The Merseyside derby saw Liverpool toy with their hosts at times before walloping them on their own turf, with almost as many goals on the pitch as boos in the stands.
Everton 1-4 Liverpool
Premier League (14), Anfield
December 1, 2021
Goals: Gray 37′; Henderson 9′, Salah 19′ 63′, Jota 78′
Alisson – 8 (out of 10)
Didn’t have too much to do before a ball was fired through his legs. A couple of very good aerial claims and quick distribution.
Solid boot on the bottle that some Blue threw at him, and a great view of their fans leaving early.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 8
Great strike to nearly make it two, then a brilliant recovery run to clear a big chance at the other end minutes later.
Perhaps might have learned from that, though, and been closer to Demarai Gray for Everton‘s goal.
Brilliant run and pass through for Sadio Mane‘s early chance after the break and he tightened up defensively in the second half.
Lovely gesture revealing a ‘RIP Ava’ shirt underneath post-match.
Joel Matip – 8
Has to score 90 seconds in, simple as that – headed wide off a corner instead!
There wasn’t too much to report for Joel outside of the standard headers and clearances: could have been further across for the goal maybe, and gave away a pass or two in sloppy fashion, but basically did well throughout and a few one-on-ones he actively defended brilliantly.
Virgil van Dijk – 8
Was triple-marked on corners and still caused problems. Caused fewer issues from his free-kick, mind!
Lots of really good headed clearances, a couple of his usual turbo-run recoveries and one tremendous swipe into the air of Anthony Gordon.
Hopefully that’s put some nightmares to bed.
Andy Robertson – 8
Lots of running and overlapping in the first half, interrupted briefly by a bloodied nose.
Some decent crosses and set-pieces as usual and a step back toward his best after a downturn earlier in the season.
Excellent celebration after Mo’s second!
Fabinho – 9
They didn’t have a clue how to get the ball past him, off him or beyond him. The Lighthouse lit up the Reds in the middle of the park.
Jordan Henderson – 9 (Man of the Match)
An absolute beauty of a finish! Passed in with his wrong foot, total composure and guidance. An assist for the second too, setting Mo free.
Probably his best half in the No. 8 role this season – fantastic timing from the skipper for that.
Loads of running, closing down and quick passes through midfield. Not as rampant in the second half but more controlled with the team unit’s positional work.
First goal a Merseyside derby – and we deserved that, especially after last season’s stoppage-time winner that was ruled out for offside.
Thiago – 8
Booked for having the audacity to be stood near where Allan needed to dive, having overrun the ball.
A few sloppy passes early on but was one step ahead of every Blues player throughout.
Levels above anything they could offer and yet wasn’t even the best midfielder on his own team.
We still haven’t lost a game that he’s started alongside Fabinho – and there’s good reason for that! Quality.
Mohamed Salah – 9
Has to score 200 seconds in, much better effort on seven minutes, even better on 19 to double the Reds’ lead – and another lovely scuff into the far corner after the hour mark following some brilliant pace to make the most of the Everton captain’s technical mishap.
Best in the world. No matter what the Ballon d’Or says. “I have no comment,” said Salah when asked about that post-match. He lets his football do the talking instead.
Sadio Mane – 8
Put a thunderous finish on a magnificent team move – beaten out by the keeper, then almost netted on the brink of half-time with another good header.
Had to score on 48 minutes after being played in but took too long.
Led the counter plenty of times, made several good runs in behind the defence on the diagonal and caused Seamus Coleman to scream at Jordan Pickford within a minute of kickoff.
Diogo Jota – 9
Very, very heavily involved in a lot of Liverpool’s first-half buildup play.
Not much ended up at his feet in the box, but he was always there for a quick wall-pass, a tackle to send the ball back the Reds’ way and tracking back into midfield or even left-back when needed.
Wrapped up the win by creating and taking a chance of his own – a backheel and walloped finish which brought throwback memories of a certain Robbie Fowler at Old Trafford.
Takumi Minamino (on for Jota, 88′) – N/A – Good to get some more involvement. Would’ve preferred Origi on for the banter though.
Subs not used: Kelleher, Konate, Tsimikas, Williams, Morton, Origi
Jurgen Klopp – 9
The boss went with perhaps the Reds’ strongest side, at least in terms of seniority, and clearly had the right words to say pre-game as Liverpool were rampant from kickoff.
It was some of the finest derby football seen in years, fast-paced and irrepressible, nothing the hosts could live with.
Since we’ve nowhere else to put it, we’ll shoehorn it here: Klopp probably deserves a 10 for not blowing his lid at Everton‘s constant diving – two were booked, two more should have been, most notably the homegrown talent with Everton DNA instilled in him.
A few nice subs once the game was wrapped up and a long-overdue second victory at Goodison for Jurgen.