Liverpool put in a convincing performance to beat fierce rivals Everton 3-1 in the Merseyside Derby on Saturday
The Toffees’ record of failing to win at Anfield since 1999 continued as the Reds put in a fine performance on Saturday evening, running out deserving 3-1 winners in a match the hosts dominated from start to finish.
Jurgen Klopp’s side took the lead thanks to some typically brilliant work from Sadio Mane, before Matthew Pennington equalised with a dream goal that he will never forget. However the Everton player will want to quickly forget how the rest of the match panned out.
Philippe Coutinho pulled off another moment of individual brilliance to put the hosts ahead before Divock Origi wrapped things up sometime later. The result saw Liverpool climb into third place, although they have played two games more than fourth-placed Manchester City who take on Arsenal on Sunday evening.
Mane shows his worth again, however his injury is worrying
Sadio Mane’s £34 million fee in the summer caused some to raise their eyebrows but the Senegalese winger has shown that he has been worth every single penny of that amount this season and has been a revelation at Anfield.
His brilliance was on display once again last night, as the Liverpool winger was a constant thorn in Everton’s side and opened the scoring with a typically explosive, unpredictable run that ended with a fine finish.
However, Liverpool will be extremely worried over the nature of his injury. With Adam Lallana already sidelined for a month, Liverpool cannot afford any more injuries to their key players but it appears that they have suffered one more just a few days after the news of Lallana’s injury broke.
Mane went down with what looked like a knee injury and could not support himself when getting back up. Klopp said after the game that it did not look good and Reds fans will be praying that the dynamic winger’s season is not over.
— Phil Coutinho (@LfcNo10) April 1, 2017
Coutinho back to his best at last?
Philippe Coutinho has had an indifferent run of form over the last couple of weeks but the Brazilian midfield wizard was back to his best against Everton and scored an absolutely brilliant goal to put the Reds ahead after Matthew Pennington had equalised for the Blues.
Coutinho’s tendency to drive right at opposition defences has made him a huge fan favourite and the Brazilian was at it again last night. Picking up the ball deep in midfield, Coutinho ghosted past Idrissa Gueye’s challenge before pulling off a brilliant curling finish into the far corner.
Coutinho was a constant threat and was undoubtedly Liverpool’s man of the match. Reds fans will be hoping that the Brazilian can continue this form for the rest of the season as they continue their bid to break into the top 4.
Philippe Coutinho’s first half by numbers vs. Everton:
92% pass accuracy
1 chance created
1 tackle won
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 1, 2017
Matip and Lovren dominate Lukaku and co.
Dejan Lovren has endured huge criticism – a lot of it justified – since moving to Liverpool from Southampton. However the signing of Joel Matip has instantly raised the level of the Croatian international’s performances this season.
The duo were dominant once again on Saturday evening, with Lovren in particular, impressively marshaling Romelu Lukaku who could not get into the match and failed to register a single shot against Liverpool.
While there are still question marks over Lovren’s abilities at times and Liverpool definitely need another centre back in the summer, the Reds defender more than made his mark on last night’s game and if he can continue to perform that way, he will become indispensable for Jurgen Klopp.
— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) April 1, 2017
Origi could have an important part to play
With the news that Adam Lallana will miss a month and now that Sadio Mane has picked up what could be a long-term knee injury, Divock Origi could have a huge part to play in Liverpool’s season.
The 21-year old Belgian did not do his chances any damage last night, taking only 200 seconds to score after coming on in the second half with a powerful, confident finish that put the game to bed for Liverpool.
Liverpool will need to look to other options with the absence of their star duo and Divock Origi will have to step up to the plate. The Belgian has looked hungry to prove himself all season and he could be crucial to the Reds’ Champions League hopes.
6 – Only Olivier Giroud (7) has scored more goals as a sub than Divock Origi (6) since the Belgian’s PL debut in Sep 2015. Impact.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 1, 2017
Liverpool enter important stretch
Last night was Liverpool’s final match of the season against a team in the top seven of the Premier League. This could mean one of several things for Jurgen Klopp’s side going into the final stretch of the season.
Liverpool have been infuriatingly inconsistent against the smaller sides, while they have been brilliant against the big sides. It is the former category that Klopp’s men will face for the rest of the season and they have to overcome their issues if they want to qualify for the Champions League.
If the Reds can put together a fine run of form during this period they will likely qualify for Europe’s elite competition.
It could also mark a change in their football that they can take into next season, where they can put together a run at the title – something that petered out this season simply because they did not manage to consistently beat the smaller teams.