An emphatic derby win sees the Premiere League leading Reds maintain their 8 point lead over Leicster City at the top. A first-half onslaught secured all 3 points for Klopp’s side. This is now Liverpool’s longest unbeaten top-flight run in club history, 32 matches and running.
Klopp raised many eyebrows initially when his team news broke. Milner and Lallana replaced Jordan Henderson and the injured Fabinho in the midfield, Divock Origi and Xerdan Shaqiri replaced Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah, and Adrian replaced the suspended Alisson. A lot of change for an always important day: Derby Day. But, Klopp’s selection paid off as usual.
Liverpool started the game brightly following the opening kick off, as Andy Robertson played Sadio Mane in superbly but Mane could keep his headed effort down. Shortly after, there was a clash of heads between Mane and Yerry Mina, and Mane stayed down for a brief moment but got back to his feet and continued on. The Reds were making life in possession for Everton miserable from the start.
Adam Lallana picked up the ball and found Sadio Mane to his left, who played an inch perfect ball to the feet of Divock Origi who clinically rounded Everton keeper Jordan Pickford and slotted his effort home to put Liverpool ahead. 1-0 Liverpool after 6’. The man for the occasion, he always scores on Derby Day!
This was the beginning of what was a Sadio Mane masterclass. He couldn’t be contained. His matchup with Sidibe was an absolute mismatch. Following some more fluidity in Liverpool’s passing and approach, Mane picked out Shaqiri who finished his chance to double the Reds lead. 2-0 Liverpool after 17’. Another stunning assist from Sadio Mane. Songs of “Going down” rang around the KOP.
Following a failure to clear an Everton set piece, there was madness in the Liverpool box. Following a short stint of pinball, Michael Keane slotted one past Adrian to put Everton right back into the game. 2-1 Liverpool after 21’. This lifeline sparked the Everton attack, as Dominic Calvert-Lewin was played in on goal but Virgil Van Dijk got back in time to snuff it out.
A bit of madness began to ensue as fouls were being committed left and right, but in the middle of all that brute force was another sublime Liverpool goal. Dejan Lovren chipped a ball over the Everton back line, Origi controlled it wonderfully and curled his effort around Pickford. Liverpool were flying. 3-1 after 31’.
Everton then made their first sub, bringing on Bernardo for Sidibe. Almost immediately he found himself involved on a counter attack, failed to make a decision ina timely manner and saw his chance cut out by Trent Alexander-Arnold.
For as lethal as Liverpool were on the attack, the defense was nothing short of lackluster in the first half. But, Lovren held his own. He got a crucial touch on a Richardson cross destined for Calvert-Lewin at the back post. Saved a certain goal.
After an Everton corner, Liverpool looked to have ended the contest before halftime. Van Dijk headed the ball down to Mane, who burned Iwobi and set Trent free down the right, Trent picks his pass back to Mane and he first time finishes into the bottom left hand corner. 4-1 Liverpool after 45’. A world class counter attack. Textbook.
Three minutes of stoppage time were added at the end of the half, with Liverpool looking to just ride out these final few seconds before halftime. But, this is derby day. Right on the stroke of halftime, a diving header from Richarlison gave Everton life once more. 4-2 Liverpool. Halftime.
Both sides came out for the second half unchanged. Everton started brightly, winning a free kick in Liverpools defensive half. The effort was put over by Lucas Digne, though. Shortly after Tom Davies had an effort at Adrian to pull Everton within 1 goal, but Adrian dealt with it comfortably.
Both teams than made subs, with Liverpool bringing on Jordan Henderson for Adam Lallana and Roberto Firmino for Divock Origi. Everton brought on Morgan Schneiderlin for Davies.
The second half wasn’t quite as exciting, but Sadio Mane was. Jordan Henderson picked out a pass and played Mane clean through on goal with a chance to all but seal the 3 points for Liverpool and fluffed his lines. He put his effort just wide of the bottom corner. Klopp than made his third and final sub, bringing on Joe Gomez for Trent.
Following some slick passing, Mane was on the end of another goal scoring chance, rounded Everton keeper Jordan Pickford but failed to convert due to good recovery from the Everton defense. Mane could’ve had a hat trick.
As the games final minutes were approaching, Roberto Firmino couldn’t help but to get in on the fun. He stunningly picks out Gini Wijnaldum at the top of the box, and Wijnaldum is there to finish it off. 5-2 Liverpool after 90’. Game, set and match.
The Reds finally got clicking on offense, something they’ve been eager to do, but fail to keep a clean sheet yet gain. A fantastic performance bloodied by some mental cracks. Another 3 points for Liverpool as they just keep rolling on. Next up is a trip to Bournemouth on Saturday, the last match before all the Boxing Day madness begins.