Recently the Merseyside Derby has proven an almost excruciatingly tense encounter, decided by fine margins. But not here. This time Liverpool laid bare the gulf in quality, powering five goals past Jordan Pickford and piling the misery on their neighbours.
Klopp left supporters stunned by ringing the changes, but even with the hosts at approximately 50% strength Everton were outmuscled. Their two goals are an inconvenience for Liverpool and scant solace for their supporters, who trudged home all-too-aware that the gap in the league table is wider than Stanley Park.
Here are the headline numbers from a memorable drubbing.
First up, it’s another milestone for this extraordinary team. Liverpool have now gone 32 league games unbeaten, their longest top-flight streak in history, eclipsing a run that lasted from May 1987 to March 1988. It’s just one defeat in their last 54 in the competition.
There was also a landmark for Jurgen Klopp, who reached 100 wins in the top tier faster than any Liverpool manager in history (159 games). Only Jose Mourinho (142) has achieved that feat quicker in the Premier League era.
Attacking reserves step-up
Concerns were voiced over Liverpool’s purported lack of depth in the summer but when Klopp called upon his auxiliaries here, they substantially eased any such fears.
Divock Origi’s brilliantly-taken double moved him onto five career goals against the Toffees. Only Robbie Fowler (six) and Steven Gerrard (nine) have scored more Premier League Merseyside Derby goals for Liverpool. In fact, Origi has found the net every time he’s faced Everton at Anfield.
Shaqiri, for his part, performed admirably given his prior lack of minutes. He had notched a meagre 11 before today, but got among the goals for the first time since the 4-0 win over Newcastle almost a year ago.
Mane turns provider
Sadio Mane could easily have had a hat-trick but was at least directly involved in three of the Reds’ goals, laying on two before his sidefooted finish.
He is now on six assists for the PL campaign, twice as many as he registered in the whole of last season. He’s getting even better.
The goalscoring stats certainly aren’t too shabby either. He finds himself fourth in the current leaderboard on nine, behind only Jamie Vardy (14), Tammy Abraham (11) and Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang, all of whom are central strikers.
Defensive concerns in the backdrop
Liverpool conceded two goals in Anfield in a league match for the first time since March, and in truth they were punished for being too open.
They’ve shipped 14 across their first 15 matches, having let in just six at the same point last season.
The wait for a first home shut-out of the season goes on, but perhaps there is an improvement on the horizon. Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip, Virgil van Dijk and Andrew Robertson – who comprise our best back five – have only started together once this season, in the 1-1 draw with Manchester United. The impressive Matip should return soon.
To end on a more satisfying note, let’s ponder the extent of Everton’s woes.
They’ve conceded five goals in the derby for the first time in 37 years and have made their worst start to a season, position-wise, since 1999 (the last time they found themselves in the bottom three this far into the campaign).
Oh, and they still haven’t won at Anfield since 1999…