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Reds inspired by Virgil's thunderous late show

Liverpool 2 Everton 1

By Carl Markham

Virgil van Dijk enjoyed a dream debut for Liverpool by heading the winner in front of the Kop in the 230th Merseyside derby as the Reds knocked Everton out of the FA Cup.

On a feisty night under the Anfield lights, the world's most expensive defender - £75m from Southampton this week - proved he can be effective at both ends of the pitch by nodding in an 84th minute corner to make it 2-1.

Gylfi Sigurdsson's 67th minute goal had earlier cancelled out James Milner's first-half penalty in a blood-and-thunder contest which threatened to be tainted by a first-half flare-up between Mason Holgate, who conceded the spot-kick, and Roberto Firmino.

The Toffees defender shoved his opponent into the front row of the Main Stand, provoking an angry reaction from the Brazilian, a melee and the two protagonists exchanging angry words.

However, referee Bobby Madley chose to take no action against either player. It provided extra motivation for the visitors, with an improved performance after the interval as even Liverpool's new £75million signing, formerly with Celtic, could not help them keep a clean sheet.

However, the Dutchman repaid them in fine style to spark wild celebrations at his new home.

The atmosphere seemed to crackle at kick-off and the early stages suggested this was an old-fashioned derby, with tackles flying in - mostly from the visitors - and Wayne Rooney booked after just seven minutes.

Aside from a Milner volley flying across goal and wide there was very little in way of actual goal threat until Adam Lallana turned Holgate and the young defender stuck out an arm to impede the Liverpool midfielder.

In the same area where Everton's Dominic Calvert-Lewin won a controversial penalty in last month's 1-1 draw after Dejan Lovren laid a hand on him, referee Madley had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and Milner fired straight down the middle.

Holgate's head was scrambled and five minutes later, after losing possession, he shoved Firmino into the front row of the Main Stand.

The Brazil star charged back at the defender and angry words were exchanged.

However, Madley was between the two players and took no action against either.

Early in the second half Gomez headed wide, Lallana poked a shot just past the post when presented with a clean run on goal and Andrew Robertson and Van Dijk were denied by Jordan Pickford as Liverpool threatened to overrun the visitors, who replaced a pumped-up Rooney with Ademola Lookman soon after the restart.

Just like a month ago, Liverpool were made to pay for missing chances as an improving Everton launched a counter-attack from a corner which ended with Phil Jagielka teeing up Sigurdsson to place a shot past a static Loris Karius.

Van Dijk had the final word, however, to give manager Jurgen Klopp his first FA Cup win at the fifth time of asking - also setting a new unwanted record for Everton, who have now gone 16 derbies without a win.

Meanwhile, Everton have announced the signing of Turkey striker Cenk Tosun on a four-and-a-half-year deal.

The Toffees announced the deal for the Besiktas man at half-time in their FA Cup clash at local rivals Liverpool.

A fee of £27million has been reported and the player - who has scored 41 goals in 96 Turkish Super Lig games since the start of the 2014-15 season - says Toffees boss Sam Allardyce was a key factor.

"It feels great to be an Everton player," Tosun said.

"I'm really happy to be here and happy that everything is done.

"I'm really excited to play for Everton as soon as possible.

"Everton is a great club with a big history and a big culture and I'm looking forward to showing the fans the kind of player I am.

"I bring my skills here and everybody is going to see what kind of player I am. I believe I can be a good player in the Premier League for Everton.

"The Premier League is a strong league, so my own physical strength will help. Also I can use both feet and I believe I am a good striker in the box.

"I'm really excited to work with my new team-mates because Everton has really, really big names, big players.

"I'm excited to play with them and to learn from them as well, players like Wayne Rooney and the very good creative players we have here, too. They can help me score goals.

"I know the guys as I've always watched Everton's games from Turkey, so I know a bit about the team already. I hope they can make a lot of assists for me!

"Sam Allardyce was a big part of my decision. He said he really wanted me here and to feel that is another big reason to come to Everton."

Liverpool: Karius, Gomez (Solanke 77), Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson, Can, Milner (Alexander-Arnold 77), Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lallana (Wijnaldum 70), Mané, Firmino

Subs: Lovren, Klavan, Ings, Ward

Scorers: Milner (35, pen), Van Dijk (84)

Everton: Pickford, Kenny, Holgate, Jagielka, Martina, McCarthy (Davies 86), Schneiderlin, Bolasie, Rooney (Lookman 52), Sigurdsson, Calvert-Lewin (Niasse 82)

Subs: Williams, Vlasic, Robles, Baningime

Scorer: Sigurdsson (67)

Match rating: 7/10

Referee: Robert Madley

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