It was just 72 hours beforehand that Manchester City could not cope with Liverpool’s high octane pressing, and on Tuesday their Mancunian rivals United were the latest side to be put to the sword by Jurgen Klopp’s hungry players.
The speed with which the Reds transitioned from defence into attack was frightening at Anfield, and United’s already ropey defence – Ralf Rangnick played five at the back to try and cover for his outfit’s woes – simply could not cope with the pace of Mo Salah and co.
The die was cast as early as the fifth minute, when a rare United foray forward was halted and the ball swiftly played between Liverpool’s midfielders. A slide rule pass saw the on-rushing Salah burst clear, and his cross left Luis Diaz with the simple task of side-footing home the opener.
There was no let up, as is the Klopp way. Chances came and went before Sadio Mane teed up Salah with the cutest of lofted through-balls – the Egyptian slotting home Liverpool’s second of the night after just 22 minutes.
The Reds could scarcely believe how easy they were finding it, and a period of lackadaisical sideways passing drew the ire of Klopp – Virgil van Dijk facing the German’s wrath more than most.
The manager probably tore a strip off his players in the dressing room at half time, such was their complacency, but United did not record a single shot at goal in the first half and barely improved in the second.
The sheer weight of Liverpool attacks – they enjoyed 72% possession, which yielded ten corners and 14 shots – was always likely to lead to more goals and that man Mane, perhaps enjoying the best spell of his Reds career at the minute, was on hand in the 68th minute to out the game beyond all doubt.
Salah added the gloss with his second and Liverpool’s fourth in the 85th minute, and any notion of a local rivalry between the Reds and United was cast aside – there is a gaping chasm between these two teams right now.
Tuesday’s win keeps the pressure on Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table, but points make prizes at this stage of the season and Liverpool will be hoping for three more when they entertain Merseyside neighbours Everton on Sunday.
Liverpool Team News
Even though this was one of the easiest assignments of Liverpool’s season, Klopp decided not to make any substitutions until late in the day against United – perhaps to allow his players to enjoy the full rapture forthcoming from the Anfield faithful.
That win, allied to the double-header against Manchester City, has perhaps taken it out of his players, and so surely changes are likely against the Toffees on Sunday.
Diogo Jota seems a likely replacement for Mane, who has run himself into the ground over the course of the past few weeks.
Klopp seems to like James Milner in spicy contests like a game against Everton, so he could come into the midfield alongside Naby Keita and the masterful Thiago Alcantara.
We expect the usual back four and goalkeeper to take to the field, in what could be a mix-and-match – but still strong – Liverpool starting eleven.
Everton have been absolutely wretched this season, and there’s zero belief that the Toffees have actually improved under Frank Lampard.
They pick up the odd result here and there, but six defeats in their last eight outings reveals just how poor they are.
Everton’s last away win? That came way back in August, and it would be an incredible surprise if Anfield is the location where that sorry run comes to an end.
Liverpool vs Everton Betting Tips
It’s becoming Groundhog Day – backing any team to win at prices of 1/5 just doesn’t cut it.
Those are the odds for a Liverpool win here, and the Asian handicap line is set at -2.00 in the Reds’ favour – essentially, we need them to win by three clear goals for our selection to be successful.
Impossible? Absolutely not, but it’s not the kind of value you’ll make money on long term.
Perhaps Liverpool to Win to Nil is the play here at even money. Everton’s scoring sequence in their last eight games is 1, 2, 1, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0. There’s no reason to expect them to find the net at Anfield.