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    Liverpool 4-0 Everton Match Report


    Liverpool recorded three consecutive wins in the Premier League for the first time this season after they stormed to victory against neighbours Everton in a one-sided 226th Merseyside derby. Goals just before half-time from Divock Origi and Mamadou Sakho set the home side on their way to an emphatic win, while the Toffees' cause was made all the more difficult when Ramiro Funes Mori was sent off for a foul on Origi just after the interval.

    The Reds dominated the match, even when Everton had 11 players on their field, but the visitors did offer a rare threat on the counter-attack, with Kevin Mirallas and Romelu Lukaku wasting their side's best opportunities. The Funes Mori dismissal made it less of a contest as the hosts piled further pressure on under-fire manager Roberto Martinez in the second half, with Daniel Sturridge adding a third on the hour-mark to effectively seal the contest. Damage limitation was the Toffees' only realistic incentive from the evening after half-time as Philippe Coutinho added further gloss to the scoreline with a fourth goal which reflected a more accurate picture of the hosts' superiority.



    The result matches Liverpool's only other win in the past seven encounters between the sides, while it also extends Everton's run without victory in the fixture to 12 matches. The only blemish on what was otherwise a perfect evening's work for Jurgen Klopp's team was a serious-looking ankle injury sustained by Origi from the incident which led to the Funes Mori red card. The Belgian, who turned 21 at the start of the week, is set for a spell on the sidelines and could be a doubt for the Europa League final in May, should Liverpool progress past Spanish side Villareal in the semi-finals.

    Liverpool made nine alterations from the experimental line-up that impressed in Sunday's 2-1 at Bournemouth, with only Lucas Leiva and Roberto Firmino retaining their places. Everton, meanwhile, made six changes from last weekend's 1-1 draw against Southampton, with the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Gareth Barry and Ross Barkley returning to the Toffees' starting XI. The club were looking for a first league win in seven matches to alleviate some of the pressure that had been mounting on Roberto Martinez but faced opponents who sat three places and 10 points above them in the table.



    The first 40 minutes were dominated by the home side but they were unable to find a way past an inspired Joel Robles, who denied Adam Lallana, Lucas and Firmino from giving Liverpool a deserved lead. Robles spread himself magnificently to narrow down the angle and thwart the onrushing Adam Lallana when the former Southampton midfielder latched onto Coutinho's volleyed first-time pass. He later dived low to his right to keep out Lucas' 20-yard strike, while he saved with his feet to stop Firmino finding the bottom left-hand corner after the Brazilian had expertly controlled James Milner's lofted pass.

    Philippe Coutinho also tried his luck with a speculative strike from 20 yards, which flew a yard over Robles' crossbar, but it was Adam Lallana who was proving to be Liverpool's most dangerous player in the first 45 minutes. He came close to scoring when played through by Alberto Moreno but his strike from a tight angle was expertly blocked by John Stones. Just moments later, sections of the crowd thought the 27-year-old had scored when he managed to evade Funes Mori, attacking Nathaniel Clyne's right-wing cross, but he headed narrowly wide of the near-post.

    Everton did have their own fleeting moments in the first half, with Ross Barkley posing a persistent threat to the Liverpool back-four, but clear-cut chances were proving to be few and far between. Kevin Mirallas cut inside Dejan Lovren on the left-wing before shooting high and wide from just inside the penalty area from one of the away side's most dangerous counter-attacks. Romelu Lukaku also looked threatening before half-time but on the one occasion the 22-year-old did manage to get beyond Sakho, the Frenchman recovered well to make a last-ditch tackle and prevent a close-range strike on goal.



    Just as it looked as though Liverpool would be heading into the break with the game still goalless, they finally made their supremacy count when Origi scored with two minutes of the half remaining. James Milner was the architect of the goal having cut inside to deliver a pinpoint left-footed cross on the right wing to the in-form Belgian. Origi still had plenty to do but he climbed higher than John Stones and Muhamed Besic before guiding a header past Robles from which he generated the pace on the ball himself.

