A reinvigorated Liverpool sealed a priceless 3-1 victory over Everton in Saturday’s Merseyside derby, as their top-four push continues.
Liverpool 3-1 Everton
Premier League, Anfield
April 1, 2017
Mane 8′ (assist – Firmino)
Pennington 29′ (assist – Williams)
Coutinho 31′ (assist – Lucas)
Origi 60′ (assist – Coutinho)
After the final international break of the season, Liverpool took on their bitter rivals in a Saturday lunchtime clash at Anfield, looking to further their claim for the top four.
Though both sides suffered losses during the break, namely Adam Lallana for the Reds and Seamus Coleman, James McCarthy and Ramiro Funes Mori for the Blues, it was still set up as a must-see clash.
Navigating the loss of his midfield dynamo, Jurgen Klopp made two changes to the side that drew 1-1 with Man City last time out, bringing Lucas Leiva and Dejan Lovren in while preserving his 4-3-3 system.
Having taken a 1-0 win from Goodison Park in the first Merseyside derby of the season, Liverpool were eager to do the double over their rivals, and they were ultimately triumphant.
- Klopp makes two changes as Lucas and Lovren come in
- Moran honoured with pre-match ceremony in the Kop
- Mane opens scoring with superb individual strike
- Coutinho wondergoal cancels out Pennington’s leveller
- Origi scores third after replacing injured Mane
The derby kicked off with a typically fraught atmosphere, with Nathaniel Clyne and Ross Barkley both spoken to for strong challenges in the opening stages as both sides made their presence felt.
It didn’t take long for the Reds to make a telling impact, though, with Sadio Mane playing a one-two with Roberto Firmino and embarking on a bursting run that saw him send a low effort beyond Joel Robles to put Liverpool 1-0 up.
The home side were stunned just before the half-hour mark, however, with surprise inclusion Matthew Pennington drawing Everton level with a close-range finish following a corner.
But two minutes later, Coutinho produced a moment of pure genius, picking up the ball 40 yards out, dancing his way through the Blues’ defence and curling a wondergoal into Robles’ top corner.
Barkley should have been sent off for a late lunge on Lovren, but Anthony Taylor settled for a yellow card, before calling for half-time with the Reds 2-1 ahead.
Liverpool began the second half with a pair of concerns, with Ashley Williams first going close after a free-kick from deep, before Mane went down with a twisted ankle just seven minutes in.
This eventually forced the winger off, with Divock Origi taking his place in what could prove a major blow to the Reds’ hopes in the closing stages of the season.
Origi was on the pitch for a matter of minutes before he made his mark, with the Belgian darting into space after Coutinho’s pass and sending a long-range strike beyond the hapless Robles and in.
With the Reds securing a two-goal lead, Klopp sought to shore things up, sending West Derby native Trent Alexander-Arnold on for his first taste of the Merseyside derby on 73 minutes.
The teenager forced a strong save from Robles shortly after coming on, but the clash was settled by the time he was introduced, with Liverpool enjoying an ideal return from the international break.
TIA Man of the Match: Philippe Coutinho
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Liverpool: Mignolet; Clyne, Matip, Lovren, Milner; Lucas, Can, Wijnaldum; Mane (Origi 57′), Coutinho (Trent Alexander-Arnold 73′), Firmino (Klavan 90′)
Subs not used: Karius, Moreno, Grujic, Woodburn
Everton: Robles; Holgate, Pennington (Barry 66′), Jagielka, Williams, Baines; Gana, Davies (Valencia 66′), Barkley; Lukaku, Calvert-Lewin (Mirallas 82′)
Subs not used: Stekelenburg, Kenny, Lookman, Kone