It got to feeling slightly more tense than events on the pitch suggested it should when Demari Gray pulled one back for the Blues before half-time, but in truth, this was a beating put on their rivals by the Reds, and marked the first time Liverpool have scored four at Goodison park in the Premier League era.
The Reds now average over three goals per game this season and simply don’t look like a team you can realistically prevent from putting a few past you. Everton certainly never did, and below we take a look at some of the winners and losers from what turned out to be an historic win at Goodison.
The Egyptian King: The disbelieving smile and dismissive shake of the head Mohamed Salah met Sky’s interviewer with when asked about his 7th place at yesterday’s Ballon d’Or awards did a perfect job of illustrating just how silly the whole ordeal was. Mo bagged his 12th and 13th of the league season today, putting him four clear of Jamie Vardy in second, and with 19 goals and eight assists in all competitions so far, the Egyptian is contributing a goal every 62 minutes this year.
It’s an obscene return, and frankly not one that feels like it’ll slow down anytime soon, the way this team is attacking. Mo is among the two or three best players on the planet at the moment, and any journalist that voted for One League Goal Lionel or Pedestrian Penalty Poacher Jorginho over him should be forced to give their degree back.
Liverpool will lose Mo for two games in January — alongside Sadio Mané and Naby Keïta — and his absence will surely be felt, but if the man keeps playing like this, you wouldn’t bet against him making up the necessary difference in the rest of his matches.
Fans of Good Football: Goodness are these Reds fun to watch. Streaming forward at every opportunity, front line making interchanging runs as fullbacks push forward and midfielders pour into the box, Liverpool are an offensive marvel at the moment, and the intensity and application with which they go about winning the ball back should it be lost is no less admirable or enjoyable.
Following on from a season of injury crises and dour covid-ball, Jürgen Klopp decided to simply take all the dials and turn them up to eleven, and it has been an absolute treat for everybody who’s not trying to stop them. Long may it last, and hopefully it will be rewarded with a trophy or two (or three, or four) at the end of the season.
Rafa: Everton’s fans — the few that still remained until the final whistle — quite rightly turned their ire on their club’s upper management tonight, who have somehow spent nearly half a billion Euros on players over the past five years but still appear to have barely any good footballers to choose from.
Nonetheless, this was a harsh blow for Rafa Benítez, who has yet to win against his former side, and whose position is surely under threat after a dreadful run of form for his — admittedly diminished by injuries — Everton side. The Blues put in plenty of effort and weren’t as naive defensively as for instance Southampton at the weekend, but they simply did not possess the quality to trouble the Reds for any stretch of time
With the fan backlash beginning to take aim at the appropriate targets, it wouldn’t be at all surprising if the Toffees’ leadership decide to offer the Spaniard up as a sacrifice in an — almost certainly futile — effort to stem the rising tide of supporter mutiny.
The Record Book: Whether it’s total goals or goalscoring runs or top scorers or top assisters, no record should feel safe right now, because these Reds are coming for the lot. Besides scoring two goals or more in 18 consecutive matches, the most ever by an English side in the top division, Mohamed Salah is on pace for over 50 goal involvements in the league, and Liverpool are on pace for a 117-goal season.
It may seem unlikely that these trends will hold, but it is not out of the question, and there should be no uncertainty about whether the Reds will be pushing to break whatever records currently hold top spot til the very end of the year.
What Happens Next
The Reds travel to Wolverhampton on Saturday to take on Bruno Lage’s men, who have quietly snuck into sixth place in the table, in what looks set to be a potential banana peel, before they travel to Milano for a dead rubber with an AC Milan side who will be doing their utmost to capture second place in Group B.
Up the record setting Reds!