Milner & Sakho shine, but Origi’s injury a concern – 5 talking points from Liverpool 4-0 Everton

A comprehensive display from Liverpool sealed a 4-0 win over Merseyside rivals Everton on Wednesday, with Divock Origi‘s injury the only negative from the night.


Returning to Anfield after a 2-1 victory away to Bournemouth on Sunday afternoon, Jurgen Klopp prepared his Reds side for the 226th Merseyside derby, and his first experience of the clash.

Goals from Origi, Mamadou Sakho, Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho sealed a routine win, with Ramiro Funes Mori’s mindless red card piling the misery on Everton manager Roberto Martinez.

This marks Liverpool’s fourth consecutive victory, as Klopp’s spring resurgence continues in earnest.

Here are five talking points from this latest triumph, including Sakho’s remarkable endurance.

 

Mamadou Sakho: The Leader Liverpool Need

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, April 20, 2016: Liverpool's Mamadou Sakho scores the second goal against Everton during the Premier League match at Anfield, the 226th Merseyside Derby. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Speaking after Liverpool’s 4-3 victory at home to Borussia Dortmund last Thursday, Sakho presented it as “a win for the Liverpool country.”

Despite hailing from Paris, and only joining the Reds in 2013, Sakho has shown throughout his time at Liverpool that he understands what it means to play for this storied club.

Against Everton on Wednesday, Sakho threw himself into challenges with gusto, driving his side up the pitch, and added his second goal in a week with a powerful header in the six-yard box just before half-time.

There are few players that embody Liverpool’s fighting spirit under Klopp more than Sakho, and with the 26-year-old finding consistency both on the field and in terms of fitness since his new manager’s arrival, he has proved himself a valuable leader; as captain without the armband.

 

James Milner’s Delivery Demands a Wide Role

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, April 20, 2016: Liverpool's James Milner in action against Everton's Aaron Lennon during the Premier League match at Anfield, the 226th Merseyside Derby. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

With Emre Can and Jordan Henderson both injured, Joe Allen’s fitness continually managed by Klopp and Kevin Stewart largely untested at the top level, James Milner‘s spell in the middle of the park is something of a necessary evil at present.

But as he continued to prove in a confused performance alongside Lucas Leiva in a two-man midfield against Everton, his demands for a regular central role on arriving at the club were misjudged.

Moving into more advanced positions as Liverpool attacked, however, Milner naturally drifted wide, and this is where the stand-in captain shone.

His first assist came from the right, lifting the ball expertly over the Everton defence for the rising Origi to nod home, before he clipped a second, pinpoint cross towards Sakho for Liverpool’s second before the break.

Milner now has 14 assists to his name since joining from Man City, and with many of these coming from crosses from the flanks, it is clear that, when possible, he should be deployed on the wing.

 

Philippe Coutinho’s Goalscoring Run Continues

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, April 20, 2016: Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho Correia celebrates scoring the fourth goal against Everton with the supporters during the Premier League match at Anfield, the 226th Merseyside Derby. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Once, the sight of Coutinho cutting inside to fire a shot towards goal with his right foot brought winces from the Kop, with the Brazilian’s exuberant approach from range frustrating supporters and team-mates alike.

With the arrival of Klopp has seen Coutinho settle into his left-sided role, and no doubt buoyed by the manager’s focus on a pacy, dynamic, off-shoulder striker in Origi or Sturridge, has begun to showcase a maturity when picking the ball up on the wing.

This has seen Coutinho take his chances at the right time, and adding Liverpool’s fourth goal with a low effort on Wednesday night, the 23-year-old brought his season’s tally to 12.

Remarkably, Coutinho has scored five goals in his last six appearances for the Reds, including important strikes against Man United and Dortmund in the Europa League.

Currently Liverpool’s leading goalscorer, Coutinho looks set to break the 15-goal mark for the campaign, which would be another major milestone in his development.

 

Divock Origi’s Injury a Bitter Blow

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, April 20, 2016: Liverpool's Divock Origi is carried off injured during the Premier League match against Everton at Anfield, the 226th Merseyside Derby. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Being named ahead of Sturridge in Klopp’s starting lineup on Wednesday served as a reminder of the Belgian’s standing under the Liverpool manager.

Breaking the deadlock just before half-time, Origi rewarded his manager’s faith, and capped another performance of strength and tactical intelligence as Liverpool’s lone centre-forward.

But stretchered off after Funes Mori’s shocking challenge, Origi’s run of form could be derailed, with the 21-year-old expected to miss at least two weeks of action as Klopp revealed he had twisted his ankle.

Christian Benteke and Danny Ings are both out injured at present, leaving Klopp with few options when it comes to replacing Origi during his spell on the sidelines.

Fortunately for the German, Sturridge’s rich vein of form suggests Liverpool are in safe hands up front.

 

Liverpool Show Strength in Depth After Rotation

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, April 20, 2016: Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge celebrates scoring the third goal against Everton during the Premier League match at Anfield, the 226th Merseyside Derby. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp’s interchanging between Origi and Sturridge from fixture to fixture is a surprising development for the 48-year-old, who said before the game that he was looking to be “prepared for intensive games.”

Making 10 changes for Sunday’s trip to Bournemouth, and another nine for Wednesday night’s derby, it is clear that Klopp is taking this approach across the pitch.

That Liverpool were able to produce a pair of comprehensive, dominant performances in both encounters is a testament to the growing strength in depth at Klopp’s disposal.

Martin Skrtel, Jon Flanagan and Sheyi Ojo were among those who failed to even make the bench for the derby, with Klopp’s selection process growing more difficult by the game.

This is, of course, a positive headache for the German, who is now able to rotate his side throughout a congested run-in, and remain confident of sealing a victory.

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