Liverpool 4-0 Everton
Liverpool have won their first Merseyside Derby under the management of Jürgen Klopp. The German came away with an emphatic victory for his first experience of what is always an entertaining fixture filled with passion and hunger for winning. In the city of Liverpool it can be the best or worst night of the year, depending on if your team won or not. The Reds would be able to celebrate instead of the blues this time around.
The manager chose to put out a side against Everton that saw Divock Origi start, while Daniel Sturridge was on the substitute bench. That says more about Origi’s fine performances of late than of any failings Sturridge might have.
Liverpool are no strangers to encounters with their local rivals, this was in fact the 226th time the clubs have faced each other in their long history since the 1890s when Liverpool were first formed. Everton have not won against Liverpool at Anfield since 1999, which also means not even Wayne Rooney could get an away win for the blues. Rooney played for Everton’s first team between 2002 and 2004 before transferring to Manchester United for a fee of £25.6 Million. He was born in Liverpool, so the people of the city (both Reds and blues) have considered him to be a “traitor” ever since then.
It’s not like Everton don’t have any more “star players” at the club since selling Rooney though. Currently, Romelu Lukaku has scored 18 league goals this season alone for Everton. Even some Liverpool players would like to have that kind of scoring record. Mario Balotelli probably would. Yeah, I know – “why always me?”
But I’m not picking on Mario, just discussing scoring records. His time playing for Liverpool would have gone considerably easier if he’d scored 18 times for us. Not that his lower scoring record was all his fault, his manager (Brendan Rodgers) used horrible tactics which often did not suit Balotelli’s style of play. Fans and media alike really love frequent goalscorers though.
This game started well for the home side, but goals were not seen until very late in the first half. Everton were outplayed from the first whistle of the game. It couldn’t even be called “end to end” football – in the entire game, Everton had 3 attempts on Liverpool’s goal. Only THREE times did Simon Mignolet need to save a shot and he was never really troubled throughout the whole fixture, he’d quite easily manage to keep a clean sheet in this Merseyside Derby.
For the rest of the game, Liverpool were making offensive plays, passing the ball around the pitch until it reached near enough to our opponents goal for making yet another attempt to score at Anfield. Sky Sports would show statistics that said Liverpool had FOURTY ONE attempts to score by the end of the game. Some fans were wondering how we hadn’t managed to score 40 times!
Well honestly, you can’t score every time you shoot. Defenders often do their job well enough to block shots and goalkeepers make saves. That happens so you’ll need to make multiple attempts before you end up scoring most likely. After an average of every ten shots, Liverpool managed to score against Everton.
The first of the goals would come around the 43rd minute. Everton had just recently got a player booked. Aaron Lennon had committed a foul and received a yellow card. James Milner took the free kick, put a cross into Divock Origi and he would jump into the air and get his head to the ball directing it towards the bottom left corner of the net, scoring a marvelous header. Liverpool 1-0 Everton
A couple of minutes later and it was the 45th minute. The match officials decided 4 minutes of extra time would be played. Two minutes later, James Milner did what he does best (assisting) as he put a cross in for Mamadou Sakho who was inside of the 6 yard box and able to head home a second goal from close range to the top right corner of the net. Liverpool 2-0 Everton
As Sakho celebrated his goal, he started running in the direction of the Liverpool substitute bench. At first I thought he was running to the manager, but he was not headed for Jürgen Klopp. He ran towards Kolo Toure, pointed at him and hugged him. I know Toure is very good at headers and I thought maybe he was training with Sakho recently, taught Mamadou a few things which have helped him score this goal with his head. It was revealed later by Sakho himself that Toure had predicted this would happen. Kolo said to Sakho “you will score (again)” before the game had even kicked off and Sakho was so happy that Toure’s prediction had been true that he celebrated with him.
Since this goal happened at around the 47th minute, Liverpool went in at the half time whistle leading by two goals.
From there, Everton would need to score twice for equalising and score three times just to make it 2-3. But neither of those things would happen and it would be Liverpool who scored twice more in the second half.
No changes for Liverpool would be made by the manager yet and only Gareth Barry would be replaced by Muhamed Besic for Everton. The game would go on.
Now 5 minutes into the second half, a terrible foul is committed and the referee needs to send a player off the pitch. We’d already had James Milner booked in the first half, but it wouldn’t be him who was in trouble this time. It was Ramiro Funes Mori. He had gone in hard on Divock Origi, practically stamped his ankle and also looked like he was punching him as he moved his upper body towards Origi and the ball he wanted to win. Merseyside Derbys are always quite rough, usually. That’s normal for such a highly contested battle between two local rivals. But this went beyond a rough challenge. It was downright violence.
At first it was suspected that Mori had broken (a bone in) Origi’s ankle, who needed to be stretchered off and substituted right away. The good news is that Origi only suffered a twisted ankle, which is far less serious than breaking the bones in it completely. You can recover from a twisted ankle in less than 24 hours, he could be up and running around the training ground with his teammates already today.
And so, Liverpool substituted Daniel Sturridge for Origi and continued to play against Everton who now only had 10 men. Sturridge tried to comfort Origi as he was leaving the pitch, with Sturridge knowing all full well how bad it can be to sit injured on the sidelines for long periods of time.
By the 61st minute, Daniel Sturridge had punished Everton for their violence as he scored a goal with the help of an assist from Lucas Leiva. A through ball from the Brazilian went right to Sturridge and he put his left footed shot from the middle of the box into the bottom left corner of the net, making it Liverpool 3-0 Everton. That’ll teach you not to stamp on our players. There’s no way you’re making any kind of comeback now.
Liverpool kept pressing and did not hold back, even when we had a three goal lead. We wanted four and when we got our fourth, we wanted five. Literally, the fans in the bar I was watching the game at were chanting “we want FIVE, we want FIVE!”. We wouldn’t score a fifth goal but four was more than enough to get our win over our local rivals.
The fourth goal came from Joe Allen’s assist (Allen had been substituted for Firmino in the 2nd half) and Coutinho took Allen’s pass, made a little space for himself then shot his right footed shot into the far corner of the net to make it Liverpool 4-0 Everton in the 76th minute. We didn’t step back even then. For the rest of the game, Liverpool just attacked and even Lucas Leiva had a shot by the end of the game, which actually closely missed the near post but since he didn’t even make the goalkeeper save it, Klopp ended up laughing at the effort – this was shown on camera. I think Lucas laughed himself, too. So he wouldn’t feel too bad.
Man of the Match? Well, he didn’t score any of the goals but he did assist two of them – James Milner did all he could to help Liverpool gain a two goal lead by half time. It was impressive. His effort is undeniable, he works incredibly hard all around the midfield to make sure we are provided with the opportunities we need to score. That’s how to be a team player, or even a captain. Well done Milner.
What’s next? Well, Liverpool are to play against Rafa Benitez’s new side… Newcastle. I look forward to Rafa’s return to the club that still loves him so much. He’ll get a warm welcome from everyone in Liverpool.
Walk on, Anfield Family. You’ll Never Walk Alone.
[written by] Stuart Drewery.
I’m an Englishman (born and raised in Liverpool in the 80s). My whole family including my parents and grandparents were Liverpool fans so I was born into being a red.
I’ve seen Liverpool win the league (more than 25 years ago) and I’ve been 100% loyal and committed while supporting the Reds through all the good times AND the bad times since the 80s.