. The Toffees keeper hasn't had much to do despite the home teams possession in the opening hour.  3:30PM Merry Christmas everyone There's a rendition of the famous song being sung around Anfield. Not the most tuneful I've ever heard. Apparently it was 'Everton', not everyone. I think I was blocking out the festive cheer 3:29PM 56 mins All Liverpool again at the moment. Klavan has clearly been sent forward for set-pieces and the Red keeps alternating their corner takers. Martina is still struggling to cope with Salah, but who wouldn't when the league's top scorer is on this form. 3:25PM 52 mins Sigurdsson plays in Calvert-Lewis and the youngster gets a shot off but it's wide. It won't matter because they already look more dangerous in the opening five minutes of the second-half, than they did the first 45 mins. Liverpool keen to get their second though. Holgate manages to flick the ball away after the home side get another corner.   3:21PM 49 mins Kenny has been so good for the visitors today and his header defies Solanke. Salah thinks he's got his second but his header, from just inside the six-yard box, goes past Pickford's near post.  3:20PM Second-half underway Liverpool have the lead thanks to Salah's super strike. The Toffees have only come from behind to win the derby once, when Peter Beardsley scored the winner in 1992. Can they pull off an Anfield miracle? 3:17PM Two changes Schneiderlin and Lennon come on for Niasse and Davies. Interesting... 3:05PM Half-time.  Liverpool go into the break with a 1-0 lead that is deserved after they were the only team attacking.  Salah's goal was superb but the home side may come to waste that possession if Everton manage to get an equaliser in the second-half. 3:03PM 45 + 2 mins  Mane tries to get in on the individual skill as he runs down the left, but he drags his shot wide of the post.  If he had looked up he had three teammates running into the box to join him and Klopp's face suggests he will tell him so at half-time.  3:01PM 45 mins An individual moment gives Liverpool the lead and their first shot on target. Martina had been struggling with Salah for most of the game.  Not content with giving his team the lead he has another shot but Williams heads it over.  2:58PM 42 mins - GOAL! SALAH! The Egyptian breaks the deadlock. Martina loses the ball on the edge of the box, Salah cuts in and his left foot shot sails past Pickford into the far left corner.  2:56PM 41 mins Despite Everton being stuck in their own half the fact they have kept Liverpool quiet should give them confidence going into the second-half.  Gueye gets the second yellow after he tackles Mane from behind. He kind of gets the ball but you can't come through a player's legs like that. 2:52PM 37 mins The first yellow goes to Sigurdsson and to be fair, it was late on Henderson, but I'm not sure if we haven't seen some more physical moments in the opening third of the game.  Red captain is receiving treatment but it doesn't look like anything the magic spray won't fix. 2:50PM 34 mins Rooney lets Mane sail past him and the Red continue their latest attack. It ends with a Robertson shot from the edge of the box that sails over Pickford goal.  Klopp's men lacking any real composure.  2:46PM 31 mins Despite all their possession, Liverpool haven't had a shot on target. Would that still be the case if Coutinho and Firmino were on the pitch? Oxlade-Chamberlain takes a corner and despite keeping possession there is no end result for the reds. As Lovren tries to play in Milner, Rooney goes down the heavy handed defensive route by pushing his former England teammate into the hoardings. By his head... 2:43PM 28 mins Everton actually get into Liverpool's box but Sigurdsson's tame shot is blocked - it was their first real attack which is a positive. But the home side are soon back on the front foot with Oxlade-Chamberlain sending his free-kick towards the far post but it sails out.  2:41PM 25 mins Gomez catches Martina with a knee that is a little bit too close to a certain area and although he is about 1 yard from the linesman there is no further action.  Henderson plays in Gomez whose cross into the box is cut back by Mane but Everton again manage to clear. Somehow. 2:36PM 21 mins Although the home side have had nearly all of the ball and some decent attacks they don't look as penetrative as we are used to seeing.  Everton are just camped out in their own half will have to pay attention if this is what they plan to do for the next 70-odd minutes.  2:34PM 18 mins The Toffees seem to have unstuck their feet and calmed their play slightly, compared to the opening 15 minutes.  Robertson is looking like a serious threat down the left though and Rooney will need to stay alert to help his defense. 2:30PM 15 mins  Martina is having a nightmare with Salah on the right and now Gomez joins the attack before Niasse comes and tackles the young defender. It bounces off the former Charlton man for a goal-kick.  It is all Liverpool at the moment and they have 76% possession. The visitors are riding their luck a little bit.  2:28PM 13 mins Rooney showing why defending has never been his strong point. He loses Robertson on the edge of the box and Kenny comes to the rescue. It is all go at Anfield. Oxlade-Chamberlain sees his shot blocked and Allardyce may want to get that heart monitor back on with all the screaming and shouting he is doing. 2:26PM 11 mins Sigurdsson blocks Milner's shot after Salah loses Martina. The Everton defender could be in for a tricky afternoon.  Mignolet comes rushing out and clears after Niasse latches onto a long ball with only Lovren near the striker. He manages to take the man and the striker. 2:24PM 9 mins All Liverpool at the moment and Henderson plays in Salah who sends a cross into the box for Mane but it's too high for the forward to get to and Pickford takes.  Both teams displaying British youth in the form of Calvert-Lewin, Robertson, Solanke, Gomez and Davies. Williams breaks down an attack on the edge of the box and Rooney tried to get it too Niasse but it's overhit.  Mane looks like he's going to get beyond Holgate but he slips in the box at the crucial moment. 2:21PM 6 mins Kenny takes a free-kick just inside the opposition half but it's too long for Calvert-Lewin to collect. I sense a trend with the Toffees knocking the ball long at every attempt.  Liverpool on the attack and Mane plays in Robertson on his left but his tame effort is easily collected by Pickford.  2:19PM 4 mins Liverpool on the attack and Martina's clearance leave Williams struggling. Lucking for the visitors Henderson sends it over the bar. Allardyce motions for his team to calm down.  2:16PM Kick-off Everton gets the game underway - at the second attempt -  as they go from left to right. Rooney sends it to Holgate, who sends it long and out of play. Is this their gameplan? 2:14PM Derby Day begins It's freezing outside so get comfortable and get those snacks sorted for Liverpool vs Everton. 2:11PM Minutes until kick-off This is a hard one to predict. Will Klopp's rotation defeat Allardyce's lack of changes? It feels like there will be goals with the team sides having conceded 47 between them so far this season. 2:06PM The visiting boss "We want to be committed and passionate but we don't want to lose our cool. " There have been 21 red cards in 50 Merseyside derbies and remember that Everton haven't won at Anfield in 17 Premier League games. The last one was in 1999. 2:00PM 15 minutes until kick-off Here's a reminder of the teams that sees Klopp making six changes and Allardyce making one. The big news is that Coutinho and Firmino are on the bench and Solanke starts only his second Premier League game. Liverpool: Mignolet, Gomez, Klavan, Lovren, Robertson, Milner, Henderson, Mane, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Solanke. Subs: Karius, Wijnaldum, Firmino, Coutinho, Can, Ings, Alexander-Arnold Everton: Pickford, Kenny, Martina, Holgate, Williams, Gueye, Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Niasse Subs: Robles, Schneiderlin, Keane, Jagielka, Lennon, Vlasic, Lookman 1:55PM Super Speedo Mick The Everton fan goes to games in his swimming attire for charity.  Speedo Mick continues his charity fundraising Credit: Getty Images 1:51PM We all agree then Even our columnist, Jamie Carragher, is surprised by the home team.  Liverpool teams a big surprise!!!!!!!— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) December 10, 2017 1:44PM Looking dapper, lads The lads arriving at Anfield... �� pic.twitter.com/3WO6asWGjq— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 10, 2017 1:43PM When your dog has got skills A Liverpool supporting dog Credit: Action Images 1:40PM Those teams Liverpool: Mignolet, Gomez, Klavan, Lovren, Robertson, Milner, Henderson, Mane, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Solanke. Subs: Karius, Wijnaldum, Firmino, Coutinho, Can, Ings, Alexander-Arnold Everton: Pickford, Kenny, Martina, Holgate, Williams, Gueye, Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Niasse Subs: Robles, Schneiderlin, Keane, Jagielka, Lennon, Vlasic, Lookman 1:37PM Just, no I'm not a fan of this phenomenon Half and half scarves Credit: Action Images 1:34PM That's one way to look at it... Henderson and Millner in the midfield. God bless our team.#LIVEVE— Mrinmoy Biswas (@Mrinmoy_sg8) December 10, 2017 1:30PM Sam keeping it steady The visitors have made only one change as Allardyce looks to beat Liverpool with his fourth different club after Crystal palace, West Ham and Bolton.  He got off to a winning start with the 2-0 victory over Hudderfield in the league last weekend and both scorer's - Calvert-Lewin and Sigurdsson - start today.  1:26PM Are we all over that surprise? No Firmino and Coutinho in the starting XI and I think we can safely say that it's a shock. Neither player is injured and they have already scored nine goals between them this season.  Six changes  in contrast to Everton's one seems a lot for a team that has won four of their last five league games. The team scored 15 goals in those four victories. 1:19PM Everton team Not too many surprises for the Toffees... Pickford, Kenny, Martina, Holgate, Williams, Gueye, Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Niasse Subs:  Robles, Schneiderlin, Keane, Jagielka, Lennon, Vlasic, Lookman 1:17PM Liverpool team The home fans may be a little surprised by this team... Mignolet, Gomez, Klavan, Lovren, Robertson, Milner, Henderson, Mane, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Solanke. Subs: Karius, Wijnaldum, Firmino, Coutinho, Can, Ings, Alexander-Arnold 1:15PM Good afternoon Hello! It's 'Derby Day' and we're starting with the Merseyside derby. Let's get the teams news.

Liverpool 1 Everton 1: Wayne Rooney converts for a point after Dejan Lovren's costly push

Everton’s wait for an Anfield victory will extend into a 19th year, but Sam Allardyce has already left his mark on the Merseyside derby.Wayne Rooney’s first derby goal secured what had looked an unlikely point, referee Craig Pawson taking centre-stage with a 76th penalty decision. Dejan Lovren continued his objections beyond the final whistle as it was his shove on Dominic Calvert-Lewin that cost his side victory. Liverpool can complain until the sides meet again in the FA Cup in January, but they had only themselves to blame for squandering superiority. There will be denial, of course, but it was the home side’s complacency and lethargy once ahead that was their undoing. Jurgen Klopp’s earlier inexplicable decision to rest Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino looked like it would escape censure when Mohamed Salah scored in the first half. But when Salah was substituted on 67 minutes, the indications were Klopp was far too preoccupied with worrying how to win the next game instead of concentrating on the current one. Some of his decisions here were perplexing. If teamsheets can surrender momentum, Klopp had already offered the visitors hope before kick-off. He left out Coutinho and Firmino, both on the bench. No doubt the Liverpool manager will argue the glut of fixtures means rotation is essential, but in a Merseyside derby? Klopp was visibly disappointed by the final whistle Credit: Reuters Try finding a sympathetic ear when it goes wrong. It seemed particularly risky given there was no surprise how Allardyce would line-up. This was an Everton team built for resistance -  a game that demanded as much creativity in the home ranks possible. From the first whistle Everton assumed what can only be described as the Rourke’s Drift formation, dropping deep and trying to deny space. For 42 minutes it was successful. Liverpool had plenty of the ball but Jordan Pickford was underemployed. It would need individual quality to breakthrough. This is where Liverpool are evolving, even with the South Americans watching on. Salah tricked Cuco Martina, shrugged off Idrissa Gueye and picked out the top corner. Of his 19 goals already this season, none have been celebrated so vociferously. Liverpool should have been two up at half-time when Sadio Mane was too selfish when sent clear. Salah scored to give Liverpool a much deserved lead  Credit: Getty Images Salah and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were waiting for the tap-in but the Senegal forward dragged his shot wide. Everton had a reprieve. Their problem was how to turn such a conservative approach into an attacking threat. You could admire how their new manager had organised their defence, but it was primitive stuff in the direction of Simon Mignolet’s goal. An increasing number of long balls, mostly from Pickford, provoked rising levels of mocking from the home fans. Rooney and Sigurdsson could do little more than chase second balls. There had be changes at the break, Allardyce replacing the ineffective Niasse with Aaron Lennon and youngster Tom Davies with Morgan Schneiderlin. But there was another escape early in the second half when Salah was inches wide with a header. Liverpool kept making chances while playing within themselves.    There was always the possibility one mistake, or one chance would save Everton. So it proved when Lovren was penalised and Rooney ensured it was the away fans who felt most satisfied after one of the strangest derbies in recent times. 4:15PM A picture paints a thousand words... Jurgen Klopp bemoans a decision Credit: Reuters Sam Allardyce celebrates a derby day point Credit: Reuters 4:09PM Full-time You have to give Everton credit for keeping it at 1-0 for so long and then taking that opportunity when it arose.  Lovren had to be pulled away from the officials at the end but he shouldn't be moaning. He created a situation and gave the referee a decision to make.  It is definitely two points lost for Liverpool, but one gained for Everton as they move into tenth. The Reds end the weekend in fourth.  4:07PM 90 + 4 mins Liverpool are all camped out in the Everton box and Henderson takes a shot but it flies into Row Z.  With seconds left, Everton know they just have to keep it calm.  4:04PM 90 + 2 mins Firmino tries to meet Robertson's cross but he's stretching and the ball goes out of play. Klopp is now the more energetic of the two managers. 4:01PM 89 mins Liverpool get their 12th corner, which Coutinho takes but Lovren's header is well over.  Klavan takes his go at pushing Calvert-Lewin in the back but he -at least - does it in a relatively harmless area. Sigurdsson gets the free-kick into the box it comes to nothing. 3:58PM 86 mins Another Everton card with Schneirlin seeing yellow for a tackle on Milner, it was sloppy more than anything.  Coutinho takes the resulting free-kick and it's heading for the top left corner, but Pickford is wise to it as we head into the last five minutes. The snow has restarted as well so that pitch is very wet and slippy. 3:55PM Happy with a point, Sam? Jagielka will be the final Everton substitution. He's on in place of the captain and scorer, Rooney. Before that Solanke is replaced by Danny Ings. Great to see the striker back fit and getting those minutes in. 3:53PM 81 mins The visitors have the wind in their sails now as Lennon bombs down the right wing.  It will be a nervy ten minute for the Reds who were in complete control until Lovren's rush of blood to the head.  3:51PM 78 mins Lovren has just cost his team there. He pushes the Everton forward in the middle of his back and the referee has no choice as Calvert-Lewin hits the deck. The youngster was actually running onto a great Rooney pass, so you could say the veteran started and finished that goal.  It is definitely game on now as Coutinho replaces Oxlade-Chamberlain. 3:49PM EVERTON HAVE A PENALTY Lovren pushes Calvert-Lewin in the box. It's stupid, it's a pen. And it's a Rooney equaliser. His first goal in a Merseyside derby. 3:46PM 73 mins Everton have a corner! This is not a drill. Sigurdsson takes and Mignolet pushes it out but only as far as Lennon, who plays Kenny in. The youngster crosses into the box but the home keeper collects and normal service is resumed as Liverpool go on the attack. 3:43PM 70 mins It looks like Everton will make their final substitution soon with Lookman warming up.  There is still only one goal in it but the visitors can't get a foot on the ball with Liverpool just playing keep-ball until they feel the opportunity to attack is there.  3:40PM 67 mins Firmino comes, or Bobby, as the Reds fans love to call him. He replaces the goalscorer and gives Martina a moment to breathe after a torrid 67 mins failing to keep the Egyptian quiet.  3:37PM 64 mins Pickford keeps it at 1-0 as he gets the slightest of touches to push Oxlade-Chamberlain's cross away from Mane, who would've had a tap-in had he connected.  The home side getting into their stride again and Mane is fouled by Lennon about 25 yards from goal. Salah steps up  and Gomez heads it but can only send it over Pickford's bar.  3:35PM Not a great stat for the visitors Everton have had just two touches in the Red box. TWO! Liverpool have had 35... 3:33PM 60 mins Another Mane shot but Pickford is alert to the overhead kick. The Toffees keeper hasn't had much to do despite the home teams possession in the opening hour.  3:30PM Merry Christmas everyone There's a rendition of the famous song being sung around Anfield. Not the most tuneful I've ever heard. Apparently it was 'Everton', not everyone. I think I was blocking out the festive cheer 3:29PM 56 mins All Liverpool again at the moment. Klavan has clearly been sent forward for set-pieces and the Red keeps alternating their corner takers. Martina is still struggling to cope with Salah, but who wouldn't when the league's top scorer is on this form. 3:25PM 52 mins Sigurdsson plays in Calvert-Lewis and the youngster gets a shot off but it's wide. It won't matter because they already look more dangerous in the opening five minutes of the second-half, than they did the first 45 mins. Liverpool keen to get their second though. Holgate manages to flick the ball away after the home side get another corner.   3:21PM 49 mins Kenny has been so good for the visitors today and his header defies Solanke. Salah thinks he's got his second but his header, from just inside the six-yard box, goes past Pickford's near post.  3:20PM Second-half underway Liverpool have the lead thanks to Salah's super strike. The Toffees have only come from behind to win the derby once, when Peter Beardsley scored the winner in 1992. Can they pull off an Anfield miracle? 3:17PM Two changes Schneiderlin and Lennon come on for Niasse and Davies. Interesting... 3:05PM Half-time.  Liverpool go into the break with a 1-0 lead that is deserved after they were the only team attacking.  Salah's goal was superb but the home side may come to waste that possession if Everton manage to get an equaliser in the second-half. 3:03PM 45 + 2 mins  Mane tries to get in on the individual skill as he runs down the left, but he drags his shot wide of the post.  If he had looked up he had three teammates running into the box to join him and Klopp's face suggests he will tell him so at half-time.  3:01PM 45 mins An individual moment gives Liverpool the lead and their first shot on target. Martina had been struggling with Salah for most of the game.  Not content with giving his team the lead he has another shot but Williams heads it over.  2:58PM 42 mins - GOAL! SALAH! The Egyptian breaks the deadlock. Martina loses the ball on the edge of the box, Salah cuts in and his left foot shot sails past Pickford into the far left corner.  2:56PM 41 mins Despite Everton being stuck in their own half the fact they have kept Liverpool quiet should give them confidence going into the second-half.  Gueye gets the second yellow after he tackles Mane from behind. He kind of gets the ball but you can't come through a player's legs like that. 2:52PM 37 mins The first yellow goes to Sigurdsson and to be fair, it was late on Henderson, but I'm not sure if we haven't seen some more physical moments in the opening third of the game.  Red captain is receiving treatment but it doesn't look like anything the magic spray won't fix. 2:50PM 34 mins Rooney lets Mane sail past him and the Red continue their latest attack. It ends with a Robertson shot from the edge of the box that sails over Pickford goal.  Klopp's men lacking any real composure.  2:46PM 31 mins Despite all their possession, Liverpool haven't had a shot on target. Would that still be the case if Coutinho and Firmino were on the pitch? Oxlade-Chamberlain takes a corner and despite keeping possession there is no end result for the reds. As Lovren tries to play in Milner, Rooney goes down the heavy handed defensive route by pushing his former England teammate into the hoardings. By his head... 2:43PM 28 mins Everton actually get into Liverpool's box but Sigurdsson's tame shot is blocked - it was their first real attack which is a positive. But the home side are soon back on the front foot with Oxlade-Chamberlain sending his free-kick towards the far post but it sails out.  2:41PM 25 mins Gomez catches Martina with a knee that is a little bit too close to a certain area and although he is about 1 yard from the linesman there is no further action.  Henderson plays in Gomez whose cross into the box is cut back by Mane but Everton again manage to clear. Somehow. 2:36PM 21 mins Although the home side have had nearly all of the ball and some decent attacks they don't look as penetrative as we are used to seeing.  Everton are just camped out in their own half will have to pay attention if this is what they plan to do for the next 70-odd minutes.  2:34PM 18 mins The Toffees seem to have unstuck their feet and calmed their play slightly, compared to the opening 15 minutes.  Robertson is looking like a serious threat down the left though and Rooney will need to stay alert to help his defense. 2:30PM 15 mins  Martina is having a nightmare with Salah on the right and now Gomez joins the attack before Niasse comes and tackles the young defender. It bounces off the former Charlton man for a goal-kick.  It is all Liverpool at the moment and they have 76% possession. The visitors are riding their luck a little bit.  2:28PM 13 mins Rooney showing why defending has never been his strong point. He loses Robertson on the edge of the box and Kenny comes to the rescue. It is all go at Anfield. Oxlade-Chamberlain sees his shot blocked and Allardyce may want to get that heart monitor back on with all the screaming and shouting he is doing. 2:26PM 11 mins Sigurdsson blocks Milner's shot after Salah loses Martina. The Everton defender could be in for a tricky afternoon.  Mignolet comes rushing out and clears after Niasse latches onto a long ball with only Lovren near the striker. He manages to take the man and the striker. 2:24PM 9 mins All Liverpool at the moment and Henderson plays in Salah who sends a cross into the box for Mane but it's too high for the forward to get to and Pickford takes.  Both teams displaying British youth in the form of Calvert-Lewin, Robertson, Solanke, Gomez and Davies. Williams breaks down an attack on the edge of the box and Rooney tried to get it too Niasse but it's overhit.  Mane looks like he's going to get beyond Holgate but he slips in the box at the crucial moment. 2:21PM 6 mins Kenny takes a free-kick just inside the opposition half but it's too long for Calvert-Lewin to collect. I sense a trend with the Toffees knocking the ball long at every attempt.  Liverpool on the attack and Mane plays in Robertson on his left but his tame effort is easily collected by Pickford.  2:19PM 4 mins Liverpool on the attack and Martina's clearance leave Williams struggling. Lucking for the visitors Henderson sends it over the bar. Allardyce motions for his team to calm down.  2:16PM Kick-off Everton gets the game underway - at the second attempt -  as they go from left to right. Rooney sends it to Holgate, who sends it long and out of play. Is this their gameplan? 2:14PM Derby Day begins It's freezing outside so get comfortable and get those snacks sorted for Liverpool vs Everton. 2:11PM Minutes until kick-off This is a hard one to predict. Will Klopp's rotation defeat Allardyce's lack of changes? It feels like there will be goals with the team sides having conceded 47 between them so far this season. 2:06PM The visiting boss "We want to be committed and passionate but we don't want to lose our cool. " There have been 21 red cards in 50 Merseyside derbies and remember that Everton haven't won at Anfield in 17 Premier League games. The last one was in 1999. 2:00PM 15 minutes until kick-off Here's a reminder of the teams that sees Klopp making six changes and Allardyce making one. The big news is that Coutinho and Firmino are on the bench and Solanke starts only his second Premier League game. Liverpool: Mignolet, Gomez, Klavan, Lovren, Robertson, Milner, Henderson, Mane, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Solanke. Subs: Karius, Wijnaldum, Firmino, Coutinho, Can, Ings, Alexander-Arnold Everton: Pickford, Kenny, Martina, Holgate, Williams, Gueye, Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Niasse Subs: Robles, Schneiderlin, Keane, Jagielka, Lennon, Vlasic, Lookman 1:55PM Super Speedo Mick The Everton fan goes to games in his swimming attire for charity.  Speedo Mick continues his charity fundraising Credit: Getty Images 1:51PM We all agree then Even our columnist, Jamie Carragher, is surprised by the home team.  Liverpool teams a big surprise!!!!!!!— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) December 10, 2017 1:44PM Looking dapper, lads The lads arriving at Anfield... �� pic.twitter.com/3WO6asWGjq— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 10, 2017 1:43PM When your dog has got skills A Liverpool supporting dog Credit: Action Images 1:40PM Those teams Liverpool: Mignolet, Gomez, Klavan, Lovren, Robertson, Milner, Henderson, Mane, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Solanke. Subs: Karius, Wijnaldum, Firmino, Coutinho, Can, Ings, Alexander-Arnold Everton: Pickford, Kenny, Martina, Holgate, Williams, Gueye, Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Niasse Subs: Robles, Schneiderlin, Keane, Jagielka, Lennon, Vlasic, Lookman 1:37PM Just, no I'm not a fan of this phenomenon Half and half scarves Credit: Action Images 1:34PM That's one way to look at it... Henderson and Millner in the midfield. God bless our team.#LIVEVE— Mrinmoy Biswas (@Mrinmoy_sg8) December 10, 2017 1:30PM Sam keeping it steady The visitors have made only one change as Allardyce looks to beat Liverpool with his fourth different club after Crystal palace, West Ham and Bolton.  He got off to a winning start with the 2-0 victory over Hudderfield in the league last weekend and both scorer's - Calvert-Lewin and Sigurdsson - start today.  1:26PM Are we all over that surprise? No Firmino and Coutinho in the starting XI and I think we can safely say that it's a shock. Neither player is injured and they have already scored nine goals between them this season.  Six changes  in contrast to Everton's one seems a lot for a team that has won four of their last five league games. The team scored 15 goals in those four victories. 1:19PM Everton team Not too many surprises for the Toffees... Pickford, Kenny, Martina, Holgate, Williams, Gueye, Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Niasse Subs:  Robles, Schneiderlin, Keane, Jagielka, Lennon, Vlasic, Lookman 1:17PM Liverpool team The home fans may be a little surprised by this team... Mignolet, Gomez, Klavan, Lovren, Robertson, Milner, Henderson, Mane, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Solanke. Subs: Karius, Wijnaldum, Firmino, Coutinho, Can, Ings, Alexander-Arnold 1:15PM Good afternoon Hello! It's 'Derby Day' and we're starting with the Merseyside derby. Let's get the teams news.

