Everton vs Liverpool: The Reds piled more misery onto the Toffees as Mohamed Salah led the way in a 4-1 thrashing in the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park on Wednesday.
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The victory keeps Liverpool (31 points) 3rd in the Premier League table, two back of leaders Chelsea and one behind 2nd-place Manchester City, both of whom were victorious on Wednesday.
Everton, on the other hand, remain 14th with just 15 points from their first 14 games. Manager Rafa Benitez, whose name was sung by the away Liverpool fans on Wednesday, will be searching long and hard for a friendly word.
Everton vs Liverpool final score, stats, results
Final score: Everton 1, Liverpool 4
Goal scorers: Everton (Gray 38′), Liverpool (Henderson 9′, Salah 19′, 64′, Jota 79′)
Shots: Everton 8, Liverpool 16
Shots on target: Everton 2, Liverpool 8
Possession: Everton 31%, Liverpool 69%
3 things we learned – Everton vs Liverpool
1. Salah chasing repeat of Kane achievement one year on: A season ago, Harry Kane scored 23 goals and assisted 14 more. Both tallies were tops in the Premier League, making him the first player in PL history to claim both the goals and assists crowns in the same season. One year on, Salah has 13 goals (four more than anyone else) and eight assists (one more) just before the halfway point. His participation at the Africa Cup of Nations in January is perhaps the only thing that can stand in Salah’s way, as it becomes increasingly clear that the Premier League’s defenders are no longer qualified.
2. Beaten before the opening whistle: From the moment they entered the tunnel and came into view of television cameras inside Goodison Park, every Everton player, from captain Seamus Coleman on down the line, knew. They knew. They knew they were beaten, because there wasn’t a single one of them who would crack Liverpool’s first team, and because morale and team spirit around Everton are nonexistent at the moment. They knew, and they were right.
3. Favorable fixtures ahead of Chelsea clash: Liverpool will play six more Premier League games before visiting title rivals Chelsea on Jan. 2. They shouldn’t drop a single point between now and then, based on the evidence of Wednesday. Wolves away, Aston Villa home (Steven Gerrard’s return), Newcastle home, Tottenham away, Leeds home and Leicester away. Are there sides in that mix that could beat them? Sure, but likely to do so? No chance.
Man of the Match: Mohamed Salah – The quality of finishing on display, from a player who wasn’t developed as a center forward or “pure finisher,” was incredible.
Everton vs Liverpool highlights
Jordan Henderson curls first-timer home to give Liverpool lead (goal video)
It is no exaggeration to say that Henderson’s stunner in the 9th minute should have made it 3-0 to Liverpool, after Joel Matip and Salah each missed an empty-net chance inside the first three minutes. Fear not, for the captain took his chance quite well.
Mohamed Salah curls beauty of his own for 2-0 (goal video)
Salah got his goal 10 minutes later, and it was at least 100 times more difficult than the chance he missed previously. Falling away from goal and to his right, Salah wrapper his foot around the ball and lifted it over and around Pickford as precious few players in the world can do.
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Demarai Gray sneaks in behind to make it 2-1 (goal video)
One time up that end of the field, one dangerous ball played in, one shot on target, one goal.
Mohamed Salah restores two-goal lead for Liverpool (video)
Coleman’s mistake was laughable, but he’d have been able to recover and block the ensuing shot against 99 percent of attackers in the world. Just another reminder that Salah is that special.
Diogo Jota turns defender to set up 4th Liverpool goal (video)
The versatility and fluidity of Liverpool’s attackers, capable of scoring in moments of wide open transition as well as unlocking defense from tight spaces, feels different to previous seasons under Klopp. Jota is a big reason for that.