Liverpool FC humiliated 10-man Everton in the 226th Merseyside derby as goals from Divock Origi, Mamadou Sakho, Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho secured a 4-0 victory on Wednesday.
The two first-half headers from Origi and Sakho were brilliantly taken in an entertaining clash that saw Everton’s woeful record at Anfield continue, a situation not helped by Ramiro Funes Mori’s straight red card for a dreadful tackle on Origi in the 50th minute.
Shortly after, Sturridge slotted past Joel Robles to add a third goal for the home side before Coutinho’s wonderful strike with 14 minutes left capped off another woeful Everton defensive display.
Liverpool climbed one place to seventh in the Premier League, while Everton, without a win in seven games, remain 11th.
The omens were not good for Everton –- and so it was to prove — as Anfield has not been a successful venue for them in recent years, with the club failing to win on the other side of Stanley Park since 1999.
With an FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United to follow on Saturday, it must have been tempting for Everton manager Roberto Martinez to rest his key players, but he went all-out as the likes of Leighton Baines, Aaron Lennon and Gareth Barry returned to his starting XI.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp more than matched Martinez, changing nine players from the win over Bournemouth at the weekend, and most notably he opted to start the match with the in-form Origi, rather than Sturridge, up front.
In the end, both players made their mark in a game where Liverpool were simply too good for their opponents.
The match had a typically boisterous opening as both sides tried to make their mark on the occasion.
Liverpool had the first real chance as Adam Lallana squandered a glorious chance after just five minutes.
A woeful Bryan Oviedo pass went skywards and landed at the feet of Coutinho, who put Lallana clean through on goal, but Everton goalkeeper Robles did superbly to stand his ground and block the midfielder’s effort.
Liverpool continued to press the visitors as Everton seemed determined to hit them on the counter-attack rather than take the game to the home side.
Funes Mori lunges in
A Kevin Mirallas effort from 20 yards curled over the crossbar as Everton finally threatened and he then blazed over from the same distance soon after.
The first goal could conceivably have come from either side as last-ditch tackles were required from both teams in order to keep it goalless.
Firstly, Sakho did brilliantly to thwart Romelu Lukaku from just four yards out, before John Stones threw himself in the way of Lallana at the other end.
Everton then had Robles to thank again as Roberto Firmino’s effort cannoned back off his legs.
But Liverpool inched their way into a dominant position as they started to hold onto the ball for longer periods and after 43 minutes they finally got a deserved goal.
James Milner bided his time on the right wing and then delivered a perfect left-foot cross that Origi powerfully nodded past Robles.
The goal sent Anfield crazy and Sakho raised the volume level further in first-half injury time after Milner had again made all the difference, but this time from the left.
Everton’s defence again stood still, allowing Milner to reach the byline and cross, and Sakho’s powerful header gave Robles no chance.
Five minutes after the re-start, Funes Mori lunged in on Origi and caught him high on the ankle, leading to his instant dismissal.
Liverpool never looked back as Sturridge used the extra space to beat Robles from eight yards out.
It got worse for Everton as Coutinho rifled home from the edge of the box and although there were no more goals, the scoreline was brutal enough to ensure that the bragging rights comprehensively went to the home side.