Liverpool added to the growing pressure on Everton manager Roberto Martinez with a 4-0 victory which was as embarrassing for the visitors as it was comfortable for the hosts in the 226th Merseyside derby.
Defender Ramiro Funes Mori also added to the Spaniard’s woes ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United with this fixture’s 21st red card in the last 47 Premier League encounters.
That was compounded by fellow centre-back John Stones limping off injured after the third goal went in. That was Daniel Sturridge’s 50th goal for the club and followed two headers by Divock Origi and Mamadou Sakho just before half-time.
Philippe Coutinho’s 76th-minute strike sent visiting fans heading for the exits and every “Ole” which rang around Anfield towards the end was a dagger to the heart of Martinez and those who remained in the away end.
The Everton defence held firm until a minute before the break when James Milner’s hanging cross from the right to the far post was met by Origi who out-jumped Stones to score his fifth goal in as many games, off his shoulder.
The Toffees’ weakness has been to concede goals quickly, verging on a collapse at times, and this was exploited as Milner, this time from the left, exchanged passes with Adam Lallana before crossing for Sakho, criminally unmarked, to power home the header.
Just when Martinez thought it could not get any worse after the break, along came Funes Mori’s stamp on Origi. It resulted in the striker being carried off on a stretcher holding his head in his hands – which was also Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp’s reaction – and rightly meant the Everton man was dismissed. The sight of the Argentina international kissing the badge on his shirt as he walked off was somewhat crass, especially with him now weakening Everton’s defensive options even further for the semi-final.
Sturridge clinically dispatched Lucas Leiva’s pass for the third on the hour before Stones’ departure – which left midfielders James McCarthy and Muhamed Besic in central defence – and Coutinho’s smart finish compounded Everton’s misery, a feeling experienced at Anfield all too often since 1999.