Hyped as the biggest derby in 20 years, Anfield was packed to the brim on Tuesday night. The air was thick with tension and the uneasy feeling of changing winds swirled under the flood lights.

Tonight was to be the liberation of Everton, their new white light Roberto Martinez would lead them to a victory on the other side of Stanley Park for the first time in 15 years.

Both teams had a significant injury list heading into the game that saw crucial players sidelined for their respective clubs. Coleman, Distin and Oviedo headlined the Blues physio room while Lucas Leiva, Sakho and Agger were missing from the regular Liverpool starting XI.

The teams lined-up as pictured above but both were very free flowing in their movement and had much different shapes in attack and defense.

Kick off. The first 5 minutes reflected the state of each team, Everton holding the ball, methodically passing around their neighbours. Liverpool trying to regain control and put Everton in their place. It wasn’t a typical derby start, no boisterous tackles or bouts of shouting, but it was alive. Ross Barkley darted through the middle of the park and fired a shot just over the bar, deep breath Anfield.

You could feel the heartbeat of the Kop every time the ball moved close to the net. 20 minutes in now and Liverpool were thrashing forward, slicing through Jagielka and Alcaraz like a hot knife through butter. A corner awarded to Liverpool and through the shower of coins Luis Suárez delivered a ball to who else but Steven Gerrard. The captain headed in and ran into the arms of Suárez in what will be remembered as another magical moment.

Everton fired back, holding the ball close and not letting it go. They attacked with their full force and tried to pry open Liverpool’s back four, but the Red’s stood strong. Gerrard roamed over Touré and Skrtel like a rabid dog killing anything that got close. Barkley must have felt like he shot into the legs of Gerrard a thousand times. Everton’s possession played right into Brendan Rodger’s hands. Chop, chop, chop. Raheem Sterling’s feet tore up the grass as he skipped past Barry and laid off to Coutinho who threaded a ball to Sturridge, 2-0. There was breathing room now, and how many times had we seen this at Anfield. When Liverpool can counter with out pressure, well there is nobody better. It only took 125 more seconds and Sturridge was at it again, a delectable chip over a helpless Tim Howard. They were gone, off into the red sunset.

Everton didn’t fold, they held their own and continued to press but it was to little effect. The back four were disciplined and Henderson and Gerrard rarely left them on their own. The game was not won in midfield, but it certainly was not lost. McCarthy and Barry were beaten at every turn by Coutinho’s pace and footwork and to the young Brazilian’s credit, he actually did an alright job of tracking back.

Suárez added a 4th, nicking an arrant pass from Jagielka at the half way line and there was no catching him, all of Anfield stood up and ran with Luis as he barreled towards Howard. 4-0 to Liverpool and the rain only came down harder. Martinez stood on the touch line, soaked, while Rodgers danced with the crowd in elation.

For the first time in four tries he had beaten Everton. This one was big, it was a cementation of what kinda season it would be on Merseyside. Rodger’s Liverpool picked apart Everton, it was clinical, it was surgical and it was fast. They attacked in a 4-3-3 of sorts, punishing each third of the field and Coutinho orchestrated it all as he loves to do. The defense, which was the talking point leading up to the match and should be praised afterwards, was terrific. Everton’s 61% possession was fruitless, only four shots on target and eight blocked shots. It was clog and counter from Liverpool, and it was executed to perfection.

What was reaffirmed Tuesday night was not that Liverpool are above Everton or that Martinez isn’t just another Moyes, but that Liverpool can show up when it matters most. There will be four more massive home matches for Liverpool this season, in which fourth place will hang in the balance. Anfield has been almost impenetrable this year and it must continue that way.

Liverpool 4 – 0 Everton Post Match Analysis by Michael Blundell

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About The Author

Michael Blundell

was born in Vancouver, Canada to a Canadian mother and American Father. His father played University Soccer in New York and raised Michael a Liverpool supporter. Though only being a University student himself, he has experienced both the highs and lows at the club. Naivety may be a blessing and curse in this case, but it is well for the heart to be naive and the mind not to be.

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