Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and captain Jordan Henderson each paid classy tributes to stricken Everton defender Seamus Coleman after he sustaineda horrific injury on international duty.
Republic of Ireland defender Coleman suffered a double fracture to his right leg in a heavy tackle with Wales' Neil Taylor during the 0-0 World Cup qualifying draw in Dublin.
Coleman is expected to be out until 2018, with the Toffees' opening task without their first-choice right-back the no small matter of a Merseyside derby that could go a long way to deciding either side's European prospects.
Henderson used his programme notes to claim the contest would be a lesser spectacle without the marauding full-back on show.
He wrote: "I can't claim to know Seamus that well, beyond encounters on the pitch, but I can say that today's Merseyside derby is a poorer contest for not having him involved in it.
— Everton (@Everton) March 27, 2017
"He is one of the most competitive players you could come up against and I know from talking to friends in the Republic of Ireland team and also the Everton players who represent England, that he is a real footballer's footballer; no one has a bad word for him and everyone respects him.
"From everything I've heard about his character he'll be back even stronger from this and even though he makes Everton a better team, we all look forward to seeing him return to football as quickly as possible."
Klopp has a rich history of utilising attacking defenders of Coleman's ilk, and was also warm in his well-wishes.
"I would like to pass on my regards and best wishes to Seamus Coleman, who due to very unfortunate circumstances is not available to play today," Klopp wrote.
"I don't not know him personally, but as a football supporter I love his character, his positive approach to the game and his commitment to his club.
"There is a lot to admire about this player and it is his personal qualities that will help him as he recovers from this setback and returns to the game."