Liverpool 1 Everton 1: Wayne Rooney converts for a point after Dejan Lovren's costly push

Everton’s wait for an Anfield victory will extend into a 19th year, but Sam Allardyce has already left his mark on the Merseyside derby.Wayne Rooney’s first derby goal secured what had looked an unlikely point, referee Craig Pawson taking centre-stage with a 76th penalty decision. Dejan Lovren continued his objections beyond the final whistle as it was his shove on Dominic Calvert-Lewin that cost his side victory. Liverpool can complain until the sides meet again in the FA Cup in January, but they had only themselves to blame for squandering superiority. There will be denial, of course, but it was the home side’s complacency and lethargy once ahead that was their undoing. Jurgen Klopp’s earlier inexplicable decision to rest Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino looked like it would escape censure when Mohamed Salah scored in the first half. But when Salah was substituted on 67 minutes, the indications were Klopp was far too preoccupied with worrying how to win the next game instead of concentrating on the current one. Some of his decisions here were perplexing. If teamsheets can surrender momentum, Klopp had already offered the visitors hope before kick-off. He left out Coutinho and Firmino, both on the bench. No doubt the Liverpool manager will argue the glut of fixtures means rotation is essential, but in a Merseyside derby? Klopp was visibly disappointed by the final whistle Credit: Reuters Try finding a sympathetic ear when it goes wrong. It seemed particularly risky given there was no surprise how Allardyce would line-up. This was an Everton team built for resistance -  a game that demanded as much creativity in the home ranks possible. From the first whistle Everton assumed what can only be described as the Rourke’s Drift formation, dropping deep and trying to deny space. For 42 minutes it was successful. Liverpool had plenty of the ball but Jordan Pickford was underemployed. It would need individual quality to breakthrough. This is where Liverpool are evolving, even with the South Americans watching on. Salah tricked Cuco Martina, shrugged off Idrissa Gueye and picked out the top corner. Of his 19 goals already this season, none have been celebrated so vociferously. Liverpool should have been two up at half-time when Sadio Mane was too selfish when sent clear. Salah scored to give Liverpool a much deserved lead  Credit: Getty Images Salah and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were waiting for the tap-in but the Senegal forward dragged his shot wide. Everton had a reprieve. Their problem was how to turn such a conservative approach into an attacking threat. You could admire how their new manager had organised their defence, but it was primitive stuff in the direction of Simon Mignolet’s goal. An increasing number of long balls, mostly from Pickford, provoked rising levels of mocking from the home fans. Rooney and Sigurdsson could do little more than chase second balls. There had be changes at the break, Allardyce replacing the ineffective Niasse with Aaron Lennon and youngster Tom Davies with Morgan Schneiderlin. But there was another escape early in the second half when Salah was inches wide with a header. Liverpool kept making chances while playing within themselves.    There was always the possibility one mistake, or one chance would save Everton. So it proved when Lovren was penalised and Rooney ensured it was the away fans who felt most satisfied after one of the strangest derbies in recent times. 4:15PM A picture paints a thousand words... Jurgen Klopp bemoans a decision Credit: Reuters Sam Allardyce celebrates a derby day point Credit: Reuters 4:09PM Full-time You have to give Everton credit for keeping it at 1-0 for so long and then taking that opportunity when it arose.  Lovren had to be pulled away from the officials at the end but he shouldn't be moaning. He created a situation and gave the referee a decision to make.  It is definitely two points lost for Liverpool, but one gained for Everton as they move into tenth. The Reds end the weekend in fourth.  4:07PM 90 + 4 mins Liverpool are all camped out in the Everton box and Henderson takes a shot but it flies into Row Z.  With seconds left, Everton know they just have to keep it calm.  4:04PM 90 + 2 mins Firmino tries to meet Robertson's cross but he's stretching and the ball goes out of play. Klopp is now the more energetic of the two managers. 4:01PM 89 mins Liverpool get their 12th corner, which Coutinho takes but Lovren's header is well over.  Klavan takes his go at pushing Calvert-Lewin in the back but he -at least - does it in a relatively harmless area. Sigurdsson gets the free-kick into the box it comes to nothing. 3:58PM 86 mins Another Everton card with Schneirlin seeing yellow for a tackle on Milner, it was sloppy more than anything.  Coutinho takes the resulting free-kick and it's heading for the top left corner, but Pickford is wise to it as we head into the last five minutes. The snow has restarted as well so that pitch is very wet and slippy. 3:55PM Happy with a point, Sam? Jagielka will be the final Everton substitution. He's on in place of the captain and scorer, Rooney. Before that Solanke is replaced by Danny Ings. Great to see the striker back fit and getting those minutes in. 3:53PM 81 mins The visitors have the wind in their sails now as Lennon bombs down the right wing.  It will be a nervy ten minute for the Reds who were in complete control until Lovren's rush of blood to the head.  3:51PM 78 mins Lovren has just cost his team there. He pushes the Everton forward in the middle of his back and the referee has no choice as Calvert-Lewin hits the deck. The youngster was actually running onto a great Rooney pass, so you could say the veteran started and finished that goal.  It is definitely game on now as Coutinho replaces Oxlade-Chamberlain. 3:49PM EVERTON HAVE A PENALTY Lovren pushes Calvert-Lewin in the box. It's stupid, it's a pen. And it's a Rooney equaliser. His first goal in a Merseyside derby. 3:46PM 73 mins Everton have a corner! This is not a drill. Sigurdsson takes and Mignolet pushes it out but only as far as Lennon, who plays Kenny in. The youngster crosses into the box but the home keeper collects and normal service is resumed as Liverpool go on the attack. 3:43PM 70 mins It looks like Everton will make their final substitution soon with Lookman warming up.  There is still only one goal in it but the visitors can't get a foot on the ball with Liverpool just playing keep-ball until they feel the opportunity to attack is there.  3:40PM 67 mins Firmino comes, or Bobby, as the Reds fans love to call him. He replaces the goalscorer and gives Martina a moment to breathe after a torrid 67 mins failing to keep the Egyptian quiet.  3:37PM 64 mins Pickford keeps it at 1-0 as he gets the slightest of touches to push Oxlade-Chamberlain's cross away from Mane, who would've had a tap-in had he connected.  The home side getting into their stride again and Mane is fouled by Lennon about 25 yards from goal. Salah steps up  and Gomez heads it but can only send it over Pickford's bar.  3:35PM Not a great stat for the visitors Everton have had just two touches in the Red box. TWO! Liverpool have had 35... 3:33PM 60 mins Another Mane shot but Pickford is alert to the overhead kick. The Toffees keeper hasn't had much to do despite the home teams possession in the opening hour.  3:30PM Merry Christmas everyone There's a rendition of the famous song being sung around Anfield. Not the most tuneful I've ever heard. Apparently it was 'Everton', not everyone. I think I was blocking out the festive cheer 3:29PM 56 mins All Liverpool again at the moment. Klavan has clearly been sent forward for set-pieces and the Red keeps alternating their corner takers. Martina is still struggling to cope with Salah, but who wouldn't when the league's top scorer is on this form. 3:25PM 52 mins Sigurdsson plays in Calvert-Lewis and the youngster gets a shot off but it's wide. It won't matter because they already look more dangerous in the opening five minutes of the second-half, than they did the first 45 mins. Liverpool keen to get their second though. Holgate manages to flick the ball away after the home side get another corner.   3:21PM 49 mins Kenny has been so good for the visitors today and his header defies Solanke. Salah thinks he's got his second but his header, from just inside the six-yard box, goes past Pickford's near post.  3:20PM Second-half underway Liverpool have the lead thanks to Salah's super strike. The Toffees have only come from behind to win the derby once, when Peter Beardsley scored the winner in 1992. Can they pull off an Anfield miracle? 3:17PM Two changes Schneiderlin and Lennon come on for Niasse and Davies. Interesting... 3:05PM Half-time.  Liverpool go into the break with a 1-0 lead that is deserved after they were the only team attacking.  Salah's goal was superb but the home side may come to waste that possession if Everton manage to get an equaliser in the second-half. 3:03PM 45 + 2 mins  Mane tries to get in on the individual skill as he runs down the left, but he drags his shot wide of the post.  If he had looked up he had three teammates running into the box to join him and Klopp's face suggests he will tell him so at half-time.  3:01PM 45 mins An individual moment gives Liverpool the lead and their first shot on target. Martina had been struggling with Salah for most of the game.  Not content with giving his team the lead he has another shot but Williams heads it over.  2:58PM 42 mins - GOAL! SALAH! The Egyptian breaks the deadlock. Martina loses the ball on the edge of the box, Salah cuts in and his left foot shot sails past Pickford into the far left corner.  2:56PM 41 mins Despite Everton being stuck in their own half the fact they have kept Liverpool quiet should give them confidence going into the second-half.  Gueye gets the second yellow after he tackles Mane from behind. He kind of gets the ball but you can't come through a player's legs like that. 2:52PM 37 mins The first yellow goes to Sigurdsson and to be fair, it was late on Henderson, but I'm not sure if we haven't seen some more physical moments in the opening third of the game.  Red captain is receiving treatment but it doesn't look like anything the magic spray won't fix. 2:50PM 34 mins Rooney lets Mane sail past him and the Red continue their latest attack. It ends with a Robertson shot from the edge of the box that sails over Pickford goal.  Klopp's men lacking any real composure.  2:46PM 31 mins Despite all their possession, Liverpool haven't had a shot on target. Would that still be the case if Coutinho and Firmino were on the pitch? Oxlade-Chamberlain takes a corner and despite keeping possession there is no end result for the reds. As Lovren tries to play in Milner, Rooney goes down the heavy handed defensive route by pushing his former England teammate into the hoardings. By his head... 2:43PM 28 mins Everton actually get into Liverpool's box but Sigurdsson's tame shot is blocked - it was their first real attack which is a positive. But the home side are soon back on the front foot with Oxlade-Chamberlain sending his free-kick towards the far post but it sails out.  2:41PM 25 mins Gomez catches Martina with a knee that is a little bit too close to a certain area and although he is about 1 yard from the linesman there is no further action.  Henderson plays in Gomez whose cross into the box is cut back by Mane but Everton again manage to clear. Somehow. 2:36PM 21 mins Although the home side have had nearly all of the ball and some decent attacks they don't look as penetrative as we are used to seeing.  Everton are just camped out in their own half will have to pay attention if this is what they plan to do for the next 70-odd minutes.  2:34PM 18 mins The Toffees seem to have unstuck their feet and calmed their play slightly, compared to the opening 15 minutes.  Robertson is looking like a serious threat down the left though and Rooney will need to stay alert to help his defense. 2:30PM 15 mins  Martina is having a nightmare with Salah on the right and now Gomez joins the attack before Niasse comes and tackles the young defender. It bounces off the former Charlton man for a goal-kick.  It is all Liverpool at the moment and they have 76% possession. The visitors are riding their luck a little bit.  2:28PM 13 mins Rooney showing why defending has never been his strong point. He loses Robertson on the edge of the box and Kenny comes to the rescue. It is all go at Anfield. Oxlade-Chamberlain sees his shot blocked and Allardyce may want to get that heart monitor back on with all the screaming and shouting he is doing. 2:26PM 11 mins Sigurdsson blocks Milner's shot after Salah loses Martina. The Everton defender could be in for a tricky afternoon.  Mignolet comes rushing out and clears after Niasse latches onto a long ball with only Lovren near the striker. He manages to take the man and the striker. 2:24PM 9 mins All Liverpool at the moment and Henderson plays in Salah who sends a cross into the box for Mane but it's too high for the forward to get to and Pickford takes.  Both teams displaying British youth in the form of Calvert-Lewin, Robertson, Solanke, Gomez and Davies. Williams breaks down an attack on the edge of the box and Rooney tried to get it too Niasse but it's overhit.  Mane looks like he's going to get beyond Holgate but he slips in the box at the crucial moment. 2:21PM 6 mins Kenny takes a free-kick just inside the opposition half but it's too long for Calvert-Lewin to collect. I sense a trend with the Toffees knocking the ball long at every attempt.  Liverpool on the attack and Mane plays in Robertson on his left but his tame effort is easily collected by Pickford.  2:19PM 4 mins Liverpool on the attack and Martina's clearance leave Williams struggling. Lucking for the visitors Henderson sends it over the bar. Allardyce motions for his team to calm down.  2:16PM Kick-off Everton gets the game underway - at the second attempt -  as they go from left to right. Rooney sends it to Holgate, who sends it long and out of play. Is this their gameplan? 2:14PM Derby Day begins It's freezing outside so get comfortable and get those snacks sorted for Liverpool vs Everton. 2:11PM Minutes until kick-off This is a hard one to predict. Will Klopp's rotation defeat Allardyce's lack of changes? It feels like there will be goals with the team sides having conceded 47 between them so far this season. 2:06PM The visiting boss "We want to be committed and passionate but we don't want to lose our cool. " There have been 21 red cards in 50 Merseyside derbies and remember that Everton haven't won at Anfield in 17 Premier League games. The last one was in 1999. 2:00PM 15 minutes until kick-off Here's a reminder of the teams that sees Klopp making six changes and Allardyce making one. The big news is that Coutinho and Firmino are on the bench and Solanke starts only his second Premier League game. Liverpool: Mignolet, Gomez, Klavan, Lovren, Robertson, Milner, Henderson, Mane, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Solanke. Subs: Karius, Wijnaldum, Firmino, Coutinho, Can, Ings, Alexander-Arnold Everton: Pickford, Kenny, Martina, Holgate, Williams, Gueye, Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Niasse Subs: Robles, Schneiderlin, Keane, Jagielka, Lennon, Vlasic, Lookman 1:55PM Super Speedo Mick The Everton fan goes to games in his swimming attire for charity.  Speedo Mick continues his charity fundraising Credit: Getty Images 1:51PM We all agree then Even our columnist, Jamie Carragher, is surprised by the home team.  Liverpool teams a big surprise!!!!!!!— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) December 10, 2017 1:44PM Looking dapper, lads The lads arriving at Anfield... �� pic.twitter.com/3WO6asWGjq— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 10, 2017 1:43PM When your dog has got skills A Liverpool supporting dog Credit: Action Images 1:40PM Those teams Liverpool: Mignolet, Gomez, Klavan, Lovren, Robertson, Milner, Henderson, Mane, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Solanke. Subs: Karius, Wijnaldum, Firmino, Coutinho, Can, Ings, Alexander-Arnold Everton: Pickford, Kenny, Martina, Holgate, Williams, Gueye, Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Niasse Subs: Robles, Schneiderlin, Keane, Jagielka, Lennon, Vlasic, Lookman 1:37PM Just, no I'm not a fan of this phenomenon Half and half scarves Credit: Action Images 1:34PM That's one way to look at it... Henderson and Millner in the midfield. God bless our team.#LIVEVE— Mrinmoy Biswas (@Mrinmoy_sg8) December 10, 2017 1:30PM Sam keeping it steady The visitors have made only one change as Allardyce looks to beat Liverpool with his fourth different club after Crystal palace, West Ham and Bolton.  He got off to a winning start with the 2-0 victory over Hudderfield in the league last weekend and both scorer's - Calvert-Lewin and Sigurdsson - start today.  1:26PM Are we all over that surprise? No Firmino and Coutinho in the starting XI and I think we can safely say that it's a shock. Neither player is injured and they have already scored nine goals between them this season.  Six changes  in contrast to Everton's one seems a lot for a team that has won four of their last five league games. The team scored 15 goals in those four victories. 1:19PM Everton team Not too many surprises for the Toffees... Pickford, Kenny, Martina, Holgate, Williams, Gueye, Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Niasse Subs:  Robles, Schneiderlin, Keane, Jagielka, Lennon, Vlasic, Lookman 1:17PM Liverpool team The home fans may be a little surprised by this team... Mignolet, Gomez, Klavan, Lovren, Robertson, Milner, Henderson, Mane, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Solanke. Subs: Karius, Wijnaldum, Firmino, Coutinho, Can, Ings, Alexander-Arnold 1:15PM Good afternoon Hello! It's 'Derby Day' and we're starting with the Merseyside derby. Let's get the teams news.

