Liverpool pile pressure on Marco Silva
Liverpool have increased the pressure on Everton boss Marco Silva as well as maintaining an eight- point gap ahead of their nearest Premier League pursuers Leicester City after a 5-2 thrashing of their Merseyside neighbours at Anfield on Wednesday night, a result that means that Everton are now in the bottom three.
Reds manager Jürgen Klopp, who was unable to pick goalkeeper Alisson, who was suspended, and injured midfielder Fabinho, was confident enough of victory that he could afford to rest his key forward duo Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah without dropping any points.
The league leaders went into the game as big favourites with sports betting companies, and it was effectively settled in the first half, thanks to Sadio Mané, who created two early goals for fellow striker Divock Origi and Xherdan Shaqiri, who had been recalled to the starting line-up.
Michael Keane gave Everton some hope by scoring to make it 2-1, but Liverpool soon scored an impressive third courtesy Origi, who took a pass from Dejan Lovren, and Mané made it 4-1 with a fine finish from an excellent counter-attacking move and a cross by Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Richarlison pulled another goal back for the Toffees in injury time at the end of the first half, but it was more than they deserved after a wretched first-half display, and although both teams missed opportunities after the break, most notably through Mané and Toffees forward Moise Kean, it was Liverpool who grabbed the final goal of the game, as Georginio Wijnaldum shot low into the net in the 90th minute to make it 5-2.
With Everton now in the relegation zone, there remains considerable doubt over whether Silva will be able to cling onto his job, given that their next opponents are top-four side Chelsea, who visit Goodison Park on Saturday.
For Silva, it was the manner of the defeat as much as the scoreline that was ultimately so dispiriting, as Liverpool had no problem breaking through Everton’s five-man defence, a system that he was forced to abandon in the first half, bringing on Bernard for Djibril Sidibé.
Although the visitors created some chances, they were shambolic for much of the game, leaving their manager under huge pressure at an important point in the Premier League calendar, with a string of crucial games coming up over the Christmas period.
Words: Man Ngo