Liverpool eased to a 4-1 victory over Everton at Goodison Park last night. The Reds raced into a quick 2-0 lead before Everton pulled one back through Gray. The Reds pulled away second half as the gulf in class between the two sides showed. Read on for a review of the game.

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° The lineup. There was no messing about by Klopp as he named his strongest available XI. In past derbies, he’s usually tinkered with his forward line, not this time. A few players started their 4th straight game in 12 days, which was something we weren’t expecting, as you can see from our predicted lineup:


° A fast start. Liverpool raced out of the blocks last night and were 2-0 up before the 20th minute mark. It could have been more too, with Coleman doing well to thwart Mané after a fantastic through ball from Trent. Matip and Salah also spurned early chances, with the centre back heading wide and Mo volleying over when he should have headed home.

° The first two goals. They were both things of beauty, as firstly Henderson ran onto Robbo’s cutback and whipped a curler from the edge of the box into the bottom corner with his weaker left foot. The second was reminiscent of Salah’s hat trick goal at Old Trafford as he ran onto a Henderson pass and slotted past Pickford.

° The Goodison crowd. The Evertonians had already made their disapproval of coach Rafa Benitez and some of the players known after defeat at Brentford. It didn’t take much for them to turn against their team here, with the Reds firmly in control in the first 30. We had quitened the crowd, with sections leaving after just 20 minutes.

° Their brief lifeline. Everything was going according to plan, then out of the blue (pardon the pun), Richarlison found a pocket space in behind the midfield line to play in Gray, who had made a run in between Matip and Trent. Alisson rushed out and got something on the shot but not enough to keep it out.

° Gifting big chances. It has been a theme of the season so far, with opposition teams usually getting at least one big chance against us. We were caught high and out of position and Everton sliced through us to half the deficit. At 2-0 up we should have done a better job of managing the game. We gave them and their crowd a lifeline.

Mohamed Salah stares at a flare thrown onto the pitch

° Something to work on. When we press high (with the midfield and full backs pushed high) and don’t win possession, the opposition can find themselves breaking on our centre backs if they can work the pass right. It has happened too many times this season and remains something to work on, as this team chases perfection.

° Dark arts. Everton are full blooded in their tackling in the derby (no need to rehash events here last season). Liverpool were lucky to escape with no injuries, Jota especially, at the hands of Allan. Townsend and Gray were both booked for diving, and Gordon could have too, as Everton brought out all the dark arts.

° Robbo surge continues. Andy Robertson returned to the side against Southampton amidst questions over his place in the side. He has responded to the competition brilliantly though and was again at his devastating best here. Two assists and a trademark energetic display as he made it back to back outstanding performances.

° Captain Fantastic. Jordan Henderson did his best Stevie G impression last night on his way to becoming the first Red since Gerrard to score and assist in a PL match at Goodison Park. He was absolutely tremendous in the middle of the pitch, winning that midfield battle almost single handedly. A night to be proud of.

° Jota keeps slotting. Jota was relentless again last night with his hard running style causing the Toffees all kinds of problems. He won the most ground duels (11) and completed the most dribbles (3), crowning the performance with a sensational finish from a tight angle. He keeps getting better and better. We say again, what signing!

Diogo Jota celebrates at Goodison Park

° The Fabinho – Thiago tandem. The duo moved their partnership on to 13 wins and a draw in 14 matches, with the side scoring 39 times and conceding just 6 goals when they both start in midfield. This is Thiago’s first run of games in the team since the run in last season, and it’s no surprise he’s again impressing.

° Salah! The Egyptian is enjoying the kind of season that will be spoken of in decades to come. He’s gone to the hostile grounds of our two bitterest rivals and plundered 5 goals in those 2 matches alone. That is unheard of. He is a man on a mission and his anger at not scoring more goals last night sums him up. Sign him up FSG!

° Subs. With the injuries in midfield easing, the manager now has greater control over the outcome of matches. He brought on Millie and Ox for Thiago and Hendo, and standards were maintained. It’s a far cry from the frustrating Brighton draw when Hendo, Ox and Jones had to finish the game as they were the only fit options.

° On to Wolves. Four wins on the bounce after the international break sees the side bubbling up nicely into the hectic festive period. Jürgen Klopp has mastered December after teething problems in 2015, and his side looked primed to go on a long run. Bruno Lage’s Wolves provide the next opposition as another away game awaits.

° Title race. Whilst Liverpool cruised to an impressive derby victory, Chelsea and City eked out narrow 2-1 victories away to Watford and Aston Villa respectively. Both sides could have easily dropped points but saw luck fall their way. It keeps the top three unchanged, but with the Reds handily placed if the top two drop points.


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