Liverpool vs Everton, Premier League: live score updates 

Betfair offer: get Liverpool to beat Everton at 25/1 4:04PM 90 + 2 mins Firmino tries to meet Robertson's cross but he's stretching and the ball goes out of play. Klopp is now the more energetic of the two managers. 4:01PM 89 mins Liverpool get their 12th corner, which Coutinho takes but Lovren's header is well over.  Klavan takes his go at pushing Calvert-Lewin in the back but he -at least - does it in a relatively harmless area. Sigurdsson gets the free-kick into the box it comes to nothing. 3:58PM 86 mins Another Everton card with Schneirlin seeing yellow for a tackle on Milner, it was sloppy more than anything.  Coutinho takes the resulting free-kick and it's heading for the top left corner, but Pickford is wise to it as we head into the last five minutes. The snow has restarted as well so that pitch is very wet and slippy. 3:55PM Happy with a point, Sam? Jagielka will be the final Everton substitution. He's on in place of the captain and scorer, Rooney. Before that Solanke is replaced by Danny Ings. Great to see the striker back fit and getting those minutes in. 3:53PM 81 mins The visitors have the wind in their sails now as Lennon bombs down the right wing.  It will be a nervy ten minute for the Reds who were in complete control until Lovren's rush of blood to the head.  3:51PM 78 mins Lovren has just cost his team there. He pushes the Everton forward in the middle of his back and the referee has no choice as Calvert-Lewin hits the deck. The youngster was actually running onto a great Rooney pass, so you could say the veteran started and finished that goal.  It is definitely game on now as Coutinho replaces Oxlade-Chamberlain. 3:49PM EVERTON HAVE A PENALTY Lovren pushes Calvert-Lewin in the box. It's stupid, it's a pen. And it's a Rooney equaliser. His first goal in a Merseyside derby. 3:46PM 73 mins Everton have a corner! This is not a drill. Sigurdsson takes and Mignolet pushes it out but only as far as Lennon, who plays Kenny in. The youngster crosses into the box but the home keeper collects and normal service is resumed as Liverpool go on the attack. 3:43PM 70 mins It looks like Everton will make their final substitution soon with Lookman warming up.  There is still only one goal in it but the visitors can't get a foot on the ball with Liverpool just playing keep-ball until they feel the opportunity to attack is there.  3:40PM 67 mins Firmino comes, or Bobby, as the Reds fans love to call him. He replaces the goalscorer and gives Martina a moment to breathe after a torrid 67 mins failing to keep the Egyptian quiet.  3:37PM 64 mins Pickford keeps it at 1-0 as he gets the slightest of touches to push Oxlade-Chamberlain's cross away from Mane, who would've had a tap-in had he connected.  The home side getting into their stride again and Mane is fouled by Lennon about 25 yards from goal. Salah steps up  and Gomez heads it but can only send it over Pickford's bar.  3:35PM Not a great stat for the visitors Everton have had just two touches in the Red box. TWO! Liverpool have had 35... 3:33PM 60 mins Another Mane shot but Pickford is alert to the overhead kick. The Toffees keeper hasn't had much to do despite the home teams possession in the opening hour.  3:30PM Merry Christmas everyone There's a rendition of the famous song being sung around Anfield. Not the most tuneful I've ever heard. Apparently it was 'Everton', not everyone. I think I was blocking out the festive cheer 3:29PM 56 mins All Liverpool again at the moment. Klavan has clearly been sent forward for set-pieces and the Red keeps alternating their corner takers. Martina is still struggling to cope with Salah, but who wouldn't when the league's top scorer is on this form. 3:25PM 52 mins Sigurdsson plays in Calvert-Lewis and the youngster gets a shot off but it's wide. It won't matter because they already look more dangerous in the opening five minutes of the second-half, than they did the first 45 mins. Liverpool keen to get their second though. Holgate manages to flick the ball away after the home side get another corner.   3:21PM 49 mins Kenny has been so good for the visitors today and his header defies Solanke. Salah thinks he's got his second but his header, from just inside the six-yard box, goes past Pickford's near post.  3:20PM Second-half underway Liverpool have the lead thanks to Salah's super strike. The Toffees have only come from behind to win the derby once, when Peter Beardsley scored the winner in 1992. Can they pull off an Anfield miracle? 3:17PM Two changes Schneiderlin and Lennon come on for Niasse and Davies. Interesting... 3:05PM Half-time.  Liverpool go into the break with a 1-0 lead that is deserved after they were the only team attacking.  Salah's goal was superb but the home side may come to waste that possession if Everton manage to get an equaliser in the second-half. 3:03PM 45 + 2 mins  Mane tries to get in on the individual skill as he runs down the left, but he drags his shot wide of the post.  If he had looked up he had three teammates running into the box to join him and Klopp's face suggests he will tell him so at half-time.  3:01PM 45 mins An individual moment gives Liverpool the lead and their first shot on target. Martina had been struggling with Salah for most of the game.  Not content with giving his team the lead he has another shot but Williams heads it over.  2:58PM 42 mins - GOAL! SALAH! The Egyptian breaks the deadlock. Martina loses the ball on the edge of the box, Salah cuts in and his left foot shot sails past Pickford into the far left corner.  2:56PM 41 mins Despite Everton being stuck in their own half the fact they have kept Liverpool quiet should give them confidence going into the second-half.  Gueye gets the second yellow after he tackles Mane from behind. He kind of gets the ball but you can't come through a player's legs like that. 2:52PM 37 mins The first yellow goes to Sigurdsson and to be fair, it was late on Henderson, but I'm not sure if we haven't seen some more physical moments in the opening third of the game.  Red captain is receiving treatment but it doesn't look like anything the magic spray won't fix. 2:50PM 34 mins Rooney lets Mane sail past him and the Red continue their latest attack. It ends with a Robertson shot from the edge of the box that sails over Pickford goal.  Klopp's men lacking any real composure.  2:46PM 31 mins Despite all their possession, Liverpool haven't had a shot on target. Would that still be the case if Coutinho and Firmino were on the pitch? Oxlade-Chamberlain takes a corner and despite keeping possession there is no end result for the reds. As Lovren tries to play in Milner, Rooney goes down the heavy handed defensive route by pushing his former England teammate into the hoardings. By his head... 2:43PM 28 mins Everton actually get into Liverpool's box but Sigurdsson's tame shot is blocked - it was their first real attack which is a positive. But the home side are soon back on the front foot with Oxlade-Chamberlain sending his free-kick towards the far post but it sails out.  2:41PM 25 mins Gomez catches Martina with a knee that is a little bit too close to a certain area and although he is about 1 yard from the linesman there is no further action.  Henderson plays in Gomez whose cross into the box is cut back by Mane but Everton again manage to clear. Somehow. 2:36PM 21 mins Although the home side have had nearly all of the ball and some decent attacks they don't look as penetrative as we are used to seeing.  Everton are just camped out in their own half will have to pay attention if this is what they plan to do for the next 70-odd minutes.  2:34PM 18 mins The Toffees seem to have unstuck their feet and calmed their play slightly, compared to the opening 15 minutes.  Robertson is looking like a serious threat down the left though and Rooney will need to stay alert to help his defense. 2:30PM 15 mins  Martina is having a nightmare with Salah on the right and now Gomez joins the attack before Niasse comes and tackles the young defender. It bounces off the former Charlton man for a goal-kick.  It is all Liverpool at the moment and they have 76% possession. The visitors are riding their luck a little bit.  2:28PM 13 mins Rooney showing why defending has never been his strong point. He loses Robertson on the edge of the box and Kenny comes to the rescue. It is all go at Anfield. Oxlade-Chamberlain sees his shot blocked and Allardyce may want to get that heart monitor back on with all the screaming and shouting he is doing. 2:26PM 11 mins Sigurdsson blocks Milner's shot after Salah loses Martina. The Everton defender could be in for a tricky afternoon.  Mignolet comes rushing out and clears after Niasse latches onto a long ball with only Lovren near the striker. He manages to take the man and the striker. 2:24PM 9 mins All Liverpool at the moment and Henderson plays in Salah who sends a cross into the box for Mane but it's too high for the forward to get to and Pickford takes.  Both teams displaying British youth in the form of Calvert-Lewin, Robertson, Solanke, Gomez and Davies. Williams breaks down an attack on the edge of the box and Rooney tried to get it too Niasse but it's overhit.  Mane looks like he's going to get beyond Holgate but he slips in the box at the crucial moment. 2:21PM 6 mins Kenny takes a free-kick just inside the opposition half but it's too long for Calvert-Lewin to collect. I sense a trend with the Toffees knocking the ball long at every attempt.  Liverpool on the attack and Mane plays in Robertson on his left but his tame effort is easily collected by Pickford.  2:19PM 4 mins Liverpool on the attack and Martina's clearance leave Williams struggling. Lucking for the visitors Henderson sends it over the bar. Allardyce motions for his team to calm down.  2:16PM Kick-off Everton gets the game underway - at the second attempt -  as they go from left to right. Rooney sends it to Holgate, who sends it long and out of play. Is this their gameplan? 2:14PM Derby Day begins It's freezing outside so get comfortable and get those snacks sorted for Liverpool vs Everton. 2:11PM Minutes until kick-off This is a hard one to predict. Will Klopp's rotation defeat Allardyce's lack of changes? It feels like there will be goals with the team sides having conceded 47 between them so far this season. 2:06PM The visiting boss "We want to be committed and passionate but we don't want to lose our cool. " There have been 21 red cards in 50 Merseyside derbies and remember that Everton haven't won at Anfield in 17 Premier League games. The last one was in 1999. 2:00PM 15 minutes until kick-off Here's a reminder of the teams that sees Klopp making six changes and Allardyce making one. The big news is that Coutinho and Firmino are on the bench and Solanke starts only his second Premier League game. Liverpool: Mignolet, Gomez, Klavan, Lovren, Robertson, Milner, Henderson, Mane, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Solanke. Subs: Karius, Wijnaldum, Firmino, Coutinho, Can, Ings, Alexander-Arnold Everton: Pickford, Kenny, Martina, Holgate, Williams, Gueye, Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Niasse Subs: Robles, Schneiderlin, Keane, Jagielka, Lennon, Vlasic, Lookman 1:55PM Super Speedo Mick The Everton fan goes to games in his swimming attire for charity.  Speedo Mick continues his charity fundraising Credit: Getty Images 1:51PM We all agree then Even our columnist, Jamie Carragher, is surprised by the home team.  Liverpool teams a big surprise!!!!!!!— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) December 10, 2017 1:44PM Looking dapper, lads The lads arriving at Anfield... �� pic.twitter.com/3WO6asWGjq— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 10, 2017 1:43PM When your dog has got skills A Liverpool supporting dog Credit: Action Images 1:40PM Those teams Liverpool: Mignolet, Gomez, Klavan, Lovren, Robertson, Milner, Henderson, Mane, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Solanke. Subs: Karius, Wijnaldum, Firmino, Coutinho, Can, Ings, Alexander-Arnold Everton: Pickford, Kenny, Martina, Holgate, Williams, Gueye, Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Niasse Subs: Robles, Schneiderlin, Keane, Jagielka, Lennon, Vlasic, Lookman 1:37PM Just, no I'm not a fan of this phenomenon Half and half scarves Credit: Action Images 1:34PM That's one way to look at it... Henderson and Millner in the midfield. God bless our team.#LIVEVE— Mrinmoy Biswas (@Mrinmoy_sg8) December 10, 2017 1:30PM Sam keeping it steady The visitors have made only one change as Allardyce looks to beat Liverpool with his fourth different club after Crystal palace, West Ham and Bolton.  He got off to a winning start with the 2-0 victory over Hudderfield in the league last weekend and both scorer's - Calvert-Lewin and Sigurdsson - start today.  1:26PM Are we all over that surprise? No Firmino and Coutinho in the starting XI and I think we can safely say that it's a shock. Neither player is injured and they have already scored nine goals between them this season.  Six changes  in contrast to Everton's one seems a lot for a team that has won four of their last five league games. The team scored 15 goals in those four victories. 1:19PM Everton team Not too many surprises for the Toffees... Pickford, Kenny, Martina, Holgate, Williams, Gueye, Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Niasse Subs:  Robles, Schneiderlin, Keane, Jagielka, Lennon, Vlasic, Lookman 1:17PM Liverpool team The home fans may be a little surprised by this team... Mignolet, Gomez, Klavan, Lovren, Robertson, Milner, Henderson, Mane, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Solanke. Subs: Karius, Wijnaldum, Firmino, Coutinho, Can, Ings, Alexander-Arnold 1:15PM Good afternoon Hello! It's 'Derby Day' and we're starting with the Merseyside derby. Let's get the teams news.

Liverpool vs Everton, Premier League: live score updates 

Betfair offer: get Liverpool to beat Everton at 25/1 3:05PM Half-time.  Liverpool go into the break with a 1-0 lead that is deserved after they were the only team attacking.  Salah's goal was superb but the home side may come to waste that possession if Everton manage to get an equaliser in the second-half. 3:03PM 45 + 2 mins  Mane tries to get in on the individual skill as he runs down the left, but he drags his shot wide of the post.  If he had looked up he had three teammates running into the box to join him and Klopp's face suggests he will tell him so at half-time.  3:01PM 45 mins An individual moment gives Liverpool the lead and their first shot on target. Martina had been struggling with Salah for most of the game.  Not content with giving his team the lead he has another shot but Williams heads it over.  2:58PM GOAL! SALAH! The Egyptian breaks the deadlock. Martina loses the ball on the edge of the box, Salah cuts in and his left foot shot sails past Pickford into the far left corner.  2:56PM 41 mins Despite Everton being stuck in their own half the fact they have kept Liverpool quiet should give them confidence going into the second-half.  Gueye gets the second yellow after he tackles Mane from behind. He kind of gets the ball but you can't come through a player's legs like that. 2:52PM 37 mins The first yellow goes to Sigurdsson and to be fair, it was late on Henderson, but I'm not sure if we haven't seen some more physical moments in the opening third of the game.  Red captain is receiving treatment but it doesn't look like anything the magic spray won't fix. 2:50PM 34 mins Rooney lets Mane sail past him and the Red continue their latest attack. It ends with a Robertson shot from the edge of the box that sails over Pickford goal.  Klopp's men lacking any real composure.  2:46PM 31 mins Despite all their possession, Liverpool haven't had a shot on target. Would that still be the case if Coutinho and Firmino were on the pitch? Oxlade-Chamberlain takes a corner and despite keeping possession there is no end result for the reds. As Lovren tries to play in Milner, Rooney goes down the heavy handed defensive route by pushing his former England teammate into the hoardings. By his head... 2:43PM 28 mins Everton actually get into Liverpool's box but Sigurdsson's tame shot is blocked - it was their first real attack which is a positive. But the home side are soon back on the front foot with Oxlade-Chamberlain sending his free-kick towards the far post but it sails out.  2:41PM 25 mins Gomez catches Martina with a knee that is a little bit too close to a certain area and although he is about 1 yard from the linesman there is no further action.  Henderson plays in Gomez whose cross into the box is cut back by Mane but Everton again manage to clear. Somehow. 2:36PM 21 mins Although the home side have had nearly all of the ball and some decent attacks they don't look as penetrative as we are used to seeing.  Everton are just camped out in their own half will have to pay attention if this is what they plan to do for the next 70-odd minutes.  2:34PM 18 mins The Toffees seem to have unstuck their feet and calmed their play slightly, compared to the opening 15 minutes.  Robertson is looking like a serious threat down the left though and Rooney will need to stay alert to help his defense. 2:30PM 15 mins  Martina is having a nightmare with Salah on the right and now Gomez joins the attack before Niasse comes and tackles the young defender. It bounces off the former Charlton man for a goal-kick.  It is all Liverpool at the moment and they have 76% possession. The visitors are riding their luck a little bit.  2:28PM 13 mins Rooney showing why defending has never been his strong point. He loses Robertson on the edge of the box and Kenny comes to the rescue. It is all go at Anfield. Oxlade-Chamberlain sees his shot blocked and Allardyce may want to get that heart monitor back on with all the screaming and shouting he is doing. 2:26PM 11 mins Sigurdsson blocks Milner's shot after Salah loses Martina. The Everton defender could be in for a tricky afternoon.  Mignolet comes rushing out and clears after Niasse latches onto a long ball with only Lovren near the striker. He manages to take the man and the striker. 2:24PM 9 mins All Liverpool at the moment and Henderson plays in Salah who sends a cross into the box for Mane but it's too high for the forward to get to and Pickford takes.  Both teams displaying British youth in the form of Calvert-Lewin, Robertson, Solanke, Gomez and Davies. Williams breaks down an attack on the edge of the box and Rooney tried to get it too Niasse but it's overhit.  Mane looks like he's going to get beyond Holgate but he slips in the box at the crucial moment. 2:21PM 6 mins Kenny takes a free-kick just inside the opposition half but it's too long for Calvert-Lewin to collect. I sense a trend with the Toffees knocking the ball long at every attempt.  Liverpool on the attack and Mane plays in Robertson on his left but his tame effort is easily collected by Pickford.  2:19PM 4 mins Liverpool on the attack and Martina's clearance leave Williams struggling. Lucking for the visitors Henderson sends it over the bar. Allardyce motions for his team to calm down.  2:16PM Kick-off Everton gets the game underway - at the second attempt -  as they go from left to right. Rooney sends it to Holgate, who sends it long and out of play. Is this their gameplan? 2:14PM Derby Day begins It's freezing outside so get comfortable and get those snacks sorted for Liverpool vs Everton. 2:11PM Minutes until kick-off This is a hard one to predict. Will Klopp's rotation defeat Allardyce's lack of changes? It feels like there will be goals with the team sides having conceded 47 between them so far this season. 2:06PM The visiting boss "We want to be committed and passionate but we don't want to lose our cool. " There have been 21 red cards in 50 Merseyside derbies and remember that Everton haven't won at Anfield in 17 Premier League games. The last one was in 1999. 2:00PM 15 minutes until kick-off Here's a reminder of the teams that sees Klopp making six changes and Allardyce making one. The big news is that Coutinho and Firmino are on the bench and Solanke starts only his second Premier League game. Liverpool: Mignolet, Gomez, Klavan, Lovren, Robertson, Milner, Henderson, Mane, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Solanke. Subs: Karius, Wijnaldum, Firmino, Coutinho, Can, Ings, Alexander-Arnold Everton: Pickford, Kenny, Martina, Holgate, Williams, Gueye, Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Niasse Subs: Robles, Schneiderlin, Keane, Jagielka, Lennon, Vlasic, Lookman 1:55PM Super Speedo Mick The Everton fan goes to games in his swimming attire for charity.  Speedo Mick continues his charity fundraising Credit: Getty Images 1:51PM We all agree then Even our columnist, Jamie Carragher, is surprised by the home team.  Liverpool teams a big surprise!!!!!!!— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) December 10, 2017 1:44PM Looking dapper, lads The lads arriving at Anfield... �� pic.twitter.com/3WO6asWGjq— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 10, 2017 1:43PM When your dog has got skills A Liverpool supporting dog Credit: Action Images 1:40PM Those teams Liverpool: Mignolet, Gomez, Klavan, Lovren, Robertson, Milner, Henderson, Mane, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Solanke. Subs: Karius, Wijnaldum, Firmino, Coutinho, Can, Ings, Alexander-Arnold Everton: Pickford, Kenny, Martina, Holgate, Williams, Gueye, Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Niasse Subs: Robles, Schneiderlin, Keane, Jagielka, Lennon, Vlasic, Lookman 1:37PM Just, no I'm not a fan of this phenomenon Half and half scarves Credit: Action Images 1:34PM That's one way to look at it... Henderson and Millner in the midfield. God bless our team.#LIVEVE— Mrinmoy Biswas (@Mrinmoy_sg8) December 10, 2017 1:30PM Sam keeping it steady The visitors have made only one change as Allardyce looks to beat Liverpool with his fourth different club after Crystal palace, West Ham and Bolton.  He got off to a winning start with the 2-0 victory over Hudderfield in the league last weekend and both scorer's - Calvert-Lewin and Sigurdsson - start today.  1:26PM Are we all over that surprise? No Firmino and Coutinho in the starting XI and I think we can safely say that it's a shock. Neither player is injured and they have already scored nine goals between them this season.  Six changes  in contrast to Everton's one seems a lot for a team that has won four of their last five league games. The team scored 15 goals in those four victories. 1:19PM Everton team Not too many surprises for the Toffees... Pickford, Kenny, Martina, Holgate, Williams, Gueye, Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Niasse Subs:  Robles, Schneiderlin, Keane, Jagielka, Lennon, Vlasic, Lookman 1:17PM Liverpool team The home fans may be a little surprised by this team... Mignolet, Gomez, Klavan, Lovren, Robertson, Milner, Henderson, Mane, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Solanke. Subs: Karius, Wijnaldum, Firmino, Coutinho, Can, Ings, Alexander-Arnold 1:15PM Good afternoon Hello! It's 'Derby Day' and we're starting with the Merseyside derby. Let's get the teams news.

