Five things learned about Liverpool in Merseyside derby romp

Liverpool Supporters

Liverpool soared to a 4-0 thrashing of Everton at Anfield on Tuesday evening.

The cracking victory in the second Merseyside derby of the term means the Reds have opened up a four point lead on their local rivals in the Premier League standings.

Following are five things we learned about Brendan Rodgers’ side in their scintillating triumph.

Quit writing them off

At every turn, it seems that many outside the Liverpool camp are ready to throw the side to the wolves. Sure, there’s plenty to go on in that department given recent history, but one would be hard pressed to argue much hasn’t changed. If Rodgers’ men were to crumble, it certainly would’ve been after the back-to-back defeats to Manchester City and Chelsea – two games they arguably didn’t deserve to lose. They rebounded well from the dour showing against Aston Villa, and it’s about time the potential successes of this squad become recognised – not possible failures.

SAS ambitions are key

By now we know Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge are a prolific duo – they’ve had a hand in a combined 45 of Livepool’s 57 Premier League goals this season. The former grabbed a goal and an assist against Everton whilst the latter hit a brace – but could’ve had more given his penalty miss and a golden opportunity wasted. Suarez didn’t hesitate to bark at Sturridge for ruining the second chance to complete his hat trick, whilst the Englishman was visibly upset with himself after being subbed off. It may seem like a bit of a row between the two on the surface, but is instead the best possible scenario – expecting the best from each other on a consistent basis.

Gerrard did well deep

After his thoroughly torrid afternoon opposite Villa as Liverpool’s deepest midfielder, Steven Gerrard looked set to be exploited by Everton in this role. Lucas Leiva’s injury has created a difficult scenario for Rodgers, but Gerrard had an excellent outing against the Toffees. The Reds’ talisman chose the right times to get forward on Tuesday and tracked runner intently – something he was unable to do last time out in league play. Gerrard still isn’t a permanent solution in this position, though at least showed Liverpool can get by in Lucas’ absence if he adapts.

Cissokho can be a defensive liability

Rodgers has been pressed into giving Aly Cissokho consistent minutes due to injuries but the Frenchman will almost certainly return to the bench in time. He offers energy going forward, though if too often caught out of position and doesn’t distribute the ball well – he completed just 64% of his passes against Everton. The Toffees were most dangerous through Kevin Mirallas – lined up opposite Cissokho – who will surely be targeted by opponents in the future.

A chance for some breathing space

Liverpool now sit four points in front of Everton in fourth place, with Tottenham three behind in fifth position and due to play Manchester City on Wednesday. Given the form Manuel Pellegrini’s side are in, there’s a good chance Rodgers’ charges’ lead on Spurs will remain intact heading into the weekend. Distancing themselves from chasing pack could ease a bit of the pressure on the Reds, though they’ll need to stay at full throttle to keep their lead. A trip to face West Brom on Sunday represents a decent prospect to take three points with Arsenal set to come to visit Anfield six days later.

image: © ekilby

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