How Liverpool Destroyed Their Merseyside Rivals
In a night that witnessed relentless salvo and a true reflection of what European champions must look like, Liverpool sundered Everton with a second-string squad and a Sadio Mane special. In front of a stadium filled to the rafters, Liverpool engaged against a languishing Everton and ripped their hearts out in the first half itself as Marco Silva’s wards were disgruntled and begged for mercy from their Merseyside rivals.
Baffled by the combination between Divock Origi and Adam Lallana, the Everton rearguard, despite deploying a five-man backline, came apart at the seams.
The home crowd was given a feast too early when Lallana spearheaded a counterattack, teeing up Mane with a fine through after shrugging off an Everton player and the latter’s adept touch squared off an onrushing Origi to slot home a calm finish.
Mane seemed absolutely untenable right from the word go, as the second of the night for the hosts was carved with tantamount brilliance from the Senegalese striker. After being fed by Trent Alexander-Arnold, Mane stitched an outrageous pass for Shaqiri to nudge home and Liverpool was cruising already.
Everton’s retort to Liverpool’s endless gung-ho was swift after Michael Keane latched on to a peachy delivery from Alex Iwobi, and produced a fine finish, going by the benchmark of central defenders, to reduce the cushion for themselves.
This goal acted as a much-needed catalyst for the visitors, as Everton started hitting Liverpool on the break, only to see their sorties go begging to the supremacy of Van Djik.
The beauty of this side crafted by Klopp lies in its variety. The next goal from Liverpool came from an ancient route one brand of football. Dejan Lovren carved a long ball for an alert Origi, with Keane still basking in his own goal, and was too late to realise what unfolded thereafter. Origi exploded into the Everton box and calmly dinked the ball over an advancing Pickford.
Marco Silva, punchdrunk by the endless belligerence of Liverpool, was contemplating a safe return to the tunnel before the half. However, Liverpool had other plans, as Mane hurt the visitors again. Following a mesmerizing pass from Alexandre-Arnold, he arrowed home Liverpool’s fourth.
Silva introduced Bernard just before the stroke of half time and the Brazilian teed up his fellow comrade, Richarlison to head home, and the latter managed to live upto his billing, only through his shoulder to make it 4-2.
Liverpool was simply not done yet and kept on coming back at their Merseyside neighbours with a famished belly for more. The rout was complete when Roberto Firmino threaded a million-dollar assist for Wijnaldum and Liverpool notched up the holy benchmark of five goals in a match, leaving Everton, broken, beaten and humiliated.
Leicester City seems to be the only real challenger at present, with City and Chelsea slowly fading away from the title race. The difference at the top of the Premier League table at present is eight points, though it is not something that can’t be eliminated over the course of the next 22 matches.
On the other hand, the Reds will also face a lot of pressure, as they play many more matches than the Foxes. They will be shortly leaving for the FIFA Club World Cup, which will be a source of new fatigue and tiredness for the players. Let’s hope that manager Jurgen Klopp has these things sorted out.