    Robles was picking the ball out of the net again four minutes later when Mamadou Sakho scored his second goal in as many starts to ensure that any comeback would prove uphill task for an out-of-form Everton side. This time it was Lallana who was the instigator, playing a give-and-go with Milner on the left-flank before delivering the perfect cross to an unmarked Sakho at the back post. The French international headed into the roof of the net from two yards to double the home side's lead in the second minute of stoppage time, which was a fair reflection of their first half supremacy.




    Everton's hopes of a turnaround were reduced even further five minutes into the second-half when Funes Mori was sent off for a clumsy and bad-timed tackle of Origi, which led to the Liverpool striker leaving the field on a stretcher. The Argentine defender's late challenge saw him shift his weight onto Origi's foot, which was planted in the ground, and injure the Belgian's ankle. Robert Madley gave Funes Mori a straight red card for the tackle, which caused confusion for many as the 25-year-old was not booked for the conspicuous yellow card offence of kicking the ball away.

    Substitute Daniel Sturridge scored his 10th goal of the season and Liverpool's third of the evening on the hour-mark with an excellent control and finish after the away side's lackluster defending had given him the opportunity. John Stones' pass out from the back, intended for Tom Cleverly, was cut-out by Lucas before the Brazilian played a defence-splitting pass to Sturridge inside the Toffees' penalty area. The England striker took one touch to get the ball out of his feet before side-footing into the bottom left-hand corner from seven yards with unerring confidence.



    With only 15 minutes remaining, Philippe Coutinho crowned a memorable night for the red half of Merseyside with a trademark run and strike at a stage of the game when the visitors were showing visible signs of tiredness. The Brazilian picked up the ball just outside the 18-yard box, taking a touch to set himself up, before curling an effort into the bottom right-hand corner. Robles did manage to get a hand the the ball but the Spanish goalkeeper was beaten by the speed and accuracy of the strike, which was Coutinho's 12th goal of the season and only his second ever in a Merseyside derby.

    The result could have been even more emphatic had it not been for further heroics from Robles, who denied Firmino, Sturridge and fellow substitute Jordon Ibe with second half stops. Firmino was played through on goal by Sturridge but Robles came out to save from a tight angle, while the England striker tried his luck from 20 yards but his effort was saved comfortably as it headed for the top right-hand corner. Later in the half, Robles made another stop with his feet to deny Ibe from 20 yards after a slight deflection from Stones had taken the ball off path and was not seen until late by the in-form Spaniard.

    Despite the form of Robles, it was still an emphatic victory for Liverpool that not only gave The Reds local bragging rights but kept up the club's momentum at a stage of the season when fixtures were coming thick and fast. Whereas the club lacked a cutting edge in Klopp's early reign, the likes of Sturridge, Lallana, Firmino and Coutinho are arguably in their best form in a Liverpool shirt and have helped the club score 14 goals in the past four games. It remains to be seen how long Origi will be out of the side for but Sturridge proved in the second half that even in the Belgian's absence, The Reds do not lack any of their potency in attack.



    For Everton, it was a bitterly disappointing evening but the writing was on the wall long before Ramiro Funes Mori effectively ended the match as a contest when he was sent-off just before half-time. Even though the away side held out for 43 minutes, they were second best in a one-sided first half and had Robles had not been in such fine form, the scoreline could have been even more emphatic. The performance will not do Roberto Martinez any favours in his attempts to win over the doubters, following a poor league season, with this result leaving them in 11th position and only ahead of promoted Watford and Bournemouth on goal difference.

    Following Saturday's home match against relegation-threatened Newcastle United, Liverpool are next in action away to Villareal on Thursday in the Europa League semi-finals, where they will be looking to take a positive result into the return leg the following week. Jurgen Klopp's side, who move above Southampton into seventh position, then face an away trip to Swansea City at midday on Sunday, which lies in-between the two European matches. After Saturday's FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United at Wembley, Everton return to Merseyside for a home game against Bournemouth next Saturday and it will be the third time the two sides have met this season.
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    Item Reviewed: Liverpool 4-0 Everton Match Report Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Richard Tufft
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