Liverpool vs Everton, Premier League: live score updates 

Betfair offer: get Liverpool to beat Everton at 25/1 2:28PM 13 mins Rooney showing why defending has never been his strong point. He loses Robertson on the edge of the box and Kenny comes to the rescue. It is all go at Anfield. Oxlade-Chamberlain sees his shot blocked and Allardyce may want to get that heart monitor back on with all the screaming and shouting he is doing. 2:26PM 11 mins Sigurdsson blocks Milner's shot after Salah loses Martina. The Everton defender could be in for a tricky afternoon.  Mignolet comes rushing out and clears after Niasse latches onto a long ball with only Lovren near the striker. He manages to take the man and the striker. 2:24PM 9 mins All Liverpool at the moment and Henderson plays in Salah who sends a cross into the box for Mane but it's too high for the forward to get to and Pickford takes.  Both teams displaying British youth in the form of Calvert-Lewin, Robertson, Solanke, Gomez and Davies. Williams breaks down an attack on the edge of the box and Rooney tried to get it too Niasse but it's overhit.  Mane looks like he's going to get beyond Holgate but he slips in the box at the crucial moment. 2:21PM 6 mins Kenny takes a free-kick just inside the opposition half but it's too long for Calvert-Lewin to collect. I sense a trend with the Toffees knocking the ball long at every attempt.  Liverpool on the attack and Mane plays in Robertson on his left but his tame effort is easily collected by Pickford.  2:19PM 4 mins Liverpool on the attack and Martina's clearance leave Williams struggling. Lucking for the visitors Henderson sends it over the bar. Allardyce motions for his team to calm down.  2:16PM Kick-off Everton gets the game underway - at the second attempt -  as they go from left to right. Rooney sends it to Holgate, who sends it long and out of play. Is this their gameplan? 2:14PM Derby Day begins It's freezing outside so get comfortable and get those snacks sorted for Liverpool vs Everton. 2:11PM Minutes until kick-off This is a hard one to predict. Will Klopp's rotation defeat Allardyce's lack of changes? It feels like there will be goals with the team sides having conceded 47 between them so far this season. 2:06PM The visiting boss "We want to be committed and passionate but we don't want to lose our cool. " There have been 21 red cards in 50 Merseyside derbies and remember that Everton haven't won at Anfield in 17 Premier League games. The last one was in 1999. 2:00PM 15 minutes until kick-off Here's a reminder of the teams that sees Klopp making six changes and Allardyce making one. The big news is that Coutinho and Firmino are on the bench and Solanke starts only his second Premier League game. Liverpool: Mignolet, Gomez, Klavan, Lovren, Robertson, Milner, Henderson, Mane, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Solanke. Subs: Karius, Wijnaldum, Firmino, Coutinho, Can, Ings, Alexander-Arnold Everton: Pickford, Kenny, Martina, Holgate, Williams, Gueye, Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Niasse Subs: Robles, Schneiderlin, Keane, Jagielka, Lennon, Vlasic, Lookman 1:55PM Super Speedo Mick The Everton fan goes to games in his swimming attire for charity.  Speedo Mick continues his charity fundraising Credit: Getty Images 1:51PM We all agree then Even our columnist, Jamie Carragher, is surprised by the home team.  Liverpool teams a big surprise!!!!!!!— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) December 10, 2017 1:44PM Looking dapper, lads The lads arriving at Anfield... �� pic.twitter.com/3WO6asWGjq— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 10, 2017 1:43PM When your dog has got skills A Liverpool supporting dog Credit: Action Images 1:40PM Those teams Liverpool: Mignolet, Gomez, Klavan, Lovren, Robertson, Milner, Henderson, Mane, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Solanke. Subs: Karius, Wijnaldum, Firmino, Coutinho, Can, Ings, Alexander-Arnold Everton: Pickford, Kenny, Martina, Holgate, Williams, Gueye, Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Niasse Subs: Robles, Schneiderlin, Keane, Jagielka, Lennon, Vlasic, Lookman 1:37PM Just, no I'm not a fan of this phenomenon Half and half scarves Credit: Action Images 1:34PM That's one way to look at it... Henderson and Millner in the midfield. God bless our team.#LIVEVE— Mrinmoy Biswas (@Mrinmoy_sg8) December 10, 2017 1:30PM Sam keeping it steady The visitors have made only one change as Allardyce looks to beat Liverpool with his fourth different club after Crystal palace, West Ham and Bolton.  He got off to a winning start with the 2-0 victory over Hudderfield in the league last weekend and both scorer's - Calvert-Lewin and Sigurdsson - start today.  1:26PM Are we all over that surprise? No Firmino and Coutinho in the starting XI and I think we can safely say that it's a shock. Neither player is injured and they have already scored nine goals between them this season.  Six changes  in contrast to Everton's one seems a lot for a team that has won four of their last five league games. The team scored 15 goals in those four victories. 1:19PM Everton team Not too many surprises for the Toffees... Pickford, Kenny, Martina, Holgate, Williams, Gueye, Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Niasse Subs:  Robles, Schneiderlin, Keane, Jagielka, Lennon, Vlasic, Lookman 1:17PM Liverpool team The home fans may be a little surprised by this team... Mignolet, Gomez, Klavan, Lovren, Robertson, Milner, Henderson, Mane, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Solanke. Subs: Karius, Wijnaldum, Firmino, Coutinho, Can, Ings, Alexander-Arnold 1:15PM Good afternoon Hello! It's 'Derby Day' and we're starting with the Merseyside derby. Let's get the teams news.

Where Will Yu Darvish Sign?

Tom Verducci: He’ll have to wait until Ohtani signs, because his best landing spots are all on Ohtani’s final list: Mariners, Angels, Cubs and Rangers. Don’t rule out a return the Rangers, but the Angels, with the clock ticking before Mike Trout’s free agency, are the surprise winner.

Jay Jaffe: The Twins. If they're ever going to get serious about contending, the Twins have to find pitchers who miss bats; this is a team that has ranked 14th or 15th in the AL in K's in five of the last six years. Darvish, happens to have the highest career strikeout rate of any active starter in terms of both percentage (29.7%) or per nine (11.0). With such a young core—five players making at least $8 million next year and two of them, Joe Mauer and Brian Dozier, come off the books after 2018—the team has significant financial flexibility. The front office has a link to Darvish via GM Thad Levine, who was previously an assistant with the Rangers. They’re already aggressively pursuing the 31-year-old righty. Add Darvish to Ervin Santana and a full season of Jose Berrios and suddenly that rotation looks a lot better.

Stephanie Apstein: I could see him going back to Texas. By all accounts he loved it there, and it’s possible that they think they’re a piece or two away from contention.?

Jack Dickey: Darvish did his free agency no great favors in his post-deadline Dodger stint, looking less like an ace than a No. 2 with occasionally electric stuff. His disastrous World Series may have left a bad taste in general managers’ mouths. He is nevertheless the best starter on the market, young enough (he turns 32 in August) to earn a medium-term deal. If the price is right, a Rangers reunion seems likely. If bidding goes crazy, something suggests the Angels (who tied with Baltimore for the fewest quality starts in the American League in 2017) will be involved.?

Jon Tayler: The catastrophe that was Darvish in the World Series—3 1/3 innings pitched, nine runs allowed, zero strikeouts, and enough flat sliders to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool—probably left most GMs wary of handing him $100 million. So, too, will his age (31) and the reconstructed ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. At least one team, though, is familiar with and fond of Darvish: his old club, the Rangers. Should Texas lose out on Ohtani, I expect them to pursue and pick up this winter’s other Japanese ace, bringing him back to the Metroplex to front a rotation in desperate need of a No. 1 starter.?

Gabriel Baumgaertner: Darvish might be the last major free agent to sign. The teams that need him the most (Brewers, Twins) don't have the money he wants, and the teams that do don't really need him. In terms of raw stuff, Darvish remains one of the most talented starting pitchers in baseball. Unfortunately for him, his abysmal World Series performance didn't help the idea that he's a potential star who will never fulfill his potential. My guess is the Phillies, who have a host of promising young prospects, a lot of money, and an awful starting rotation.

Connor Grossman: Presumably the Cubs will let both Jake Arrieta and John Lackey get away this offseason, leaving an innings void that needs to be filled. Darvish appears to be a great candidate to so—two disastrous World Series starts aside. The Japanese righthander improved marginally after being traded to the Dodgers last season, putting up a better ERA (3.44), WHIP (1.148), BB/9 (2.4) and K/9 (11.1) in nine starts with LA versus his 22 starts in 2017 with Texas.

A small-market team like the Twins—who have been linked to Darvish—make for an intriguing landing spot, but the Cubs have the financial wherewithal to lure him away.

Several Teams Are Still Unbeaten, but How Many Are Still Untested?

There were a number of reasons then-No. 11 Cincinnati lost convincingly to No. 21 Xavier on Saturday. For one, the Musketeers are very good, especially when Trevon Bluiett is in All-America form, and they generally played very well. The Bearcats were also in hostile territory in front of a frothing crowd in a bitter rivalry game (more on that in a second), and they could hardly knock down an outside shot or find any complementary offense outside of their four primary scorers, and they got pushed around on the offensive glass. Basketball games are complicated puzzles with a lot going on. It’s rarely ever just one thing.

But it’s also worth noting that Xavier might have just been more ready, not from a coaching or game-study perspective but when it comes to recent experience. Coaches often describe how non-conference schedules prepare them for league play, or league play prepares them for the postseason, and so on. Looking at the teams’ previous opponents through that prism, a disparity emerges. Undefeated Cincinnati’s only remotely notable wins were against Wyoming and Buffalo in the Cayman Islands. Xavier, meanwhile, was coming off a home win against No. 16 Baylor after a neutral-site loss to surging No. 20 Arizona State, which came a week after a never-a-pleasure trip to Wisconsin. In order words, we knew Xavier’s talent and expected success could be measured within the context of similar-caliber competition. For Cincinnati—a talented team nonetheless—the same could not really be said.

With the ranks of college basketball’s undefeated steadily shrinking (after Syracuse’s loss on Saturday, it now stands at 13), it’s worth examining whether some other lossless teams have yet to be truly tested, and when we can expect them to be. A few candidates are rather easily dismissed: Duke has already beaten Michigan State and Florida, Miami knocked off Minnesota, Arizona State beat Xavier, Texas A&M won at USC and Kansas had to deal with Kentucky (although the Wildcats’ youth and relative struggles may recast that win a bit in time).

That leaves eight teams with perfect marks that we’re looking forward to seeing tested a bit more. Here’s a quick look at each of their early-season resumes and the first game that might offer a better measuring stick:

Villanova (8–0)

Best wins: vs. Tennessee and Northern Iowa in the Bahamas
Next test: vs. Gonzaga (in New York), Tuesday

Okay, we’re cheating a little off the bat. Those wins over Thanksgiving weekend are nothing to sneeze at. But a true test for a team this good is probably a step above those. By now we were hoping to have seen the Wildcats play Arizona and/or Purdue, who were both in the same Atlantis tournament bracket but dropped early games to fall out of Villanova’s path. The good news is we won’t have to wait long to see Villanova play another top-notch opponent, as this week it faces a Gonzaga team whose only loss was in double-OT on a neutral floor to Florida, a potential Final Four contender. The Bulldogs just handled Creighton, another strong offense from the Big East, and are among the more proven teams thus far. This one should be fun.

Virginia (8–0)

Best wins: vs. Rhode Island (in Brooklyn), vs. Wisconsin
Next test: at West Virginia, Tuesday

Hooray, another short wait. On the same night Villanova meets Gonzaga, Tony Bennett’s pack-lining Cavaliers travel to face Press Virginia. As Bob Huggins’s team has burnished its brand-name-defense credentials, this series has become a fun contrast in styles and tempo, as the Mountaineers’ relentless pressure tries to disrupt the Cavaliers' steady, methodical attack.

How the Cavaliers handle Jevon Carter and company should lend insight into how well their impressive early run will foretell success after the calendar turns.

TCU (8–0)

Best wins: vs. St. Bonaventure (in Florida), vs. Belmont
Next test: vs. SMU, Tuesday

I’m sensing a trend; Tuesday is gonna be a pretty interesting night of basketball, huh? Jamie Dixon has transformed his alma mater into a program worth taking seriously in just his second season, but the Horned Frogs’ best win so far was against an Atlantic 10 team missing its best player. The Mustangs will try to lull them into a lower-possession game than those to which they’ve become accustomed (SMU averages the 10th-longest offensive possessions nationally) and feature the most difficult-to-defend player TCU has seen so far in forward Shake Milton. But the Frogs, so far the nation’s best defensive rebounding team, will have a size advantage that should bode well for 6' 11" forward Vladimir Brodziansky.

Nevada (8–0)

Best wins: vs. Rhode Island, vs. Davidson
Next test: at Texas Tech, Tuesday

Listen, if you’ve got plans this Tuesday, cancel them. This whole week is a challenge for the Wolf Pack, which follows its visit to Lubbock with a game against TCU in Los Angeles. No one has any kind of season-long undefeated watch going on for the Mountain West favorites, but regardless of what kind of record Nevada has come next Monday, it will have endured its best preparation yet for the defense of its conference crown. Two things to watch: whether the Wolf Pack can continue to take care of the ball against the turnover-forcing Red Raiders (ninth nationally in steal percentage) and how they fare on the offensive glass against TCU in a matchup of Nevada’s weakness against the Horned Frogs’ strength.

Florida State (6–0)

Best wins: at Rutgers, vs. Colorado State (in Jamaica)
Next test: at Florida, Monday

The Seminoles ended a four-year NCAA tournament drought as a No. 3 seed last season, but their 6-0 start—during which only Rutgers has finished within 17 points —hasn’t come against anybody likely to be playing in the Big Dance come March. The Gators, meanwhile, look like a team that might play deep into that month or beyond, featuring a trio of scoring guards that can give even the best defenses fits. They’ll serve as Florida State’s first taste of what a grueling ACC slate will offer.

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Mississippi State (7–0)

Best wins: vs. Dayton, vs. Jacksonville State
Next test: at Cincinnati, Dec. 12

A fairly light early schedule can be a worthwhile confidence-booster for a team as young as Ben Howland’s Bulldogs—according to Kenpom.com, they rank 330th nationally in weighted experience—as it allows players to get up to speed and work out kinks without truly being thrown into the fire. But playing mid-majors (and Dayton, if they’re not quite that) on campus until mid-December and then traveling to Cincinnati might feel like jumping into flames from a swimming pool. With how strong the SEC looks this season, they’ll need it.

Georgetown (6–0)

Best wins: at Richmond, vs. Mount St. Mary’s
Next test: vs. Syracuse, Dec. 16

Speaking of easing into the college basketball experience, rookie Hoyas coach Patrick Ewing only has his team leaving D.C. once before Big East play and facing just two teams SI projects to be among the country’s top 250 (Syracuse at 65, and Richmond at 145). The game against the Orange will be a fun rivalry game and the only chance Georgetown’s schedule affords to learn how it might fare when conference play starts.

Valparaiso (8–0)

Best wins: vs. Utah State, vs. UNC-Wilmington (in Georgia)
Next test: at Purdue, Thursday

The Crusaders feel like an odd inclusion here. They’re not trying to fool anybody by munching on cupcakes; they’re a good team taking care of business in a fine mid-major non-conference schedule. But among their top Missouri Valley competition, Northern Iowa (vs. UNLV and SMU) and Missouri State (at Western Kentucky and South Dakota State) have already claimed some noteworthy early-season pelts. This week’s trip to Purdue and next week’s to Northwestern will give Valpo a chance to one-up them.

If you are wondering what exactly you are reading, this is the Monday Rebound, SI.com’s weekly Monday-morning column on college hoops. It’s a sort of grab bag of news and tidbits and opinions largely aimed at catching you up on the weekend’s (and week’s) action and being generally informative. If there’s anything you like or dislike or would want to see more of here, or if you would just like to chat and maybe exchange orchid care tips, you can find me on Twitter @thedangreene. Thanks for reading.

ICYMI

Six years ago, the storied Crosstown Shootout rivalry game between Xavier and Cincinnati—schools separated by less than four miles—authored one of its ugliest chapters, when a brawl worthy of its own Wikipedia entry broke out in the final seconds. That prompted the programs to move the game off campus for the next two years in order to de-escalate the hostilities in a more neutral environment. The game returned to campus locations for the 2014–15 season, and the three subsequent on-campus games went off without incident.

Then came Saturday. After the Musketeers beat the Bearcats from start to finish, Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin confronted Xavier senior J.P. Macura and had to be restrained and removed from the court. In his postgame press conference, Cronin did not apologize for his actions and explained he’d “never had a kid tell me to ‘F off’ three times before,” adding that the player who did so—assumed to be Macura—“wouldn’t play for me.” In his own words to the media, Xavier coach Chris Mack said there was “a reason [Cincinnati’s] coach was issued a technical in the game” and that there are “two sides” to the story. Mack also said that former Bearcats guard Lance Stephenson had cursed at him during a meeting between the teams when Stephenson played for Cronin, and that after the game he shook his hand.

It’s easy to hold up this incident as evidence of the rivalry’s intensity and entertainment value; it’s also difficult to deny that it illustrates as much, or that the unvarnished hostility adds an element of intrigue for viewers. But when it comes to bad blood there can be a fine line between compelling and eye-roll-inducing theater, and one good indicator of it being crossed is whether an adult on a multi-million dollar salary physically confronts a college kid. Whatever Macura may have said, Cronin has to handle it better than he did, especially as a coach who forced his players to remove their jerseys in the locker room after the 2011 fight because they did not appreciate the status that representing their university conferred them. This year he should direct his reprimands at the mirror.

As the scandal turns...

The Los Angeles Times had an interesting scoop related to the FBI investigation saga this week, as Nathan Fenno reported that hotel security footage disputes some specifics of the government’s criminal complaint involving USC. The footage shows an undercover FBI agent meeting with financial advisor Munish Sood and aspiring agent Christian Dawkins (both arrested in connection with the bribery conspiracy) and “a close family friend” of Trojans guard De’Anthony Melton. As Fenno writes:

“The video and the criminal complaint in the case differ on one main point: The complaint said that the undercover agent provided Dawkins an envelope containing $5,000 to give to the family friend at [USC assistant coach Tony] Bland’s direction, and that the friend received the money. The video—clear, in color, stamped with the Aug. 31 date and time across the top, but without sound—shows Dawkins receiving the money and leaving with it. The complaint also states that the money was provided to Dawkins before the meeting, but the video shows the undercover agent brought an envelope to the meeting.”

Melton has been suspended through the Trojans’ first six games as USC sorts out his eligibility situation, which has included Melton turning over his bank and cell phone records to the school. The video evidence would seem to boost Melton’s chances of being cleared to play, but until USC knows it will not have to forfeit games in which he participates, it’s likely the team errs on the side of caution. In the meantime, the video potentially offers the first hole poked in the government’s case. Considering the skepticism some have of its legal footing to begin with, if there are further such inconsistencies, things may not be as airtight as they were first presented.

Elsewhere in the scandal landscape, SI legal analyst Michael McCann has a detailed examination of former Louisville coach Rick Pitino’s breach of contract lawsuit against the school, which was filed Thursday. “The odds probably weigh against him,” McCann writes.

High Five

Each week, we’ll be highlighting five teams on the rise. Here’s who stood out over the past week.

1. Michigan State: The Spartans’ impressive 18-point handling of Notre Dame on Thursday was its second straight win by that margin over a top-10 team—and both of those came with freshman forward and top-10 recruit Jaren Jackson contributing little offensively. As he continues to develop, watch out.

2. Miami: The Hurricanes’ five-point win at Minnesota last week was a high-quality win by any measure, but what was especially encouraging for Miami was the offense emerging sophomore big man Dewan Huell (23 points) provided against the Gophers’ formidable front line.

3. Wichita State: The Shockers knocked off Baylor in Waco, which no one outside the Big 12 had been able to do since Northwestern did it in December 2012. Gregg Marshall’s team gets another test on a Big 12 court this week when it visits Oklahoma State.

4. Purdue: A week after a rough trip to the Bahamas on which they went 1-2, the Boilermakers bounced back with strong wins over Louisville and Maryland. Senior Dakota Mathias has been so good from three that his 7-for-14 shooting week actually lowered his season percentage from deep to 55.1%.

5. Seton Hall: The Pirates dipped out of the AP poll after losing to Rhode Island on Thanksgiving, but beating two ranked teams this week—first Texas Tech at Madison Square Garden, then Louisville on the road—should get them back in the Top 25.

