Liverpool star Adrian will relish becoming a hero against Everton – he’s done it before against the Toffees

4 Dec

Liverpool will look to extend their 31-game unbeaten run in the Premier League when they entertain arch-rivals Everton on Wednesday night.

The Reds have won their last 14 games at Anfield and lie eight points clear of nearest challengers Leicester at the top.

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool host Everton on Wednesday night
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The club’s No.2 goalkeeper, Adrian, will deputise for first-choice stopper Alisson who saw a straight red for handling outside of the penalty box in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Brighton.

However, the Spaniard drew criticism for his perceived lack of awareness straight from the resulting free-kick, as Lewis Dunk’s ingenious strike bamboozled the former West Ham man.

Nonetheless, Klopp leapt to the defence of Adrian after the match, claiming the 32-year-old was his team’s stand-out player.

“My man of the match is Adrian, coming on in a game like this and having that knock of the free-kick,” Klopp told reporters after the game.

Adrian came on during Liverpool’s win over Brighton after Alisson Becker saw red for handling the ball outside the area
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“I want to read something [in the press] about that situation. It is incredible. An ice-cold ‘keeper getting his gloves ready and then… [whistle]. That is our life.

“Then being in the game to make two saves. He saved our lives and I am happy for him he can play the derby.”

Interestingly, the only two clean sheets the Reds have picked up this season is when Adrian has been between the sticks – against Burnley and Sheffield United respectively.

The vote of confidence from Klopp will no doubt give the keeper plenty of confidence heading into the midweek clash with the Toffees – a side that he has happy memories of playing against.

Klopp has given his full backing to his no.2 goalkeeper Adrian
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Adrian, who has lost just one in his last five outings against Everton, will cast his eye back to January 2015 when he was the hero for the Hammers in an FA Cup third round clash.

After the initial clash at Goodison Park ended in a 1-1 draw on January 6, both sides went again five days later for the replay in east London.

West Ham took the lead through Enner Valencia, but Kevin Mirallas’ free-kick brought the visitors – who had Aiden McGeady sent off for two bookable offences – back on level terms.

Romelu Lukaku then put Everton ahead in extra time, but Carlton Cole’s close-range finish took the game to penalties after a pulsating 120 minutes.

Joel Robles missed a crucial spot-kick for Everton against West Ham in an enthralling FA Cup tie in January 2015
getty images

Step forward, Adrian. He first saved Steven Naismith’s penalty, but Stewart Downing squandered the chance to settle the tie from 12 yards out.

Toffees keeper Joel Robles then fired his effort of the crossbar in sudden death, with Adrian handed the opportunity to secure his side’s spot in the fourth round.

And that he did. Ripping off his goalkeeping gloves he calmly converted the 20th penalty to set up a fourth-round tie at then League One side Bristol City.

Adrian celebrates with the Hammers faithful after scoring his side’s winning spot-kick in an enthralling encounter
getty images

He then wheeled away in jubilation to celebrate with the West Ham faithful, grinning like a Cheshire cat.

Adrian will be hoping he can produce more of the same heroics tomorrow night in what is sure to be an electric atmosphere on Merseyside.

The perfect opportunity has presented itself to Adrian to become a hero – and this is one he must take.

ADRIAN'S OVERALL RECORD AGAINST EVERTON

2013/14 : March 1, 2014 – Everton 1-0 West Ham (Premier League)

2014/15: November 29, 2014 – Everton 2-1 West Ham (Premier League)

2014/15: January 6, 2015 – Everton 1-1 West Ham (FA Cup third round)

2014/15: January 11, 2015 – West Ham 2-2 Everton (FA Cup third round replay – Everton win 9-8 on pens)

2014/15: May 16, 2015 – West Ham 1-2 Everton (Premier League)

2015/16: November 7, 2015 – West Ham 1-1 Everton (Premier League)

2015/16: March 5, 2016 – Everton 2-3 West Ham (Premier League)

2016/17: October 30, 2016 – Everton 2-0 West Ham (Premier League)

2016/17: April 22, 2017 – West Ham 0-0 Everton (Premier League)

2017/18: May 13, 2018 – West Ham 3-1 Everton (Premier League)


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