Liverpool destroy Everton but Origi injury casts a shadow
Anfield celebrates 4-0 win in Jurgen Klopp's first derby, but Everton boss Roberto Martinez faces an uncertain future
Liverpool 4 Everton 0
Jurgen Klopp's first Merseyside derby was a rout for the Reds but the 4-0 thrashing of Everton was marred by a serious injury to Divock Origi. The Belgian striker was stretchered off early in the second half after a wild tackle by Ramiro Funes Mori, and Origi will undergo scans today to assess the extent of the damage to his ankle ahead of the Reds Europa League semi-final next week against Villarreal.
"What can I say?" Klopp told post-match press conference. "I have only just seen the pictures on television. It is a big shadow on the game to be honest."
Funes Mori was sent off for his reckless tackle on Origi on what Everton manager Roberto Martinez described as a "horrible, horrible night" for the club. The scoreline equalled the Blues' heaviest derby defeat in 33 years and increased the pressure on Martinez with sections of the Everton faithful calling for his head.
Asked about his position at the club, Martinez told reporters: "That's not my focus. My focus is to make sure we prepare the game properly for Saturday... regroup and make sure we have that opportunity to repay what the fans deserve."
Saturday's game is the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United, an encounter on which Martinez's future at Goodison Park may hinge. There have been rumours in the press that Everton want Jose Mourinho as manager (although the former Chelsea boss is widely tipped to be joining Manchester United) and defeat to the Red Devils in the cup would leave Martinez exposed.
But if Everton are to make it through to the final next month, they will have to improve dramatically on the shapeless shambles of Wednesday night. As Martinz admitted: "It was a horrible, horrible showing. There was an inability to do the basics or look like we wanted to participate in a big football match."
Liverpool, in contrast, were all energy and industry from the outset and the Kop were treated to what at times in the second half looked like a training run. "To be honest, I could sit here and say it was really difficult but in the second half it wasn't," admitted Klopp. "It was really difficult for Everton; injuries, red card, good opponent. We did well. For the crowd it was not too easy. There was no real fight any more."
Not that Liverpool's fans will be complaining about a result that lifts them to seventh, six points behind fourth-placed Arsenal. "There have been a lot of more intensive derbies for sure, and there will be more to come," said Klopp. "But that's how it is. What happened today is not really normal."
Divock Origi opened the scoring for the Reds on 43 minutes and further goals from Mamadou Sakho, Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho ensured Klopp's side recorded their third successive league victory. Asked if he was pleased with his side's consistency, Klopp retorted: "Consistency comes with working together... consistency is about having players ready for the next game. That's our situation. We have been longer together, working together, and we can do more things."