Bests of the Best

Each week, we’ll get to know a standout player a little better by asking them about some of the best things in the world. This week we welcome Minnesota forward Jordan Murphy, who has posted nine double-doubles in nine games to average 21.0 points and 12.9 rebounds for the 8–1 Golden Gophers. So, Jordan, tell us about the best...

...animal at the zoo. “I would have to say the monkeys. I really find great entertainment in watching monkeys play around and interact with people that come near their exhibit. I’ve been twice to Minnesota’s zoo. I go to the San Antonio Zoo quite often though when I go home. I’m a big chimpanzee fan. I like how intelligent they really are and how they can portray emotion. They smile with you, they do funny stuff. I think that’s pretty cool.”

...way to pass time on road trips. “Read a comic book. I’m a big superhero guy. Spider-Man is my favorite. I just like his charisma. He talks trash while he’s crime-fighting. I think that’s one of the funniest and coolest things. Since I was a little kid I’ve always been fascinated with the movies. I try to read at least a series [of comic books] every road trip, so I’ll probably read like 10 maybe in a month. I really like the Avengers comic books, just the whole group in general. They have some really interesting storylines.”

...decoration in your room. “It’s most definitely my poster of the whole Marvel Universe. It just has a bunch of superheroes on it, as far as the eyes can see. I got it earlier this year. I went to Hobby Lobby and I found it and I just knew I had to get it. I have two posters; I have a Batman and Joker one on the other wall. I’ve only got those two.”

Top of the Classes

Senior: Desi Rodriguez, Seton Hall forward

The Bronx native captained the Pirates’ resurgent week by averaging 26.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists, while adding four steals in Sunday’s narrow win over the Cardinals. Most dramatically, he banked in an off-balance shot that put Seton Hall ahead with eight seconds left.

Junior: Tramaine Isabell, Drexel guard

A 6' 1" transfer from Missouri, Isabell averaged 27.0 points and 10.5 rebounds (10.5 rebounds!) over the Dragons’ wins over Lafayette and Rider last week. His defensive rebounding rate currently ranks 57th nationally, per Kenpom.com. Every player ahead of him as at least three inches taller.

Sophomore: Markus Howard, Marquette guard

One of the nation’s top, ahem, marksmen began the week with a ho-hum 14 points against Eastern Illinois before dropping 33 (on 11-of-15 three-point shooting) on Chicago State and 29 (in 20 minutes) against Georgia.

Freshman: Marvin Bagley III, Duke forward

Like last week, it was nearly impossible to pick between Bagley and Oklahoma’s Trae Young. But this week the nod goes to the guy helping shoulder the load for the country’s best team, who shot 18-of-26 this week while posting double-doubles at Indiana and against South Dakota.

Social Media Post of the Week

Assigned Viewing: Villanova vs. Gonzaga, Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Two of the three title-game teams from the last two seasons meet for the first time ever in the first game of this year’s Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden. As mentioned above, this will be Villanova’s first shot at another team that looks likely to be around come March’s second weekend. The Bulldogs have handled Texas’s size and Creighton’s offensive fury; now they have to face a smart, balanced team that can go smaller and force teams into uncomfortable spots. The Wildcats don’t get to the line often and Gonzaga doesn’t send teams there, so Villanova will have to get it done from the floor. Mikal Bridges vs. Johnathan Williams will be the matchup to watch.

Before You’re Dismissed...

• They’re a bit dated now, but Molly Geary dropped SI’s first Power Rankings of the season last week. More importantly, check out SI.com this Wednesday for the next edition.

• Two big baskets from this week you shouldn’t miss: Boise State’s half-courter by Lexus Williams to snap Oregon’s home winning streak, and the own-basket that cost Georgia Tech a home game against previously 1–5 Grambling.

• And if you somehow didn’t yet, make sure you see this alley-oop finish by the Kansas guard Lagerald Vick.

• After the success of Thanksgiving weekend’s 16-team, two-bracket, multi-arena PK80 Invitational in Portland, Michigan State AD Mark Hollis told ESPN that he envisions a similar 16-team event in the future, but held in a single venue: Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Colts and multiple Final Fours. In Hollis’s vision, there would be huge curtains separating adjacent courts where games are played simultaneously, like an AAU tournament on steroids. It seems like something of a stretch logistically, but if it can attract the caliber of programs the PK80 did, it’s certainly worth a shot.

• There was a truly scary situation at Saturday’s game between North Carolina State and South Carolina State when Bulldogs guard Ty Solomon collapsed on the bench and had to be resuscitated by paramedics using CPR. Solomon’s heart reportedly stopped, but he was conscious and stable after the game, which was delayed for an extended period of time before Solomon’s teammates voted to continue playing. WRAL spoke with Solomon from his hospital bed afterward. Here’s wishing Solomon good health going forward.

• Arizona edged UNLV on the road in overtime to avoid yet another loss. Sophomore guard Rawle Alkins has been cleared for full-contact drills as he recovers from a broken foot, so some help should be arriving soon, but it won’t be there in time for Tuesday’s date with Texas A&M.

• As Patrick Stevens initially pointed out on Twitter when he got to .500 earlier in the week, Towson coach Pat Skerry now has a winning record over seven seasons at the school, after beginning his tenure 1–32. This March that long, steady building job could result in the Tigers’ first NCAA tourney appearance since 1991.

• Nice story from The Kansas City Star’s Jesse Newell on 101-year-old Kansas fan Ruby-Doo going to her first Jayhawks game.

• On the same night Howard hit his 11 threes for Marquette—the most by a player in a game this season—William & Mary’s Connor Burchfield made 10 of 12 from deep against Marshall. Nov. 29 was a good shooting day.

• While your mind is beyond the arc, allow Jake Fischer to introduce you to Central Arkansas’s Jordan Howard, a 5' 11" guard whose three-point prowess could take him from the Southland to the pros.

• With a hat tip to The Ringer’s Mark Titus, you should really read this account of the hilariously shoddy Cayman Islands Classic, which OhVarsity!’s Matt Allaire labels “the Fyre Festival of holiday tournaments.”

• This week’s parting recommendation: the two-hour season finale of Nathan For You (titled “Finding Frances”) that aired last month but I just finally watched this weekend. It’s probably best enjoyed if you’re at least familiar with the show beforehand, which you should be because it is brilliant, but I’d think it can also work as a standalone viewing experience. It’s at various times hilarious, poignant, uncomfortable or some mix between, and deeply human throughout.

Several Teams Are Still Unbeaten, but How Many Are Still Untested?

There were a number of reasons then-No. 11 Cincinnati lost convincingly to No. 21 Xavier on Saturday. For one, the Musketeers are very good, especially when Trevon Bluiett is in All-America form, and they generally played very well. The Bearcats were also in hostile territory in front of a frothing crowd in a bitter rivalry game (more on that in a second), and they could hardly knock down an outside shot or find any complementary offense outside of their four primary scorers, and they got pushed around on the offensive glass. Basketball games are complicated puzzles with a lot going on. It’s rarely ever just one thing.

But it’s also worth noting that Xavier might have just been more ready, not from a coaching or game-study perspective but when it comes to recent experience. Coaches often describe how non-conference schedules prepare them for league play, or league play prepares them for the postseason, and so on. Looking at the teams’ previous opponents through that prism, a disparity emerges. Undefeated Cincinnati’s only remotely notable wins were against Wyoming and Buffalo in the Cayman Islands. Xavier, meanwhile, was coming off a home win against No. 16 Baylor after a neutral-site loss to surging No. 20 Arizona State, which came a week after a never-a-pleasure trip to Wisconsin. In order words, we knew Xavier’s talent and expected success could be measured within the context of similar-caliber competition. For Cincinnati—a talented team nonetheless—the same could not really be said.

With the ranks of college basketball’s undefeated steadily shrinking (after Syracuse’s loss on Saturday, it now stands at 13), it’s worth examining whether some other lossless teams have yet to be truly tested, and when we can expect them to be. A few candidates are rather easily dismissed: Duke has already beaten Michigan State and Florida, Miami knocked off Minnesota, Arizona State beat Xavier, Texas A&M won at USC and Kansas had to deal with Kentucky (although the Wildcats’ youth and relative struggles may recast that win a bit in time).

That leaves eight teams with perfect marks that we’re looking forward to seeing tested a bit more. Here’s a quick look at each of their early-season resumes and the first game that might offer a better measuring stick:

Villanova (8–0)

Best wins: vs. Tennessee and Northern Iowa in the Bahamas
Next test: vs. Gonzaga (in New York), Tuesday

Okay, we’re cheating a little off the bat. Those wins over Thanksgiving weekend are nothing to sneeze at. But a true test for a team this good is probably a step above those. By now we were hoping to have seen the Wildcats play Arizona and/or Purdue, who were both in the same Atlantis tournament bracket but dropped early games to fall out of Villanova’s path. The good news is we won’t have to wait long to see Villanova play another top-notch opponent, as this week it faces a Gonzaga team whose only loss was in double-OT on a neutral floor to Florida, a potential Final Four contender. The Bulldogs just handled Creighton, another strong offense from the Big East, and are among the more proven teams thus far. This one should be fun.

Virginia (8–0)

Best wins: vs. Rhode Island (in Brooklyn), vs. Wisconsin
Next test: at West Virginia, Tuesday

Hooray, another short wait. On the same night Villanova meets Gonzaga, Tony Bennett’s pack-lining Cavaliers travel to face Press Virginia. As Bob Huggins’s team has burnished its brand-name-defense credentials, this series has become a fun contrast in styles and tempo, as the Mountaineers’ relentless pressure tries to disrupt the Cavaliers' steady, methodical attack.

How the Cavaliers handle Jevon Carter and company should lend insight into how well their impressive early run will foretell success after the calendar turns.

TCU (8–0)

Best wins: vs. St. Bonaventure (in Florida), vs. Belmont
Next test: vs. SMU, Tuesday

I’m sensing a trend; Tuesday is gonna be a pretty interesting night of basketball, huh? Jamie Dixon has transformed his alma mater into a program worth taking seriously in just his second season, but the Horned Frogs’ best win so far was against an Atlantic 10 team missing its best player. The Mustangs will try to lull them into a lower-possession game than those to which they’ve become accustomed (SMU averages the 10th-longest offensive possessions nationally) and feature the most difficult-to-defend player TCU has seen so far in forward Shake Milton. But the Frogs, so far the nation’s best defensive rebounding team, will have a size advantage that should bode well for 6' 11" forward Vladimir Brodziansky.

Nevada (8–0)

Best wins: vs. Rhode Island, vs. Davidson
Next test: at Texas Tech, Tuesday

Listen, if you’ve got plans this Tuesday, cancel them. This whole week is a challenge for the Wolf Pack, which follows its visit to Lubbock with a game against TCU in Los Angeles. No one has any kind of season-long undefeated watch going on for the Mountain West favorites, but regardless of what kind of record Nevada has come next Monday, it will have endured its best preparation yet for the defense of its conference crown. Two things to watch: whether the Wolf Pack can continue to take care of the ball against the turnover-forcing Red Raiders (ninth nationally in steal percentage) and how they fare on the offensive glass against TCU in a matchup of Nevada’s weakness against the Horned Frogs’ strength.

Florida State (6–0)

Best wins: at Rutgers, vs. Colorado State (in Jamaica)
Next test: at Florida, Monday

The Seminoles ended a four-year NCAA tournament drought as a No. 3 seed last season, but their 6-0 start—during which only Rutgers has finished within 17 points —hasn’t come against anybody likely to be playing in the Big Dance come March. The Gators, meanwhile, look like a team that might play deep into that month or beyond, featuring a trio of scoring guards that can give even the best defenses fits. They’ll serve as Florida State’s first taste of what a grueling ACC slate will offer.

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Mississippi State (7–0)

Best wins: vs. Dayton, vs. Jacksonville State
Next test: at Cincinnati, Dec. 12

A fairly light early schedule can be a worthwhile confidence-booster for a team as young as Ben Howland’s Bulldogs—according to Kenpom.com, they rank 330th nationally in weighted experience—as it allows players to get up to speed and work out kinks without truly being thrown into the fire. But playing mid-majors (and Dayton, if they’re not quite that) on campus until mid-December and then traveling to Cincinnati might feel like jumping into flames from a swimming pool. With how strong the SEC looks this season, they’ll need it.

Georgetown (6–0)

Best wins: at Richmond, vs. Mount St. Mary’s
Next test: vs. Syracuse, Dec. 16

Speaking of easing into the college basketball experience, rookie Hoyas coach Patrick Ewing only has his team leaving D.C. once before Big East play and facing just two teams SI projects to be among the country’s top 250 (Syracuse at 65, and Richmond at 145). The game against the Orange will be a fun rivalry game and the only chance Georgetown’s schedule affords to learn how it might fare when conference play starts.

Valparaiso (8–0)

Best wins: vs. Utah State, vs. UNC-Wilmington (in Georgia)
Next test: at Purdue, Thursday

The Crusaders feel like an odd inclusion here. They’re not trying to fool anybody by munching on cupcakes; they’re a good team taking care of business in a fine mid-major non-conference schedule. But among their top Missouri Valley competition, Northern Iowa (vs. UNLV and SMU) and Missouri State (at Western Kentucky and South Dakota State) have already claimed some noteworthy early-season pelts. This week’s trip to Purdue and next week’s to Northwestern will give Valpo a chance to one-up them.

If you are wondering what exactly you are reading, this is the Monday Rebound, SI.com’s weekly Monday-morning column on college hoops. It’s a sort of grab bag of news and tidbits and opinions largely aimed at catching you up on the weekend’s (and week’s) action and being generally informative. If there’s anything you like or dislike or would want to see more of here, or if you would just like to chat and maybe exchange orchid care tips, you can find me on Twitter @thedangreene. Thanks for reading.

ICYMI

Six years ago, the storied Crosstown Shootout rivalry game between Xavier and Cincinnati—schools separated by less than four miles—authored one of its ugliest chapters, when a brawl worthy of its own Wikipedia entry broke out in the final seconds. That prompted the programs to move the game off campus for the next two years in order to de-escalate the hostilities in a more neutral environment. The game returned to campus locations for the 2014–15 season, and the three subsequent on-campus games went off without incident.

Then came Saturday. After the Musketeers beat the Bearcats from start to finish, Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin confronted Xavier senior J.P. Macura and had to be restrained and removed from the court. In his postgame press conference, Cronin did not apologize for his actions and explained he’d “never had a kid tell me to ‘F off’ three times before,” adding that the player who did so—assumed to be Macura—“wouldn’t play for me.” In his own words to the media, Xavier coach Chris Mack said there was “a reason [Cincinnati’s] coach was issued a technical in the game” and that there are “two sides” to the story. Mack also said that former Bearcats guard Lance Stephenson had cursed at him during a meeting between the teams when Stephenson played for Cronin, and that after the game he shook his hand.

It’s easy to hold up this incident as evidence of the rivalry’s intensity and entertainment value; it’s also difficult to deny that it illustrates as much, or that the unvarnished hostility adds an element of intrigue for viewers. But when it comes to bad blood there can be a fine line between compelling and eye-roll-inducing theater, and one good indicator of it being crossed is whether an adult on a multi-million dollar salary physically confronts a college kid. Whatever Macura may have said, Cronin has to handle it better than he did, especially as a coach who forced his players to remove their jerseys in the locker room after the 2011 fight because they did not appreciate the status that representing their university conferred them. This year he should direct his reprimands at the mirror.

As the scandal turns...

The Los Angeles Times had an interesting scoop related to the FBI investigation saga this week, as Nathan Fenno reported that hotel security footage disputes some specifics of the government’s criminal complaint involving USC. The footage shows an undercover FBI agent meeting with financial advisor Munish Sood and aspiring agent Christian Dawkins (both arrested in connection with the bribery conspiracy) and “a close family friend” of Trojans guard De’Anthony Melton. As Fenno writes:

“The video and the criminal complaint in the case differ on one main point: The complaint said that the undercover agent provided Dawkins an envelope containing $5,000 to give to the family friend at [USC assistant coach Tony] Bland’s direction, and that the friend received the money. The video—clear, in color, stamped with the Aug. 31 date and time across the top, but without sound—shows Dawkins receiving the money and leaving with it. The complaint also states that the money was provided to Dawkins before the meeting, but the video shows the undercover agent brought an envelope to the meeting.”

Melton has been suspended through the Trojans’ first six games as USC sorts out his eligibility situation, which has included Melton turning over his bank and cell phone records to the school. The video evidence would seem to boost Melton’s chances of being cleared to play, but until USC knows it will not have to forfeit games in which he participates, it’s likely the team errs on the side of caution. In the meantime, the video potentially offers the first hole poked in the government’s case. Considering the skepticism some have of its legal footing to begin with, if there are further such inconsistencies, things may not be as airtight as they were first presented.

Elsewhere in the scandal landscape, SI legal analyst Michael McCann has a detailed examination of former Louisville coach Rick Pitino’s breach of contract lawsuit against the school, which was filed Thursday. “The odds probably weigh against him,” McCann writes.

High Five

Each week, we’ll be highlighting five teams on the rise. Here’s who stood out over the past week.

1. Michigan State: The Spartans’ impressive 18-point handling of Notre Dame on Thursday was its second straight win by that margin over a top-10 team—and both of those came with freshman forward and top-10 recruit Jaren Jackson contributing little offensively. As he continues to develop, watch out.

2. Miami: The Hurricanes’ five-point win at Minnesota last week was a high-quality win by any measure, but what was especially encouraging for Miami was the offense emerging sophomore big man Dewan Huell (23 points) provided against the Gophers’ formidable front line.

3. Wichita State: The Shockers knocked off Baylor in Waco, which no one outside the Big 12 had been able to do since Northwestern did it in December 2012. Gregg Marshall’s team gets another test on a Big 12 court this week when it visits Oklahoma State.

4. Purdue: A week after a rough trip to the Bahamas on which they went 1-2, the Boilermakers bounced back with strong wins over Louisville and Maryland. Senior Dakota Mathias has been so good from three that his 7-for-14 shooting week actually lowered his season percentage from deep to 55.1%.

5. Seton Hall: The Pirates dipped out of the AP poll after losing to Rhode Island on Thanksgiving, but beating two ranked teams this week—first Texas Tech at Madison Square Garden, then Louisville on the road—should get them back in the Top 25.

Bests of the Best

Each week, we’ll get to know a standout player a little better by asking them about some of the best things in the world. This week we welcome Minnesota forward Jordan Murphy, who has posted nine double-doubles in nine games to average 21.0 points and 12.9 rebounds for the 8–1 Golden Gophers. So, Jordan, tell us about the best...

...animal at the zoo. “I would have to say the monkeys. I really find great entertainment in watching monkeys play around and interact with people that come near their exhibit. I’ve been twice to Minnesota’s zoo. I go to the San Antonio Zoo quite often though when I go home. I’m a big chimpanzee fan. I like how intelligent they really are and how they can portray emotion. They smile with you, they do funny stuff. I think that’s pretty cool.”

...way to pass time on road trips. “Read a comic book. I’m a big superhero guy. Spider-Man is my favorite. I just like his charisma. He talks trash while he’s crime-fighting. I think that’s one of the funniest and coolest things. Since I was a little kid I’ve always been fascinated with the movies. I try to read at least a series [of comic books] every road trip, so I’ll probably read like 10 maybe in a month. I really like the Avengers comic books, just the whole group in general. They have some really interesting storylines.”

...decoration in your room. “It’s most definitely my poster of the whole Marvel Universe. It just has a bunch of superheroes on it, as far as the eyes can see. I got it earlier this year. I went to Hobby Lobby and I found it and I just knew I had to get it. I have two posters; I have a Batman and Joker one on the other wall. I’ve only got those two.”

Top of the Classes

Senior: Desi Rodriguez, Seton Hall forward

The Bronx native captained the Pirates’ resurgent week by averaging 26.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists, while adding four steals in Sunday’s narrow win over the Cardinals. Most dramatically, he banked in an off-balance shot that put Seton Hall ahead with eight seconds left.

Junior: Tramaine Isabell, Drexel guard

A 6' 1" transfer from Missouri, Isabell averaged 27.0 points and 10.5 rebounds (10.5 rebounds!) over the Dragons’ wins over Lafayette and Rider last week. His defensive rebounding rate currently ranks 57th nationally, per Kenpom.com. Every player ahead of him as at least three inches taller.

Sophomore: Markus Howard, Marquette guard

One of the nation’s top, ahem, marksmen began the week with a ho-hum 14 points against Eastern Illinois before dropping 33 (on 11-of-15 three-point shooting) on Chicago State and 29 (in 20 minutes) against Georgia.

Freshman: Marvin Bagley III, Duke forward

Like last week, it was nearly impossible to pick between Bagley and Oklahoma’s Trae Young. But this week the nod goes to the guy helping shoulder the load for the country’s best team, who shot 18-of-26 this week while posting double-doubles at Indiana and against South Dakota.

