Liverpool v Everton
The 222nd Merseyside derby ended in a disastrous defeat for Everton.
The Toffees were soundly beaten 4-0 at Anfield.
The visitors actually started quite brightly and it took just 65 seconds for Ross Barkley to announce himself when he let fly from fully 25-yards – only just clearing the crossbar.
The pace was frantic during the opening exchanges with neither side allowed any time on the ball.
Everton’s quick possession passing was impressive at times but goalkeeper Simon Mignolet remained largely untroubled. It was defensively that the Blues weren’t at their usual composed and organised self.
Liverpool should have taken the lead in the 18th minute when Daniel Sturridge clipped the ball over the Everton defence for Raheem Sterling to run on to but Tim Howard was sharp off his line to block the youngster’s effort.
The opening goal wasn’t long in coming though. Luis Suarez swung over a corner from the left on 21 minutes and Steven Gerrard climbed highest in a packed penalty area to power a header into the net.
There was further bad news for Everton shortly after when Romelu Lukaku limped off with an injury. Steven Naismith entered the fray as his replacement.
On the half-hour mark, Phil Jagielka forced Mignolet into a smart save after Kevin Mirallas had dribbled his way across the edge of the area and Gareth Barry slammed the loose ball well wide.
Liverpool scored their second goal in the 33rd minute when Philippe Coutinho played in Sturridge, who finished calmly past Howard.
Sturridge then notched his second and Liverpool’s third a couple of minutes later, beating the offside trap before lobbing the ball into the net.
Everton were shell-shocked and the visiting supporters could only look on in stunned silence.
Leon Osman came on for the second half and instantly tested Mignolet with a well-struck shot but straight away Liverpool added a fourth goal.
Everton were sloppy in possession and Suarez raced clear to slide home.
Liverpool were awarded a penalty in the 54th minute when Howard brought down Sturridge but the striker fired high over the bar from the spot.
Prompted by a lively Osman, Everton gave a decent account of themselves from then on but the damage had long since been done on a night to well and truly forget.