Liverpool celebrate goal in Merseyside Derby

This week we were blessed with a round of midweek fixtures in the Premier League. The headliner had to be the Merseyside Derby at Anfield. Everton and Liverpool’s grounds are separated by a community park, and their rivalry is one of the most storied in the English game. In October’s edition of the derby, the two sides fought to a 1-1 draw at Goodison Park and ended up being the last game of Brendan Rodgers’ three-year reign at Liverpool. Now, Jürgen Klopp is at the helm and the Reds have found a renewed energy as they fight for European competition next season. The German manager is no stranger to big matches, and his side asserted their dominance on Wednesday.

Adam Lallana had a glorious one-on-one break in the opening five minutes of the match and it looked like Liverpool were going to get off to a dream start. Sadly, for the home fans, Joel Robles did just enough to stop the midfielder’s low shot and the danger was cleared. This was just the start of what would end up being a very long day for the Spanish keeper.

Kevin Mirallas’ was Everton’s brightest player through the opening stages of the match with his two long distance efforts causing some moments of fear for Simon Mignolet. The theme for most of the early chances in this match was inaccuracy. Other than Robles’ early save on Lallana, neither keeper was really forced into any difficult saves. In the 24th minute, Lallana had another great chance to give the Reds a one-goal lead, but his header flew just inches wide of the near-post.

The further the two sides got into the first half, the more assertive Liverpool looked on the pitch. On the half hour mark, Roberto Firmino had a chance nearly identical to Lallana’s in the fifth minute, and just like that one Robles came out to make a vital intervention. In the 43rd minute, the Reds got their deserved lead. A cross from James Milner on the right wing went to the back post, and Divock Origi was there to nod it into the back of the net.

Everton would’ve been somewhat relieved to go into the break just down a goal after their struggle to impose themselves on the match. As they entered the final minute of added time, Liverpool added a misery compiler. Again, it was a Milner cross that created the danger and this time it was Mamadou Sakho who headed it home. Was this second goal going to be a back breaker for Roberto Martinez’s men?

As if the two-goal deficit wasn’t bad enough, things got worse for Everton just four minutes into the second half. A horrendous challenge from Ramiro Funes-Mori left Origi writhing in pain on the ground, and earned the Argentine defender a straight red card for his troubles. The Belgian striker would have to be stretchered off the pitch, and may not be fit for Liverpool’s Europa League semifinal against Villareal.

After Funes-Mori’s sending off, Everton struggled to get anything going offensively and it looked like Liverpool were in the mood for more goals. On the hour mark, Daniel Sturridge, who replaced Origi, put the dagger into Everton’s hearts with a third goal. Lucas slotted the Englishman through on goal, and Sturridge made no mistake passing it past Robles for his 50th goal for the club.
As if a three-goal defeat wasn’t enough, Philippe Coutinho added a fourth in the 76th minute. His low finessed shot from the edge of the penalty area beat Robles to find the side netting and cap off a statement victory at Anfield. At the final whistle, Liverpool 4-0 Everton.

This embarrassing defeat means that Roberto Martinez will face even more pressure, and this may end up being his final Merseyside Derby. The Toffees find themselves 11th in the league, and have now failed to win in their last seven league fixtures. Liverpool, on the other hand, are now just two points behind West Ham United for sixth in the league and still have a game-in-hand on the London club. The seriousness of Origi’s injury did take away from some of the celebrations, but the red side of Liverpool will walking tall tomorrow.


Tags: , , , , ,