Social Media Post of the Week

Assigned Viewing: Villanova vs. Gonzaga, Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Two of the three title-game teams from the last two seasons meet for the first time ever in the first game of this year’s Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden. As mentioned above, this will be Villanova’s first shot at another team that looks likely to be around come March’s second weekend. The Bulldogs have handled Texas’s size and Creighton’s offensive fury; now they have to face a smart, balanced team that can go smaller and force teams into uncomfortable spots. The Wildcats don’t get to the line often and Gonzaga doesn’t send teams there, so Villanova will have to get it done from the floor. Mikal Bridges vs. Johnathan Williams will be the matchup to watch.

Before You’re Dismissed...

• They’re a bit dated now, but Molly Geary dropped SI’s first Power Rankings of the season last week. More importantly, check out SI.com this Wednesday for the next edition.

• Two big baskets from this week you shouldn’t miss: Boise State’s half-courter by Lexus Williams to snap Oregon’s home winning streak, and the own-basket that cost Georgia Tech a home game against previously 1–5 Grambling.

• And if you somehow didn’t yet, make sure you see this alley-oop finish by the Kansas guard Lagerald Vick.

• After the success of Thanksgiving weekend’s 16-team, two-bracket, multi-arena PK80 Invitational in Portland, Michigan State AD Mark Hollis told ESPN that he envisions a similar 16-team event in the future, but held in a single venue: Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Colts and multiple Final Fours. In Hollis’s vision, there would be huge curtains separating adjacent courts where games are played simultaneously, like an AAU tournament on steroids. It seems like something of a stretch logistically, but if it can attract the caliber of programs the PK80 did, it’s certainly worth a shot.

• There was a truly scary situation at Saturday’s game between North Carolina State and South Carolina State when Bulldogs guard Ty Solomon collapsed on the bench and had to be resuscitated by paramedics using CPR. Solomon’s heart reportedly stopped, but he was conscious and stable after the game, which was delayed for an extended period of time before Solomon’s teammates voted to continue playing. WRAL spoke with Solomon from his hospital bed afterward. Here’s wishing Solomon good health going forward.

• Arizona edged UNLV on the road in overtime to avoid yet another loss. Sophomore guard Rawle Alkins has been cleared for full-contact drills as he recovers from a broken foot, so some help should be arriving soon, but it won’t be there in time for Tuesday’s date with Texas A&M.

• As Patrick Stevens initially pointed out on Twitter when he got to .500 earlier in the week, Towson coach Pat Skerry now has a winning record over seven seasons at the school, after beginning his tenure 1–32. This March that long, steady building job could result in the Tigers’ first NCAA tourney appearance since 1991.

• Nice story from The Kansas City Star’s Jesse Newell on 101-year-old Kansas fan Ruby-Doo going to her first Jayhawks game.

• On the same night Howard hit his 11 threes for Marquette—the most by a player in a game this season—William & Mary’s Connor Burchfield made 10 of 12 from deep against Marshall. Nov. 29 was a good shooting day.

• While your mind is beyond the arc, allow Jake Fischer to introduce you to Central Arkansas’s Jordan Howard, a 5' 11" guard whose three-point prowess could take him from the Southland to the pros.

• With a hat tip to The Ringer’s Mark Titus, you should really read this account of the hilariously shoddy Cayman Islands Classic, which OhVarsity!’s Matt Allaire labels “the Fyre Festival of holiday tournaments.”

• This week’s parting recommendation: the two-hour season finale of Nathan For You (titled “Finding Frances”) that aired last month but I just finally watched this weekend. It’s probably best enjoyed if you’re at least familiar with the show beforehand, which you should be because it is brilliant, but I’d think it can also work as a standalone viewing experience. It’s at various times hilarious, poignant, uncomfortable or some mix between, and deeply human throughout.

Several Teams Are Still Unbeaten, but How Many Are Still Untested?

There were a number of reasons then-No. 11 Cincinnati lost convincingly to No. 21 Xavier on Saturday. For one, the Musketeers are very good, especially when Trevon Bluiett is in All-America form, and they generally played very well. The Bearcats were also in hostile territory in front of a frothing crowd in a bitter rivalry game (more on that in a second), and they could hardly knock down an outside shot or find any complementary offense outside of their four primary scorers, and they got pushed around on the offensive glass. Basketball games are complicated puzzles with a lot going on. It’s rarely ever just one thing.

But it’s also worth noting that Xavier might have just been more ready, not from a coaching or game-study perspective but when it comes to recent experience. Coaches often describe how non-conference schedules prepare them for league play, or league play prepares them for the postseason, and so on. Looking at the teams’ previous opponents through that prism, a disparity emerges. Undefeated Cincinnati’s only remotely notable wins were against Wyoming and Buffalo in the Cayman Islands. Xavier, meanwhile, was coming off a home win against No. 16 Baylor after a neutral-site loss to surging No. 20 Arizona State, which came a week after a never-a-pleasure trip to Wisconsin. In order words, we knew Xavier’s talent and expected success could be measured within the context of similar-caliber competition. For Cincinnati—a talented team nonetheless—the same could not really be said.

With the ranks of college basketball’s undefeated steadily shrinking (after Syracuse’s loss on Saturday, it now stands at 13), it’s worth examining whether some other lossless teams have yet to be truly tested, and when we can expect them to be. A few candidates are rather easily dismissed: Duke has already beaten Michigan State and Florida, Miami knocked off Minnesota, Arizona State beat Xavier, Texas A&M won at USC and Kansas had to deal with Kentucky (although the Wildcats’ youth and relative struggles may recast that win a bit in time).

That leaves eight teams with perfect marks that we’re looking forward to seeing tested a bit more. Here’s a quick look at each of their early-season resumes and the first game that might offer a better measuring stick:

Villanova (8–0)

Best wins: vs. Tennessee and Northern Iowa in the Bahamas
Next test: vs. Gonzaga (in New York), Tuesday

Okay, we’re cheating a little off the bat. Those wins over Thanksgiving weekend are nothing to sneeze at. But a true test for a team this good is probably a step above those. By now we were hoping to have seen the Wildcats play Arizona and/or Purdue, who were both in the same Atlantis tournament bracket but dropped early games to fall out of Villanova’s path. The good news is we won’t have to wait long to see Villanova play another top-notch opponent, as this week it faces a Gonzaga team whose only loss was in double-OT on a neutral floor to Florida, a potential Final Four contender. The Bulldogs just handled Creighton, another strong offense from the Big East, and are among the more proven teams thus far. This one should be fun.

Virginia (8–0)

Best wins: vs. Rhode Island (in Brooklyn), vs. Wisconsin
Next test: at West Virginia, Tuesday

Hooray, another short wait. On the same night Villanova meets Gonzaga, Tony Bennett’s pack-lining Cavaliers travel to face Press Virginia. As Bob Huggins’s team has burnished its brand-name-defense credentials, this series has become a fun contrast in styles and tempo, as the Mountaineers’ relentless pressure tries to disrupt the Cavaliers' steady, methodical attack.

How the Cavaliers handle Jevon Carter and company should lend insight into how well their impressive early run will foretell success after the calendar turns.

TCU (8–0)

Best wins: vs. St. Bonaventure (in Florida), vs. Belmont
Next test: vs. SMU, Tuesday

I’m sensing a trend; Tuesday is gonna be a pretty interesting night of basketball, huh? Jamie Dixon has transformed his alma mater into a program worth taking seriously in just his second season, but the Horned Frogs’ best win so far was against an Atlantic 10 team missing its best player. The Mustangs will try to lull them into a lower-possession game than those to which they’ve become accustomed (SMU averages the 10th-longest offensive possessions nationally) and feature the most difficult-to-defend player TCU has seen so far in forward Shake Milton. But the Frogs, so far the nation’s best defensive rebounding team, will have a size advantage that should bode well for 6' 11" forward Vladimir Brodziansky.

Nevada (8–0)

Best wins: vs. Rhode Island, vs. Davidson
Next test: at Texas Tech, Tuesday

Listen, if you’ve got plans this Tuesday, cancel them. This whole week is a challenge for the Wolf Pack, which follows its visit to Lubbock with a game against TCU in Los Angeles. No one has any kind of season-long undefeated watch going on for the Mountain West favorites, but regardless of what kind of record Nevada has come next Monday, it will have endured its best preparation yet for the defense of its conference crown. Two things to watch: whether the Wolf Pack can continue to take care of the ball against the turnover-forcing Red Raiders (ninth nationally in steal percentage) and how they fare on the offensive glass against TCU in a matchup of Nevada’s weakness against the Horned Frogs’ strength.

Florida State (6–0)

Best wins: at Rutgers, vs. Colorado State (in Jamaica)
Next test: at Florida, Monday

The Seminoles ended a four-year NCAA tournament drought as a No. 3 seed last season, but their 6-0 start—during which only Rutgers has finished within 17 points —hasn’t come against anybody likely to be playing in the Big Dance come March. The Gators, meanwhile, look like a team that might play deep into that month or beyond, featuring a trio of scoring guards that can give even the best defenses fits. They’ll serve as Florida State’s first taste of what a grueling ACC slate will offer.

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Mississippi State (7–0)

Best wins: vs. Dayton, vs. Jacksonville State
Next test: at Cincinnati, Dec. 12

A fairly light early schedule can be a worthwhile confidence-booster for a team as young as Ben Howland’s Bulldogs—according to Kenpom.com, they rank 330th nationally in weighted experience—as it allows players to get up to speed and work out kinks without truly being thrown into the fire. But playing mid-majors (and Dayton, if they’re not quite that) on campus until mid-December and then traveling to Cincinnati might feel like jumping into flames from a swimming pool. With how strong the SEC looks this season, they’ll need it.

Georgetown (6–0)

Best wins: at Richmond, vs. Mount St. Mary’s
Next test: vs. Syracuse, Dec. 16

Speaking of easing into the college basketball experience, rookie Hoyas coach Patrick Ewing only has his team leaving D.C. once before Big East play and facing just two teams SI projects to be among the country’s top 250 (Syracuse at 65, and Richmond at 145). The game against the Orange will be a fun rivalry game and the only chance Georgetown’s schedule affords to learn how it might fare when conference play starts.

Valparaiso (8–0)

Best wins: vs. Utah State, vs. UNC-Wilmington (in Georgia)
Next test: at Purdue, Thursday

The Crusaders feel like an odd inclusion here. They’re not trying to fool anybody by munching on cupcakes; they’re a good team taking care of business in a fine mid-major non-conference schedule. But among their top Missouri Valley competition, Northern Iowa (vs. UNLV and SMU) and Missouri State (at Western Kentucky and South Dakota State) have already claimed some noteworthy early-season pelts. This week’s trip to Purdue and next week’s to Northwestern will give Valpo a chance to one-up them.

If you are wondering what exactly you are reading, this is the Monday Rebound, SI.com’s weekly Monday-morning column on college hoops. It’s a sort of grab bag of news and tidbits and opinions largely aimed at catching you up on the weekend’s (and week’s) action and being generally informative. If there’s anything you like or dislike or would want to see more of here, or if you would just like to chat and maybe exchange orchid care tips, you can find me on Twitter @thedangreene. Thanks for reading.

ICYMI

Six years ago, the storied Crosstown Shootout rivalry game between Xavier and Cincinnati—schools separated by less than four miles—authored one of its ugliest chapters, when a brawl worthy of its own Wikipedia entry broke out in the final seconds. That prompted the programs to move the game off campus for the next two years in order to de-escalate the hostilities in a more neutral environment. The game returned to campus locations for the 2014–15 season, and the three subsequent on-campus games went off without incident.

Then came Saturday. After the Musketeers beat the Bearcats from start to finish, Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin confronted Xavier senior J.P. Macura and had to be restrained and removed from the court. In his postgame press conference, Cronin did not apologize for his actions and explained he’d “never had a kid tell me to ‘F off’ three times before,” adding that the player who did so—assumed to be Macura—“wouldn’t play for me.” In his own words to the media, Xavier coach Chris Mack said there was “a reason [Cincinnati’s] coach was issued a technical in the game” and that there are “two sides” to the story. Mack also said that former Bearcats guard Lance Stephenson had cursed at him during a meeting between the teams when Stephenson played for Cronin, and that after the game he shook his hand.

It’s easy to hold up this incident as evidence of the rivalry’s intensity and entertainment value; it’s also difficult to deny that it illustrates as much, or that the unvarnished hostility adds an element of intrigue for viewers. But when it comes to bad blood there can be a fine line between compelling and eye-roll-inducing theater, and one good indicator of it being crossed is whether an adult on a multi-million dollar salary physically confronts a college kid. Whatever Macura may have said, Cronin has to handle it better than he did, especially as a coach who forced his players to remove their jerseys in the locker room after the 2011 fight because they did not appreciate the status that representing their university conferred them. This year he should direct his reprimands at the mirror.

As the scandal turns...

The Los Angeles Times had an interesting scoop related to the FBI investigation saga this week, as Nathan Fenno reported that hotel security footage disputes some specifics of the government’s criminal complaint involving USC. The footage shows an undercover FBI agent meeting with financial advisor Munish Sood and aspiring agent Christian Dawkins (both arrested in connection with the bribery conspiracy) and “a close family friend” of Trojans guard De’Anthony Melton. As Fenno writes:

“The video and the criminal complaint in the case differ on one main point: The complaint said that the undercover agent provided Dawkins an envelope containing $5,000 to give to the family friend at [USC assistant coach Tony] Bland’s direction, and that the friend received the money. The video—clear, in color, stamped with the Aug. 31 date and time across the top, but without sound—shows Dawkins receiving the money and leaving with it. The complaint also states that the money was provided to Dawkins before the meeting, but the video shows the undercover agent brought an envelope to the meeting.”

Melton has been suspended through the Trojans’ first six games as USC sorts out his eligibility situation, which has included Melton turning over his bank and cell phone records to the school. The video evidence would seem to boost Melton’s chances of being cleared to play, but until USC knows it will not have to forfeit games in which he participates, it’s likely the team errs on the side of caution. In the meantime, the video potentially offers the first hole poked in the government’s case. Considering the skepticism some have of its legal footing to begin with, if there are further such inconsistencies, things may not be as airtight as they were first presented.

Elsewhere in the scandal landscape, SI legal analyst Michael McCann has a detailed examination of former Louisville coach Rick Pitino’s breach of contract lawsuit against the school, which was filed Thursday. “The odds probably weigh against him,” McCann writes.

High Five

Each week, we’ll be highlighting five teams on the rise. Here’s who stood out over the past week.

1. Michigan State: The Spartans’ impressive 18-point handling of Notre Dame on Thursday was its second straight win by that margin over a top-10 team—and both of those came with freshman forward and top-10 recruit Jaren Jackson contributing little offensively. As he continues to develop, watch out.

2. Miami: The Hurricanes’ five-point win at Minnesota last week was a high-quality win by any measure, but what was especially encouraging for Miami was the offense emerging sophomore big man Dewan Huell (23 points) provided against the Gophers’ formidable front line.

3. Wichita State: The Shockers knocked off Baylor in Waco, which no one outside the Big 12 had been able to do since Northwestern did it in December 2012. Gregg Marshall’s team gets another test on a Big 12 court this week when it visits Oklahoma State.

4. Purdue: A week after a rough trip to the Bahamas on which they went 1-2, the Boilermakers bounced back with strong wins over Louisville and Maryland. Senior Dakota Mathias has been so good from three that his 7-for-14 shooting week actually lowered his season percentage from deep to 55.1%.

5. Seton Hall: The Pirates dipped out of the AP poll after losing to Rhode Island on Thanksgiving, but beating two ranked teams this week—first Texas Tech at Madison Square Garden, then Louisville on the road—should get them back in the Top 25.

Bests of the Best

Each week, we’ll get to know a standout player a little better by asking them about some of the best things in the world. This week we welcome Minnesota forward Jordan Murphy, who has posted nine double-doubles in nine games to average 21.0 points and 12.9 rebounds for the 8–1 Golden Gophers. So, Jordan, tell us about the best...

...animal at the zoo. “I would have to say the monkeys. I really find great entertainment in watching monkeys play around and interact with people that come near their exhibit. I’ve been twice to Minnesota’s zoo. I go to the San Antonio Zoo quite often though when I go home. I’m a big chimpanzee fan. I like how intelligent they really are and how they can portray emotion. They smile with you, they do funny stuff. I think that’s pretty cool.”

...way to pass time on road trips. “Read a comic book. I’m a big superhero guy. Spider-Man is my favorite. I just like his charisma. He talks trash while he’s crime-fighting. I think that’s one of the funniest and coolest things. Since I was a little kid I’ve always been fascinated with the movies. I try to read at least a series [of comic books] every road trip, so I’ll probably read like 10 maybe in a month. I really like the Avengers comic books, just the whole group in general. They have some really interesting storylines.”

...decoration in your room. “It’s most definitely my poster of the whole Marvel Universe. It just has a bunch of superheroes on it, as far as the eyes can see. I got it earlier this year. I went to Hobby Lobby and I found it and I just knew I had to get it. I have two posters; I have a Batman and Joker one on the other wall. I’ve only got those two.”

Top of the Classes

Senior: Desi Rodriguez, Seton Hall forward

The Bronx native captained the Pirates’ resurgent week by averaging 26.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists, while adding four steals in Sunday’s narrow win over the Cardinals. Most dramatically, he banked in an off-balance shot that put Seton Hall ahead with eight seconds left.

Junior: Tramaine Isabell, Drexel guard

A 6' 1" transfer from Missouri, Isabell averaged 27.0 points and 10.5 rebounds (10.5 rebounds!) over the Dragons’ wins over Lafayette and Rider last week. His defensive rebounding rate currently ranks 57th nationally, per Kenpom.com. Every player ahead of him as at least three inches taller.

Sophomore: Markus Howard, Marquette guard

One of the nation’s top, ahem, marksmen began the week with a ho-hum 14 points against Eastern Illinois before dropping 33 (on 11-of-15 three-point shooting) on Chicago State and 29 (in 20 minutes) against Georgia.

Freshman: Marvin Bagley III, Duke forward

Like last week, it was nearly impossible to pick between Bagley and Oklahoma’s Trae Young. But this week the nod goes to the guy helping shoulder the load for the country’s best team, who shot 18-of-26 this week while posting double-doubles at Indiana and against South Dakota.

Social Media Post of the Week

Assigned Viewing: Villanova vs. Gonzaga, Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Two of the three title-game teams from the last two seasons meet for the first time ever in the first game of this year’s Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden. As mentioned above, this will be Villanova’s first shot at another team that looks likely to be around come March’s second weekend. The Bulldogs have handled Texas’s size and Creighton’s offensive fury; now they have to face a smart, balanced team that can go smaller and force teams into uncomfortable spots. The Wildcats don’t get to the line often and Gonzaga doesn’t send teams there, so Villanova will have to get it done from the floor. Mikal Bridges vs. Johnathan Williams will be the matchup to watch.

Before You’re Dismissed...

• They’re a bit dated now, but Molly Geary dropped SI’s first Power Rankings of the season last week. More importantly, check out SI.com this Wednesday for the next edition.

• Two big baskets from this week you shouldn’t miss: Boise State’s half-courter by Lexus Williams to snap Oregon’s home winning streak, and the own-basket that cost Georgia Tech a home game against previously 1–5 Grambling.

• And if you somehow didn’t yet, make sure you see this alley-oop finish by the Kansas guard Lagerald Vick.

• After the success of Thanksgiving weekend’s 16-team, two-bracket, multi-arena PK80 Invitational in Portland, Michigan State AD Mark Hollis told ESPN that he envisions a similar 16-team event in the future, but held in a single venue: Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Colts and multiple Final Fours. In Hollis’s vision, there would be huge curtains separating adjacent courts where games are played simultaneously, like an AAU tournament on steroids. It seems like something of a stretch logistically, but if it can attract the caliber of programs the PK80 did, it’s certainly worth a shot.

• There was a truly scary situation at Saturday’s game between North Carolina State and South Carolina State when Bulldogs guard Ty Solomon collapsed on the bench and had to be resuscitated by paramedics using CPR. Solomon’s heart reportedly stopped, but he was conscious and stable after the game, which was delayed for an extended period of time before Solomon’s teammates voted to continue playing. WRAL spoke with Solomon from his hospital bed afterward. Here’s wishing Solomon good health going forward.

• Arizona edged UNLV on the road in overtime to avoid yet another loss. Sophomore guard Rawle Alkins has been cleared for full-contact drills as he recovers from a broken foot, so some help should be arriving soon, but it won’t be there in time for Tuesday’s date with Texas A&M.

• As Patrick Stevens initially pointed out on Twitter when he got to .500 earlier in the week, Towson coach Pat Skerry now has a winning record over seven seasons at the school, after beginning his tenure 1–32. This March that long, steady building job could result in the Tigers’ first NCAA tourney appearance since 1991.

