Liverpool beats Everton 2-0, Gakpo gets his first Reds goal

Liverpool's Cody Gakpo, centre, is challenged by Everton's Idrissa Gueye, left, during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Everton at the Anfield stadium in Liverpool, England, Monday, Feb. 13, 2023. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
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LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Cody Gakpo finally got off the mark as Liverpool beat Everton 2-0 in the 242nd Merseyside derby on Monday.

The Holland forward tapped in from close range in the 49th minute after Mo Salah had opened the scoring in the first half to set up Liverpool’s first win in the Premier League this year.

Gakpo, a $45 million signing from PSV Eindhoven last month, had failed to score in his previous six appearances for his new club, but couldn’t miss after Trent Alexander-Arnold fired a cross to the far post.

Sean Dyche was consigned to defeat in his first derby as Everton manager and couldn’t build on the morale-boosting win against table-topping Arsenal in his opening game in charge.

The loss leaves Everton in the relegation zone, one point behind 17th-placed Leeds.

Liverpool moved up to ninth, but is still nine points off a Champions League-qualifying top four spot.

James Tarkowski was close to putting Everton in front when hitting the post with a header just before Salah scored in the 36th.

Before kick off Liverpool learned its fans had been cleared of blame after the events at last year’s Champions League final in Paris when riot police fired tear gas at them outside the Stade de France.

An independent review found UEFA mostly responsible for the security failures that saw supporters locked out of the stadium in crushed queues that “almost led to disaster.”