Divock Origi netted a brace, while there were goals for Xherdan Shaqiri, Sadio Mane and Georginio Wijnaldum as Premier League leaders Liverpool cruised to a record-breaking 5-2 win over Merseyside rivals Everton, placing more pressure on beleaguered boss Marco Silva.
It took Jurgen Klopp’s men just six minutes to break the deadlock, courtesy of Origi – who netted a stoppage-time winner against Everton in this fixture last season. Teed up by an excellent Mane pass, he breached the visitors’ backline and sped beyond the onrushing Jordan Pickford before slotting into an open goal.
Shaqiri applied the finishing touch after a well-worked move, where Trent Alexander-Arnold and Mane combined in transition before the Senegalese forward teed up Shaqiri from close-range – on his first league start of 2019-20.
Michael Keane netted his first goal since August last year to halve the deficit, profiting after Alex Iwobi’s delivery was poorly defended by a sloppy Dejan Lovren.
However, Lovren atoned for his error ten minutes later with a fantastic over-the-top long ball into Origi, who showed great technique to unleash a side-foot finish past Pickford and restore the Reds’ two-goal cushion. Mane made it 4-1 just before half-time, curling an effort into the far corner to complete a devastating counter-attack with aplomb after Alexander-Arnold’s pass.
Richarlison netted his seventh goal of the campaign to reduce the deficit in first-half stoppage-time, as the Brazilian timed his movement in the box to perfection before heading past Adrian from close-range. After a frantic six-goal thriller, proceedings petered out after half-time – but chances were still flowing.
Mane, Richarlison and Everton sub Moise Kean squandered promising opportunities before Georginio Wijnaldum combined with substitute Roberto Firmino to hammer home Liverpool’s fifth of the evening – in the most prolific Merseyside Derby since 1933. Without further ado, here’s a look at five hits and flops from Liverpool’s latest win:
#5 Flop: Tom Davies
After promising displays in the month of November both with Everton and England under-21’s, it has been a rude awakening upon his return for Tom Davies.
The 21-year-old has started the last seven league games but this frustrating display and his subsequent substitution midway through the second-half suggests opportunities to usurp him could await both Morgan Schneiderlin and a returning Fabian Delph (thigh).
He completed 20 passes with 71.4% accuracy, won five of 10 duels contested and was fouled on three occasions. However, he crucially struggled to make his presence felt in midfield enough and often found himself on the periphery – when the opportunity to combine with Gylfi Sigurdsson was needed most.
Having conceded early on, Everton struggled to keep sustained periods and that was largely through Davies’ inability to complete risky forward passes or take players on in possession.
Klopp made five changes to the Liverpool side who were 2-1 winners over Brighton last time out, with James Milner and Adam Lallana among them. He didn’t do enough to bypass either player – both known for their workmanlike efforts – while making Wijnaldum’s job easier in a holding midfield role.
He lost possession on nine occasions, was booked after committing two fouls and didn’t do enough defensively (two interceptions, one tackle) to justify such an ineffective display, especially as Liverpool scored four with ease while he was on the pitch.
#4 Hit: Richarlison
24 hours after signing a contract extension, Richarlison was comfortably Everton’s best performer on a forgettable evening for all concerned at the club. He was an ever-present threat, took his headed finish well and on another night probably could and should have had two more when presented with similar chances in-and-around the area.
Lovren’s goal-saving interception in the first-half denied him an assist with Calvert-Lewin lurking near the far post, but the Brazilian’s invention and determination to keep this match competitive – which it really shouldn’t have been – was admirable.
He had 34 touches, won eight duels, three successful dribbles and completed clearances, one key pass and his fifth goal of 2019-20. Naturally, he’ll hope for more regular goal contributions and impressive displays this term, continuing to prove his worth as Everton’s best attacker – even if his defensive teammates aren’t pulling their weight.
#3 Flop: Djibril Sidibe
Simply put, Djibril Sidibe was ruthlessly exposed against Liverpool’s devastating counter-attacking tactics while Sadio Mane ran riot in one-on-one battles with him too.
An attack-minded fullback by trade, his weaknesses were thoroughly exploited: venturing forward too often allowed Liverpool to break at speed down his side while catching him in awkward positions every time.
He regularly looked overwhelmed as they advanced, with a combination of unconvincing defensive quality and inadequate support from his midfield teammates. As for his involvement in all three Liverpool goals before being hauled off after 35 minutes for Bernard, here’s a breakdown:
For their first goal, Sidibe was acting as a suppporting option on the edge of Liverpool’s own box when an Everton attack broke down and the ball fell to Lallana. He fed Mane and six seconds later, the Reds were ahead.
Mane effortlessly waltzed past him in the build-up to their second after 16 minutes, far too easily and without much of a challenge before a reverse pass into Shaqiri’s path.
As for their third, Lovren’s defence-splitting pass had both Holgate and Keane frantically backpedalling with Sidibe jogging back helplessly on the left of them before Origi wheeled away to celebrate his brace. Three goals, brilliant moves from Liverpool’s perspective but all were conceded too easily.
#2 Hit: Divock Origi
Origi took both goals very well – particularly displaying excellent technique to finish his second – which will undoubtedly do his confidence the world of good, havivng not scored in the league since their 4-1 win over Norwich on the opening weekend.
He led the line confidently after a purposeful start, while proving efficient in-and-around the final third without needing regular touches (a team-low 30 over 73 minutes).
Was fouled on three occasions, won seven of 14 duels contested, completed two of four attempted dribbles and netted his first Premier League brace to boot. Has now presented Jurgen Klopp with a welcome selection headache in attack, as Liverpool have eight matches across all competitions between now and January 4 in a stacked festive period.
#1 Hit: Sadio Mane
Simply superb. Liverpool’s best player and on this occasion, Mane proved precisely why: two perfectly-weighted assists and a well-taken goal of his own to boot, creating havoc aplenty for Everton’s backline throughout – it’s scary to know he should have done more!
On an evening where Mohamed Salah was unused and Roberto Firmino was a second-half substitute, Mane led by example from minute one. He fired a well-taken finish from distance into the bottom corner, finishing a devastating counter-attack before half-time, but couldn’t replicate the same ruthlessness deep into the second-half against tired legs.
The first, he fired narrowly wide of Pickford’s near post from close-range. As for the second, he sped through and flicked the ball beyond the goalkeeper before being thwarted unceremoniously by Mason Holgate’s last-ditch recovery tackle while shaping to shoot at a narrow angle.
With 14 goals and seven assists this term, Mane continues to prove he’s an indispensable figure in the Reds’ title tilt while displaying there’s more to his game than just goals – creating assists than Kevin de Bruyne and Mesut Özil would be proud of.
Stats’ source: SofaScore and WhoScored