• Nice story from The Kansas City Star’s Jesse Newell on 101-year-old Kansas fan Ruby-Doo going to her first Jayhawks game.

• On the same night Howard hit his 11 threes for Marquette—the most by a player in a game this season—William & Mary’s Connor Burchfield made 10 of 12 from deep against Marshall. Nov. 29 was a good shooting day.

• While your mind is beyond the arc, allow Jake Fischer to introduce you to Central Arkansas’s Jordan Howard, a 5' 11" guard whose three-point prowess could take him from the Southland to the pros.

• With a hat tip to The Ringer’s Mark Titus, you should really read this account of the hilariously shoddy Cayman Islands Classic, which OhVarsity!’s Matt Allaire labels “the Fyre Festival of holiday tournaments.”

• This week’s parting recommendation: the two-hour season finale of Nathan For You (titled “Finding Frances”) that aired last month but I just finally watched this weekend. It’s probably best enjoyed if you’re at least familiar with the show beforehand, which you should be because it is brilliant, but I’d think it can also work as a standalone viewing experience. It’s at various times hilarious, poignant, uncomfortable or some mix between, and deeply human throughout.

Several Teams Are Still Unbeaten, but How Many Are Still Untested?

There were a number of reasons then-No. 11 Cincinnati lost convincingly to No. 21 Xavier on Saturday. For one, the Musketeers are very good, especially when Trevon Bluiett is in All-America form, and they generally played very well. The Bearcats were also in hostile territory in front of a frothing crowd in a bitter rivalry game (more on that in a second), and they could hardly knock down an outside shot or find any complementary offense outside of their four primary scorers, and they got pushed around on the offensive glass. Basketball games are complicated puzzles with a lot going on. It’s rarely ever just one thing.

But it’s also worth noting that Xavier might have just been more ready, not from a coaching or game-study perspective but when it comes to recent experience. Coaches often describe how non-conference schedules prepare them for league play, or league play prepares them for the postseason, and so on. Looking at the teams’ previous opponents through that prism, a disparity emerges. Undefeated Cincinnati’s only remotely notable wins were against Wyoming and Buffalo in the Cayman Islands. Xavier, meanwhile, was coming off a home win against No. 16 Baylor after a neutral-site loss to surging No. 20 Arizona State, which came a week after a never-a-pleasure trip to Wisconsin. In order words, we knew Xavier’s talent and expected success could be measured within the context of similar-caliber competition. For Cincinnati—a talented team nonetheless—the same could not really be said.

With the ranks of college basketball’s undefeated steadily shrinking (after Syracuse’s loss on Saturday, it now stands at 13), it’s worth examining whether some other lossless teams have yet to be truly tested, and when we can expect them to be. A few candidates are rather easily dismissed: Duke has already beaten Michigan State and Florida, Miami knocked off Minnesota, Arizona State beat Xavier, Texas A&M won at USC and Kansas had to deal with Kentucky (although the Wildcats’ youth and relative struggles may recast that win a bit in time).

That leaves eight teams with perfect marks that we’re looking forward to seeing tested a bit more. Here’s a quick look at each of their early-season resumes and the first game that might offer a better measuring stick:

Villanova (8–0)

Best wins: vs. Tennessee and Northern Iowa in the Bahamas
Next test: vs. Gonzaga (in New York), Tuesday

Okay, we’re cheating a little off the bat. Those wins over Thanksgiving weekend are nothing to sneeze at. But a true test for a team this good is probably a step above those. By now we were hoping to have seen the Wildcats play Arizona and/or Purdue, who were both in the same Atlantis tournament bracket but dropped early games to fall out of Villanova’s path. The good news is we won’t have to wait long to see Villanova play another top-notch opponent, as this week it faces a Gonzaga team whose only loss was in double-OT on a neutral floor to Florida, a potential Final Four contender. The Bulldogs just handled Creighton, another strong offense from the Big East, and are among the more proven teams thus far. This one should be fun.

Virginia (8–0)

Best wins: vs. Rhode Island (in Brooklyn), vs. Wisconsin
Next test: at West Virginia, Tuesday

Hooray, another short wait. On the same night Villanova meets Gonzaga, Tony Bennett’s pack-lining Cavaliers travel to face Press Virginia. As Bob Huggins’s team has burnished its brand-name-defense credentials, this series has become a fun contrast in styles and tempo, as the Mountaineers’ relentless pressure tries to disrupt the Cavaliers' steady, methodical attack.

How the Cavaliers handle Jevon Carter and company should lend insight into how well their impressive early run will foretell success after the calendar turns.

TCU (8–0)

Best wins: vs. St. Bonaventure (in Florida), vs. Belmont
Next test: vs. SMU, Tuesday

I’m sensing a trend; Tuesday is gonna be a pretty interesting night of basketball, huh? Jamie Dixon has transformed his alma mater into a program worth taking seriously in just his second season, but the Horned Frogs’ best win so far was against an Atlantic 10 team missing its best player. The Mustangs will try to lull them into a lower-possession game than those to which they’ve become accustomed (SMU averages the 10th-longest offensive possessions nationally) and feature the most difficult-to-defend player TCU has seen so far in forward Shake Milton. But the Frogs, so far the nation’s best defensive rebounding team, will have a size advantage that should bode well for 6' 11" forward Vladimir Brodziansky.

Nevada (8–0)

Best wins: vs. Rhode Island, vs. Davidson
Next test: at Texas Tech, Tuesday

Listen, if you’ve got plans this Tuesday, cancel them. This whole week is a challenge for the Wolf Pack, which follows its visit to Lubbock with a game against TCU in Los Angeles. No one has any kind of season-long undefeated watch going on for the Mountain West favorites, but regardless of what kind of record Nevada has come next Monday, it will have endured its best preparation yet for the defense of its conference crown. Two things to watch: whether the Wolf Pack can continue to take care of the ball against the turnover-forcing Red Raiders (ninth nationally in steal percentage) and how they fare on the offensive glass against TCU in a matchup of Nevada’s weakness against the Horned Frogs’ strength.

Florida State (6–0)

Best wins: at Rutgers, vs. Colorado State (in Jamaica)
Next test: at Florida, Monday

The Seminoles ended a four-year NCAA tournament drought as a No. 3 seed last season, but their 6-0 start—during which only Rutgers has finished within 17 points —hasn’t come against anybody likely to be playing in the Big Dance come March. The Gators, meanwhile, look like a team that might play deep into that month or beyond, featuring a trio of scoring guards that can give even the best defenses fits. They’ll serve as Florida State’s first taste of what a grueling ACC slate will offer.

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Mississippi State (7–0)

Best wins: vs. Dayton, vs. Jacksonville State
Next test: at Cincinnati, Dec. 12

A fairly light early schedule can be a worthwhile confidence-booster for a team as young as Ben Howland’s Bulldogs—according to Kenpom.com, they rank 330th nationally in weighted experience—as it allows players to get up to speed and work out kinks without truly being thrown into the fire. But playing mid-majors (and Dayton, if they’re not quite that) on campus until mid-December and then traveling to Cincinnati might feel like jumping into flames from a swimming pool. With how strong the SEC looks this season, they’ll need it.

Georgetown (6–0)

Best wins: at Richmond, vs. Mount St. Mary’s
Next test: vs. Syracuse, Dec. 16

Speaking of easing into the college basketball experience, rookie Hoyas coach Patrick Ewing only has his team leaving D.C. once before Big East play and facing just two teams SI projects to be among the country’s top 250 (Syracuse at 65, and Richmond at 145). The game against the Orange will be a fun rivalry game and the only chance Georgetown’s schedule affords to learn how it might fare when conference play starts.

Valparaiso (8–0)

Best wins: vs. Utah State, vs. UNC-Wilmington (in Georgia)
Next test: at Purdue, Thursday

The Crusaders feel like an odd inclusion here. They’re not trying to fool anybody by munching on cupcakes; they’re a good team taking care of business in a fine mid-major non-conference schedule. But among their top Missouri Valley competition, Northern Iowa (vs. UNLV and SMU) and Missouri State (at Western Kentucky and South Dakota State) have already claimed some noteworthy early-season pelts. This week’s trip to Purdue and next week’s to Northwestern will give Valpo a chance to one-up them.

If you are wondering what exactly you are reading, this is the Monday Rebound, SI.com’s weekly Monday-morning column on college hoops. It’s a sort of grab bag of news and tidbits and opinions largely aimed at catching you up on the weekend’s (and week’s) action and being generally informative. If there’s anything you like or dislike or would want to see more of here, or if you would just like to chat and maybe exchange orchid care tips, you can find me on Twitter @thedangreene. Thanks for reading.

ICYMI

Six years ago, the storied Crosstown Shootout rivalry game between Xavier and Cincinnati—schools separated by less than four miles—authored one of its ugliest chapters, when a brawl worthy of its own Wikipedia entry broke out in the final seconds. That prompted the programs to move the game off campus for the next two years in order to de-escalate the hostilities in a more neutral environment. The game returned to campus locations for the 2014–15 season, and the three subsequent on-campus games went off without incident.

Then came Saturday. After the Musketeers beat the Bearcats from start to finish, Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin confronted Xavier senior J.P. Macura and had to be restrained and removed from the court. In his postgame press conference, Cronin did not apologize for his actions and explained he’d “never had a kid tell me to ‘F off’ three times before,” adding that the player who did so—assumed to be Macura—“wouldn’t play for me.” In his own words to the media, Xavier coach Chris Mack said there was “a reason [Cincinnati’s] coach was issued a technical in the game” and that there are “two sides” to the story. Mack also said that former Bearcats guard Lance Stephenson had cursed at him during a meeting between the teams when Stephenson played for Cronin, and that after the game he shook his hand.

It’s easy to hold up this incident as evidence of the rivalry’s intensity and entertainment value; it’s also difficult to deny that it illustrates as much, or that the unvarnished hostility adds an element of intrigue for viewers. But when it comes to bad blood there can be a fine line between compelling and eye-roll-inducing theater, and one good indicator of it being crossed is whether an adult on a multi-million dollar salary physically confronts a college kid. Whatever Macura may have said, Cronin has to handle it better than he did, especially as a coach who forced his players to remove their jerseys in the locker room after the 2011 fight because they did not appreciate the status that representing their university conferred them. This year he should direct his reprimands at the mirror.

As the scandal turns...

The Los Angeles Times had an interesting scoop related to the FBI investigation saga this week, as Nathan Fenno reported that hotel security footage disputes some specifics of the government’s criminal complaint involving USC. The footage shows an undercover FBI agent meeting with financial advisor Munish Sood and aspiring agent Christian Dawkins (both arrested in connection with the bribery conspiracy) and “a close family friend” of Trojans guard De’Anthony Melton. As Fenno writes:

“The video and the criminal complaint in the case differ on one main point: The complaint said that the undercover agent provided Dawkins an envelope containing $5,000 to give to the family friend at [USC assistant coach Tony] Bland’s direction, and that the friend received the money. The video—clear, in color, stamped with the Aug. 31 date and time across the top, but without sound—shows Dawkins receiving the money and leaving with it. The complaint also states that the money was provided to Dawkins before the meeting, but the video shows the undercover agent brought an envelope to the meeting.”

Melton has been suspended through the Trojans’ first six games as USC sorts out his eligibility situation, which has included Melton turning over his bank and cell phone records to the school. The video evidence would seem to boost Melton’s chances of being cleared to play, but until USC knows it will not have to forfeit games in which he participates, it’s likely the team errs on the side of caution. In the meantime, the video potentially offers the first hole poked in the government’s case. Considering the skepticism some have of its legal footing to begin with, if there are further such inconsistencies, things may not be as airtight as they were first presented.

Elsewhere in the scandal landscape, SI legal analyst Michael McCann has a detailed examination of former Louisville coach Rick Pitino’s breach of contract lawsuit against the school, which was filed Thursday. “The odds probably weigh against him,” McCann writes.

High Five

Each week, we’ll be highlighting five teams on the rise. Here’s who stood out over the past week.

1. Michigan State: The Spartans’ impressive 18-point handling of Notre Dame on Thursday was its second straight win by that margin over a top-10 team—and both of those came with freshman forward and top-10 recruit Jaren Jackson contributing little offensively. As he continues to develop, watch out.

2. Miami: The Hurricanes’ five-point win at Minnesota last week was a high-quality win by any measure, but what was especially encouraging for Miami was the offense emerging sophomore big man Dewan Huell (23 points) provided against the Gophers’ formidable front line.

3. Wichita State: The Shockers knocked off Baylor in Waco, which no one outside the Big 12 had been able to do since Northwestern did it in December 2012. Gregg Marshall’s team gets another test on a Big 12 court this week when it visits Oklahoma State.

4. Purdue: A week after a rough trip to the Bahamas on which they went 1-2, the Boilermakers bounced back with strong wins over Louisville and Maryland. Senior Dakota Mathias has been so good from three that his 7-for-14 shooting week actually lowered his season percentage from deep to 55.1%.

5. Seton Hall: The Pirates dipped out of the AP poll after losing to Rhode Island on Thanksgiving, but beating two ranked teams this week—first Texas Tech at Madison Square Garden, then Louisville on the road—should get them back in the Top 25.

Bests of the Best

Each week, we’ll get to know a standout player a little better by asking them about some of the best things in the world. This week we welcome Minnesota forward Jordan Murphy, who has posted nine double-doubles in nine games to average 21.0 points and 12.9 rebounds for the 8–1 Golden Gophers. So, Jordan, tell us about the best...

...animal at the zoo. “I would have to say the monkeys. I really find great entertainment in watching monkeys play around and interact with people that come near their exhibit. I’ve been twice to Minnesota’s zoo. I go to the San Antonio Zoo quite often though when I go home. I’m a big chimpanzee fan. I like how intelligent they really are and how they can portray emotion. They smile with you, they do funny stuff. I think that’s pretty cool.”

...way to pass time on road trips. “Read a comic book. I’m a big superhero guy. Spider-Man is my favorite. I just like his charisma. He talks trash while he’s crime-fighting. I think that’s one of the funniest and coolest things. Since I was a little kid I’ve always been fascinated with the movies. I try to read at least a series [of comic books] every road trip, so I’ll probably read like 10 maybe in a month. I really like the Avengers comic books, just the whole group in general. They have some really interesting storylines.”

...decoration in your room. “It’s most definitely my poster of the whole Marvel Universe. It just has a bunch of superheroes on it, as far as the eyes can see. I got it earlier this year. I went to Hobby Lobby and I found it and I just knew I had to get it. I have two posters; I have a Batman and Joker one on the other wall. I’ve only got those two.”

Top of the Classes

Senior: Desi Rodriguez, Seton Hall forward

The Bronx native captained the Pirates’ resurgent week by averaging 26.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists, while adding four steals in Sunday’s narrow win over the Cardinals. Most dramatically, he banked in an off-balance shot that put Seton Hall ahead with eight seconds left.

Junior: Tramaine Isabell, Drexel guard

A 6' 1" transfer from Missouri, Isabell averaged 27.0 points and 10.5 rebounds (10.5 rebounds!) over the Dragons’ wins over Lafayette and Rider last week. His defensive rebounding rate currently ranks 57th nationally, per Kenpom.com. Every player ahead of him as at least three inches taller.

Sophomore: Markus Howard, Marquette guard

One of the nation’s top, ahem, marksmen began the week with a ho-hum 14 points against Eastern Illinois before dropping 33 (on 11-of-15 three-point shooting) on Chicago State and 29 (in 20 minutes) against Georgia.

Freshman: Marvin Bagley III, Duke forward

Like last week, it was nearly impossible to pick between Bagley and Oklahoma’s Trae Young. But this week the nod goes to the guy helping shoulder the load for the country’s best team, who shot 18-of-26 this week while posting double-doubles at Indiana and against South Dakota.

Social Media Post of the Week

Assigned Viewing: Villanova vs. Gonzaga, Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Two of the three title-game teams from the last two seasons meet for the first time ever in the first game of this year’s Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden. As mentioned above, this will be Villanova’s first shot at another team that looks likely to be around come March’s second weekend. The Bulldogs have handled Texas’s size and Creighton’s offensive fury; now they have to face a smart, balanced team that can go smaller and force teams into uncomfortable spots. The Wildcats don’t get to the line often and Gonzaga doesn’t send teams there, so Villanova will have to get it done from the floor. Mikal Bridges vs. Johnathan Williams will be the matchup to watch.

Before You’re Dismissed...

• They’re a bit dated now, but Molly Geary dropped SI’s first Power Rankings of the season last week. More importantly, check out SI.com this Wednesday for the next edition.

• Two big baskets from this week you shouldn’t miss: Boise State’s half-courter by Lexus Williams to snap Oregon’s home winning streak, and the own-basket that cost Georgia Tech a home game against previously 1–5 Grambling.

• And if you somehow didn’t yet, make sure you see this alley-oop finish by the Kansas guard Lagerald Vick.

• After the success of Thanksgiving weekend’s 16-team, two-bracket, multi-arena PK80 Invitational in Portland, Michigan State AD Mark Hollis told ESPN that he envisions a similar 16-team event in the future, but held in a single venue: Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Colts and multiple Final Fours. In Hollis’s vision, there would be huge curtains separating adjacent courts where games are played simultaneously, like an AAU tournament on steroids. It seems like something of a stretch logistically, but if it can attract the caliber of programs the PK80 did, it’s certainly worth a shot.

• There was a truly scary situation at Saturday’s game between North Carolina State and South Carolina State when Bulldogs guard Ty Solomon collapsed on the bench and had to be resuscitated by paramedics using CPR. Solomon’s heart reportedly stopped, but he was conscious and stable after the game, which was delayed for an extended period of time before Solomon’s teammates voted to continue playing. WRAL spoke with Solomon from his hospital bed afterward. Here’s wishing Solomon good health going forward.

• Arizona edged UNLV on the road in overtime to avoid yet another loss. Sophomore guard Rawle Alkins has been cleared for full-contact drills as he recovers from a broken foot, so some help should be arriving soon, but it won’t be there in time for Tuesday’s date with Texas A&M.

• As Patrick Stevens initially pointed out on Twitter when he got to .500 earlier in the week, Towson coach Pat Skerry now has a winning record over seven seasons at the school, after beginning his tenure 1–32. This March that long, steady building job could result in the Tigers’ first NCAA tourney appearance since 1991.

• Nice story from The Kansas City Star’s Jesse Newell on 101-year-old Kansas fan Ruby-Doo going to her first Jayhawks game.

• On the same night Howard hit his 11 threes for Marquette—the most by a player in a game this season—William & Mary’s Connor Burchfield made 10 of 12 from deep against Marshall. Nov. 29 was a good shooting day.

• While your mind is beyond the arc, allow Jake Fischer to introduce you to Central Arkansas’s Jordan Howard, a 5' 11" guard whose three-point prowess could take him from the Southland to the pros.

• With a hat tip to The Ringer’s Mark Titus, you should really read this account of the hilariously shoddy Cayman Islands Classic, which OhVarsity!’s Matt Allaire labels “the Fyre Festival of holiday tournaments.”

• This week’s parting recommendation: the two-hour season finale of Nathan For You (titled “Finding Frances”) that aired last month but I just finally watched this weekend. It’s probably best enjoyed if you’re at least familiar with the show beforehand, which you should be because it is brilliant, but I’d think it can also work as a standalone viewing experience. It’s at various times hilarious, poignant, uncomfortable or some mix between, and deeply human throughout.

Several Teams Are Still Unbeaten, but How Many Are Still Untested?

There were a number of reasons then-No. 11 Cincinnati lost convincingly to No. 21 Xavier on Saturday. For one, the Musketeers are very good, especially when Trevon Bluiett is in All-America form, and they generally played very well. The Bearcats were also in hostile territory in front of a frothing crowd in a bitter rivalry game (more on that in a second), and they could hardly knock down an outside shot or find any complementary offense outside of their four primary scorers, and they got pushed around on the offensive glass. Basketball games are complicated puzzles with a lot going on. It’s rarely ever just one thing.

But it’s also worth noting that Xavier might have just been more ready, not from a coaching or game-study perspective but when it comes to recent experience. Coaches often describe how non-conference schedules prepare them for league play, or league play prepares them for the postseason, and so on. Looking at the teams’ previous opponents through that prism, a disparity emerges. Undefeated Cincinnati’s only remotely notable wins were against Wyoming and Buffalo in the Cayman Islands. Xavier, meanwhile, was coming off a home win against No. 16 Baylor after a neutral-site loss to surging No. 20 Arizona State, which came a week after a never-a-pleasure trip to Wisconsin. In order words, we knew Xavier’s talent and expected success could be measured within the context of similar-caliber competition. For Cincinnati—a talented team nonetheless—the same could not really be said.

