Liverpool continued their fine form with a 4-0 win in the Merseyside derby at Anfield, as they continue their hunt for a place in the Premier League's top six.
Five minutes of madness either side of half-time saw Everton go two goals and a man down thanks to headed goals from Divock Origi and Mamadou Sakho, partnered with a dangerous tackle from Ramiro Funes Mori on Origi.
Daniel Sturridge came on as his young teammate was stretchered off, scoring on the hour mark to put the finishing touch on a game which was already more or less over as a contest. 10-man Everton finished the game with a centre-back pairing of James McCarthy and Muhamed Besic, and there was a sense of inevitability when Philippe Coutinho added Liverpool's fourth and final goal from 25 yards out.
7 - Daniel Sturridge has scored more goals v Everton than any other opponent in the Premier League (7). Foe.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 20, 2016
Horror Tackle Could Have Serious Implications for Liverpool
Divock Origi has been the unexpected star at the heart of Liverpool's excellent performances, and he showed good strength and aerial ability to score his side's first goal. Partnered with the pace and touch on display in recent weeks, he looked set to be a real fixture in the Reds' front line.
Funes Mori's tackle looks to have ended that prospect for the time being. Whether his tackle was malicious or clumsy is a matter for later debate, but it deserved the straight red card it received as the Argentine ended up near-stamping on the ankle of Origi's planted foot.
The Everton man kissed the badge as he left the field - a move which seemed more and more misguided the longer Origi remained prone on the ground. The youngster was eventually strapped onto a stretcher and carried off with what appeared to be a serious injury, a massive blow for Liverpool's Premier League and Europa League campaigns and a huge worry for the player himself.
Everton's Defensive Jekyll and Hyde Act
It's no secret that Everton have struggled to defend effectively throughout the current campaign. Their performance at Anfield showed their issues in a nutshell - but also provided some reasons for optimism ahead of a renewed push next season.
The gaps were all there. The first half-hour alone saw Adam Lallana and Roberto Firmino put in one-on-one to Joel Robles thanks to simple long balls over the top. For once though, nobody panicked. Robles made two fine saves with his legs. When Liverpool threatened again, John Stones made smart, strong, sliding blocks.
Further lapses did follow, as did goals. Weakness from Stones and a lack of decisiveness from Robles allowed Origi to score Liverpool's first, while Sakho was completely unmarked for the second.
If things were tough before the red card, they were impossible afterwards. The cracks were all there, but Roberto Martinez has - at least - located the Polyfilla at the back of the cupboard under the stairs.
Liverpool: Mignolet, Clyne, Sakho, Lovren, Moreno, Lucas, Milner, Lallana, Firmino, Coutinho, Origi.
Subs: Toure, Sturridge, Allen, Ibe, Stewart, Smith, Ward.
Everton: Robles, Oviedo, Stones, Funes Mori, Baines, McCarthy, Barry, Lennon, Barkley, Mirallas, Lukaku.
Subs: Niasse, Cleverley, Besic, Deulofeu, Osman, Pienaar, Howard.
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