With the ranks of college basketball’s undefeated steadily shrinking (after Syracuse’s loss on Saturday, it now stands at 13), it’s worth examining whether some other lossless teams have yet to be truly tested, and when we can expect them to be. A few candidates are rather easily dismissed: Duke has already beaten Michigan State and Florida, Miami knocked off Minnesota, Arizona State beat Xavier, Texas A&M won at USC and Kansas had to deal with Kentucky (although the Wildcats’ youth and relative struggles may recast that win a bit in time).

That leaves eight teams with perfect marks that we’re looking forward to seeing tested a bit more. Here’s a quick look at each of their early-season resumes and the first game that might offer a better measuring stick:

Villanova (8–0)

Best wins: vs. Tennessee and Northern Iowa in the Bahamas
Next test: vs. Gonzaga (in New York), Tuesday

Okay, we’re cheating a little off the bat. Those wins over Thanksgiving weekend are nothing to sneeze at. But a true test for a team this good is probably a step above those. By now we were hoping to have seen the Wildcats play Arizona and/or Purdue, who were both in the same Atlantis tournament bracket but dropped early games to fall out of Villanova’s path. The good news is we won’t have to wait long to see Villanova play another top-notch opponent, as this week it faces a Gonzaga team whose only loss was in double-OT on a neutral floor to Florida, a potential Final Four contender. The Bulldogs just handled Creighton, another strong offense from the Big East, and are among the more proven teams thus far. This one should be fun.

Virginia (8–0)

Best wins: vs. Rhode Island (in Brooklyn), vs. Wisconsin
Next test: at West Virginia, Tuesday

Hooray, another short wait. On the same night Villanova meets Gonzaga, Tony Bennett’s pack-lining Cavaliers travel to face Press Virginia. As Bob Huggins’s team has burnished its brand-name-defense credentials, this series has become a fun contrast in styles and tempo, as the Mountaineers’ relentless pressure tries to disrupt the Cavaliers' steady, methodical attack.

How the Cavaliers handle Jevon Carter and company should lend insight into how well their impressive early run will foretell success after the calendar turns.

TCU (8–0)

Best wins: vs. St. Bonaventure (in Florida), vs. Belmont
Next test: vs. SMU, Tuesday

I’m sensing a trend; Tuesday is gonna be a pretty interesting night of basketball, huh? Jamie Dixon has transformed his alma mater into a program worth taking seriously in just his second season, but the Horned Frogs’ best win so far was against an Atlantic 10 team missing its best player. The Mustangs will try to lull them into a lower-possession game than those to which they’ve become accustomed (SMU averages the 10th-longest offensive possessions nationally) and feature the most difficult-to-defend player TCU has seen so far in forward Shake Milton. But the Frogs, so far the nation’s best defensive rebounding team, will have a size advantage that should bode well for 6' 11" forward Vladimir Brodziansky.

Nevada (8–0)

Best wins: vs. Rhode Island, vs. Davidson
Next test: at Texas Tech, Tuesday

Listen, if you’ve got plans this Tuesday, cancel them. This whole week is a challenge for the Wolf Pack, which follows its visit to Lubbock with a game against TCU in Los Angeles. No one has any kind of season-long undefeated watch going on for the Mountain West favorites, but regardless of what kind of record Nevada has come next Monday, it will have endured its best preparation yet for the defense of its conference crown. Two things to watch: whether the Wolf Pack can continue to take care of the ball against the turnover-forcing Red Raiders (ninth nationally in steal percentage) and how they fare on the offensive glass against TCU in a matchup of Nevada’s weakness against the Horned Frogs’ strength.

Florida State (6–0)

Best wins: at Rutgers, vs. Colorado State (in Jamaica)
Next test: at Florida, Monday

The Seminoles ended a four-year NCAA tournament drought as a No. 3 seed last season, but their 6-0 start—during which only Rutgers has finished within 17 points —hasn’t come against anybody likely to be playing in the Big Dance come March. The Gators, meanwhile, look like a team that might play deep into that month or beyond, featuring a trio of scoring guards that can give even the best defenses fits. They’ll serve as Florida State’s first taste of what a grueling ACC slate will offer.

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Mississippi State (7–0)

Best wins: vs. Dayton, vs. Jacksonville State
Next test: at Cincinnati, Dec. 12

A fairly light early schedule can be a worthwhile confidence-booster for a team as young as Ben Howland’s Bulldogs—according to Kenpom.com, they rank 330th nationally in weighted experience—as it allows players to get up to speed and work out kinks without truly being thrown into the fire. But playing mid-majors (and Dayton, if they’re not quite that) on campus until mid-December and then traveling to Cincinnati might feel like jumping into flames from a swimming pool. With how strong the SEC looks this season, they’ll need it.

Georgetown (6–0)

Best wins: at Richmond, vs. Mount St. Mary’s
Next test: vs. Syracuse, Dec. 16

Speaking of easing into the college basketball experience, rookie Hoyas coach Patrick Ewing only has his team leaving D.C. once before Big East play and facing just two teams SI projects to be among the country’s top 250 (Syracuse at 65, and Richmond at 145). The game against the Orange will be a fun rivalry game and the only chance Georgetown’s schedule affords to learn how it might fare when conference play starts.

Valparaiso (8–0)

Best wins: vs. Utah State, vs. UNC-Wilmington (in Georgia)
Next test: at Purdue, Thursday

The Crusaders feel like an odd inclusion here. They’re not trying to fool anybody by munching on cupcakes; they’re a good team taking care of business in a fine mid-major non-conference schedule. But among their top Missouri Valley competition, Northern Iowa (vs. UNLV and SMU) and Missouri State (at Western Kentucky and South Dakota State) have already claimed some noteworthy early-season pelts. This week’s trip to Purdue and next week’s to Northwestern will give Valpo a chance to one-up them.

If you are wondering what exactly you are reading, this is the Monday Rebound, SI.com’s weekly Monday-morning column on college hoops. It’s a sort of grab bag of news and tidbits and opinions largely aimed at catching you up on the weekend’s (and week’s) action and being generally informative. If there’s anything you like or dislike or would want to see more of here, or if you would just like to chat and maybe exchange orchid care tips, you can find me on Twitter @thedangreene. Thanks for reading.

ICYMI

Six years ago, the storied Crosstown Shootout rivalry game between Xavier and Cincinnati—schools separated by less than four miles—authored one of its ugliest chapters, when a brawl worthy of its own Wikipedia entry broke out in the final seconds. That prompted the programs to move the game off campus for the next two years in order to de-escalate the hostilities in a more neutral environment. The game returned to campus locations for the 2014–15 season, and the three subsequent on-campus games went off without incident.

Then came Saturday. After the Musketeers beat the Bearcats from start to finish, Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin confronted Xavier senior J.P. Macura and had to be restrained and removed from the court. In his postgame press conference, Cronin did not apologize for his actions and explained he’d “never had a kid tell me to ‘F off’ three times before,” adding that the player who did so—assumed to be Macura—“wouldn’t play for me.” In his own words to the media, Xavier coach Chris Mack said there was “a reason [Cincinnati’s] coach was issued a technical in the game” and that there are “two sides” to the story. Mack also said that former Bearcats guard Lance Stephenson had cursed at him during a meeting between the teams when Stephenson played for Cronin, and that after the game he shook his hand.

It’s easy to hold up this incident as evidence of the rivalry’s intensity and entertainment value; it’s also difficult to deny that it illustrates as much, or that the unvarnished hostility adds an element of intrigue for viewers. But when it comes to bad blood there can be a fine line between compelling and eye-roll-inducing theater, and one good indicator of it being crossed is whether an adult on a multi-million dollar salary physically confronts a college kid. Whatever Macura may have said, Cronin has to handle it better than he did, especially as a coach who forced his players to remove their jerseys in the locker room after the 2011 fight because they did not appreciate the status that representing their university conferred them. This year he should direct his reprimands at the mirror.

As the scandal turns...

The Los Angeles Times had an interesting scoop related to the FBI investigation saga this week, as Nathan Fenno reported that hotel security footage disputes some specifics of the government’s criminal complaint involving USC. The footage shows an undercover FBI agent meeting with financial advisor Munish Sood and aspiring agent Christian Dawkins (both arrested in connection with the bribery conspiracy) and “a close family friend” of Trojans guard De’Anthony Melton. As Fenno writes:

“The video and the criminal complaint in the case differ on one main point: The complaint said that the undercover agent provided Dawkins an envelope containing $5,000 to give to the family friend at [USC assistant coach Tony] Bland’s direction, and that the friend received the money. The video—clear, in color, stamped with the Aug. 31 date and time across the top, but without sound—shows Dawkins receiving the money and leaving with it. The complaint also states that the money was provided to Dawkins before the meeting, but the video shows the undercover agent brought an envelope to the meeting.”

Melton has been suspended through the Trojans’ first six games as USC sorts out his eligibility situation, which has included Melton turning over his bank and cell phone records to the school. The video evidence would seem to boost Melton’s chances of being cleared to play, but until USC knows it will not have to forfeit games in which he participates, it’s likely the team errs on the side of caution. In the meantime, the video potentially offers the first hole poked in the government’s case. Considering the skepticism some have of its legal footing to begin with, if there are further such inconsistencies, things may not be as airtight as they were first presented.

Elsewhere in the scandal landscape, SI legal analyst Michael McCann has a detailed examination of former Louisville coach Rick Pitino’s breach of contract lawsuit against the school, which was filed Thursday. “The odds probably weigh against him,” McCann writes.

High Five

Each week, we’ll be highlighting five teams on the rise. Here’s who stood out over the past week.

1. Michigan State: The Spartans’ impressive 18-point handling of Notre Dame on Thursday was its second straight win by that margin over a top-10 team—and both of those came with freshman forward and top-10 recruit Jaren Jackson contributing little offensively. As he continues to develop, watch out.

2. Miami: The Hurricanes’ five-point win at Minnesota last week was a high-quality win by any measure, but what was especially encouraging for Miami was the offense emerging sophomore big man Dewan Huell (23 points) provided against the Gophers’ formidable front line.

3. Wichita State: The Shockers knocked off Baylor in Waco, which no one outside the Big 12 had been able to do since Northwestern did it in December 2012. Gregg Marshall’s team gets another test on a Big 12 court this week when it visits Oklahoma State.

4. Purdue: A week after a rough trip to the Bahamas on which they went 1-2, the Boilermakers bounced back with strong wins over Louisville and Maryland. Senior Dakota Mathias has been so good from three that his 7-for-14 shooting week actually lowered his season percentage from deep to 55.1%.

5. Seton Hall: The Pirates dipped out of the AP poll after losing to Rhode Island on Thanksgiving, but beating two ranked teams this week—first Texas Tech at Madison Square Garden, then Louisville on the road—should get them back in the Top 25.

Bests of the Best

Each week, we’ll get to know a standout player a little better by asking them about some of the best things in the world. This week we welcome Minnesota forward Jordan Murphy, who has posted nine double-doubles in nine games to average 21.0 points and 12.9 rebounds for the 8–1 Golden Gophers. So, Jordan, tell us about the best...

...animal at the zoo. “I would have to say the monkeys. I really find great entertainment in watching monkeys play around and interact with people that come near their exhibit. I’ve been twice to Minnesota’s zoo. I go to the San Antonio Zoo quite often though when I go home. I’m a big chimpanzee fan. I like how intelligent they really are and how they can portray emotion. They smile with you, they do funny stuff. I think that’s pretty cool.”

...way to pass time on road trips. “Read a comic book. I’m a big superhero guy. Spider-Man is my favorite. I just like his charisma. He talks trash while he’s crime-fighting. I think that’s one of the funniest and coolest things. Since I was a little kid I’ve always been fascinated with the movies. I try to read at least a series [of comic books] every road trip, so I’ll probably read like 10 maybe in a month. I really like the Avengers comic books, just the whole group in general. They have some really interesting storylines.”

...decoration in your room. “It’s most definitely my poster of the whole Marvel Universe. It just has a bunch of superheroes on it, as far as the eyes can see. I got it earlier this year. I went to Hobby Lobby and I found it and I just knew I had to get it. I have two posters; I have a Batman and Joker one on the other wall. I’ve only got those two.”

Top of the Classes

Senior: Desi Rodriguez, Seton Hall forward

The Bronx native captained the Pirates’ resurgent week by averaging 26.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists, while adding four steals in Sunday’s narrow win over the Cardinals. Most dramatically, he banked in an off-balance shot that put Seton Hall ahead with eight seconds left.

Junior: Tramaine Isabell, Drexel guard

A 6' 1" transfer from Missouri, Isabell averaged 27.0 points and 10.5 rebounds (10.5 rebounds!) over the Dragons’ wins over Lafayette and Rider last week. His defensive rebounding rate currently ranks 57th nationally, per Kenpom.com. Every player ahead of him as at least three inches taller.

Sophomore: Markus Howard, Marquette guard

One of the nation’s top, ahem, marksmen began the week with a ho-hum 14 points against Eastern Illinois before dropping 33 (on 11-of-15 three-point shooting) on Chicago State and 29 (in 20 minutes) against Georgia.

Freshman: Marvin Bagley III, Duke forward

Like last week, it was nearly impossible to pick between Bagley and Oklahoma’s Trae Young. But this week the nod goes to the guy helping shoulder the load for the country’s best team, who shot 18-of-26 this week while posting double-doubles at Indiana and against South Dakota.

Social Media Post of the Week

Assigned Viewing: Villanova vs. Gonzaga, Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Two of the three title-game teams from the last two seasons meet for the first time ever in the first game of this year’s Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden. As mentioned above, this will be Villanova’s first shot at another team that looks likely to be around come March’s second weekend. The Bulldogs have handled Texas’s size and Creighton’s offensive fury; now they have to face a smart, balanced team that can go smaller and force teams into uncomfortable spots. The Wildcats don’t get to the line often and Gonzaga doesn’t send teams there, so Villanova will have to get it done from the floor. Mikal Bridges vs. Johnathan Williams will be the matchup to watch.

Before You’re Dismissed...

• They’re a bit dated now, but Molly Geary dropped SI’s first Power Rankings of the season last week. More importantly, check out SI.com this Wednesday for the next edition.

• Two big baskets from this week you shouldn’t miss: Boise State’s half-courter by Lexus Williams to snap Oregon’s home winning streak, and the own-basket that cost Georgia Tech a home game against previously 1–5 Grambling.

• And if you somehow didn’t yet, make sure you see this alley-oop finish by the Kansas guard Lagerald Vick.

• After the success of Thanksgiving weekend’s 16-team, two-bracket, multi-arena PK80 Invitational in Portland, Michigan State AD Mark Hollis told ESPN that he envisions a similar 16-team event in the future, but held in a single venue: Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Colts and multiple Final Fours. In Hollis’s vision, there would be huge curtains separating adjacent courts where games are played simultaneously, like an AAU tournament on steroids. It seems like something of a stretch logistically, but if it can attract the caliber of programs the PK80 did, it’s certainly worth a shot.

• There was a truly scary situation at Saturday’s game between North Carolina State and South Carolina State when Bulldogs guard Ty Solomon collapsed on the bench and had to be resuscitated by paramedics using CPR. Solomon’s heart reportedly stopped, but he was conscious and stable after the game, which was delayed for an extended period of time before Solomon’s teammates voted to continue playing. WRAL spoke with Solomon from his hospital bed afterward. Here’s wishing Solomon good health going forward.

• Arizona edged UNLV on the road in overtime to avoid yet another loss. Sophomore guard Rawle Alkins has been cleared for full-contact drills as he recovers from a broken foot, so some help should be arriving soon, but it won’t be there in time for Tuesday’s date with Texas A&M.

• As Patrick Stevens initially pointed out on Twitter when he got to .500 earlier in the week, Towson coach Pat Skerry now has a winning record over seven seasons at the school, after beginning his tenure 1–32. This March that long, steady building job could result in the Tigers’ first NCAA tourney appearance since 1991.

• Nice story from The Kansas City Star’s Jesse Newell on 101-year-old Kansas fan Ruby-Doo going to her first Jayhawks game.

• On the same night Howard hit his 11 threes for Marquette—the most by a player in a game this season—William & Mary’s Connor Burchfield made 10 of 12 from deep against Marshall. Nov. 29 was a good shooting day.

• While your mind is beyond the arc, allow Jake Fischer to introduce you to Central Arkansas’s Jordan Howard, a 5' 11" guard whose three-point prowess could take him from the Southland to the pros.

• With a hat tip to The Ringer’s Mark Titus, you should really read this account of the hilariously shoddy Cayman Islands Classic, which OhVarsity!’s Matt Allaire labels “the Fyre Festival of holiday tournaments.”

• This week’s parting recommendation: the two-hour season finale of Nathan For You (titled “Finding Frances”) that aired last month but I just finally watched this weekend. It’s probably best enjoyed if you’re at least familiar with the show beforehand, which you should be because it is brilliant, but I’d think it can also work as a standalone viewing experience. It’s at various times hilarious, poignant, uncomfortable or some mix between, and deeply human throughout.

CIUDAD DE MÉXICO Swimming/Natación-Nely Miranda

CIUDAD DE MÉXICO Swimming/Natación-Nely Miranda.- La atleta paralímpica mexicana, Nely Miranda, participará en el Mundial de Paranatación 2017, a realizarse en la Alberca Olímpica "Francisco Márquez", del 2 al 8 de diciembre. Foto: Archivo Agencia EL UNIVERSAL/JMA

Sports Illustrated's Sportsperson Of The Year: By The Numbers

Sports Illustrated's Sportsperson of the Year has been awarded since 1954 to the "athlete or team whose performance that year most embodies the spirit of sportsmanship and achievement." The 2017 award has been given to Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt and Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve.

Watt is the first NFL player to win the honor since Peyton Manning was named the 2013 Sportsman of the Year. Watt earned the honor after he raised more than $37 million for Hurricane Harvey relief.

Altuve was named the American League's Most Valuable Player and helped deliver the Astros' first World Series championship as the city continues to recover from the storm. He is the first baseball player to earn the honor since San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner in 2014. Altuve is the first international recipient of the award since Sammy Sosa shared the cover with Mark McGwire in 1998.

Last year, Cavaliers star LeBron James was named the Sportsperson of the Year after fulfilling his promise to win a championship for the city of Cleveland.

The 2017 Sportsman of the Year show will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 5.

Here we examine notable numbers and notes from the past winners of the Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year Award:

Individual notes:

First male winner: Roger Bannister, 1954

First female winner: Billie Jean King, 1972

Last man to win: J.J. Watt and Jose Altuve, 2017

Last woman to win: Serena Williams, 2015

No. of individual men who have won the award: 6

No. of individual women who have won the award: 9

Teams that have won the award: 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team, 1999 U.S. women's soccer team, 2004 Boston Red Sox

First African-American man to win: Rafer Johnson, 1958

First African-American woman to win: Judi Brown-King, 1987

Multiple-time champions: Tiger Woods (1996 & 2000) and LeBron James (2012 & 2016)

Who was the last ...?

Last NFL figure to win: J.J. Watt, 2017

Last NBA figure to win: LeBron James, 2016

Last tennis figure to win: Serena Williams, 2015

Last MLB figure to win: Jose Altuve, 2017

Last college basketball figures to win: Mike Krzyzewski and Pat Summitt, 2011

Last swimming figure to win: Michael Phelps, 2008

Last cycling figure to win: Lance Armstrong, 2002

Last golf figure to win: Tiger Woods, 2000

Last soccer figures to win: The 1999 U.S. women's soccer team, 1999

Last speed skating figures to win: Bonnie Blair and Johann Olav Koss, 1994

Last track and field figures to win: Kipchoge Keino and Judi Brown King, 1987

Last gymnastics figure to win: Mary Lou Retton, 1984

Last hockey figure to win: Wayne Gretzky, 1982

Last boxing figure to win: Sugar Ray Leonard, 1981

Last horse racing figure to win: Steve Cauthen, 1977

Last auto racing figure to win: Jackie Stewart, 1973

No. of winners by sport

Baseball: 18

NFL: 10

NBA: 9

Track and field: 8

Golf: 7

College basketball: 5

Tennis: 4

Hockey: 4

Boxing: 3

College football: 3

Speed skating: 2

Cycling: 2

Swimming: 1

Soccer: 1

Horse racing: 1

Gymnastics: 1

Winners by country

United States: 70

Great Britain: 2

Canada: 1

Dominican Republic: 1

Kenya: 1

Norway: 1

Sweden: 1

Venezuela: 1

First international winner: Roger Bannister (Great Britain) in 1954

Latest international winner: Jose Altuve (Venezuela) in 2017

Jihadists go to rehab at '5-star' Saudi centre

With its indoor swimming pool, sun-splashed patios and liveried staff, the Saudi complex has the trappings of a five-star resort, but it is actually a rehab centre -- for violent jihadists.

Jihadists go to rehab at '5-star' Saudi centre

With its indoor swimming pool, sun-splashed patios and liveried staff, the Saudi complex has the trappings of a five-star resort, but it is actually a rehab centre -- for violent jihadists.

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