6 Things We Learned From the Pulsating 228th Merseyside Derby

The 228th Merseyside derby saw Liverpool earn their 91st victory over bitter city rivals Everton, with the 3-1 triumph at Anfield proving the Reds were no April Fool's compared to their opponents. The contest had almost everything you could want from a derby tussle - goals, contentious decisions, snappy tackles - but Jurgen Klopp managed to maintain his 100% record over the Toffees as Liverpool boss, despite Ronald Koeman's men being the form Premier League team heading into the clash. As the...

Injured Mane Will Be Missed

He's proven to be the latest in a long line of Everton nemeses after bagging his second goal in as many Merseyside derbies.

The pictures beamed around the globe of Sadio Mane lying prone on the Anfield turf, however, will have been a worrying sight for all Liverpool fans.

The Senegal forward twisted his ankle after a 55th minute duel with Leighton Baines and, despite attempts to carry on, was clearly in a lot of pain as he staggered off the field.

It could be a while before the 24-year-old returns and, if the Reds' form in his absence during the Africa Cup of Nations in January was anything to go by, he'll be a big loss to their top four chances.

Exuberance of Youth Backfires

Ronald Koeman was left reeling by injuries to key personnel such as Seamus Coleman, Morgan Schneiderlin and Ramiro Funes Mori heading into Saturday's encounter.

The Dutchman's solution? To line up with one of the youngest starting lineups Everton have named in Premier League history. Unfortunately, the Blues' vibrant, talented crop were unable to showcase their abilities in the cauldron-esque atmosphere of Anfield as Liverpool's senior stars showed them how it was done.

Matthew Pennington - goal aside - was shown up, Dominic Calvert-Lewin struggled to impose himself on proceedings and even established first-teamer Ross Barkley was lucky to stay on after a number of mistimed tackles.

Their time will come again, but it was the wrong move to play them in such an important game.

Reds Show Fight for Big Matches

Liverpool would be sitting top of the pile if only results against their fellow top seven sides counted at the end of the season, and their big game mentality was brought to the fore again when Everton crossed Stanley Park on Saturday.

The Reds were dominant for large portions of the clash on home soil, and arguably produced the better chances on the day as Klopp's men eased to yet another derby win.

The age-old dilemma remains though: Why can Liverpool not perform like this against lesser teams? 

If they even took half of the mentality from tantalising contests into matches against inferior opposition, their title aspirations would not have gone up in smoke so soon into the New Year.

Toffees Must Shift Losing Anfield Mentality

September 1999. The last time an Everton side made the short journey to Anfield and left with all three points in tact.

Since then, 18 years have passed and three managers have come to test themselves away to the Reds. None have succeeded where the maligned Walter Smith triumphed.

It has become somewhat of a cliche in recent times that Evertonians believe their side have an inferiority complex when it comes to facing Liverpool, particularly away from home.

Judging by yet another poor showing at their former stomping ground, that cliche is turning into a bonafide truth for many.

Where Have You Been, Philippe?

He's been desperately poor since he returned from a two-month ankle lay off sustained against Sunderland back in November.

Under the bright sun on Liverpool's hallowed turf, however, Philippe Coutinho rose once more to torment Everton and put in a Man-of-the-Match display in front of his adoring fans.

The Brazilian forward's deft touches, succinct feet, movement and vision left Everton's defence bamboozled all afternoon until he was replaced by the emergent talent of Trent Alexander-Arnold late on.

His goal was also as sumptuous as they come and, had it not been for Divock Origi's strike on the hour mark, his 32nd minute effort would have been a worthy winner due to its sheer brilliance.

Luk Who's Isolated

He had scored 28 goals in his last 31 games, currently sits top of the Premier League goalscoring charts, was named March's Player of the Month and harbours hopes of winning silverware and playing in the Champions League.

So, what happened to Romelu Lukaku, Everton's star striker, in the heat of yet another Merseyside derby?

The Belgium international has often been accused of going missing in big games, but it was a lack of suitable service to the burly frontman that prevented him from having an impact on proceedings.

True, Lukaku could have put himself about more and really thrown his physique around to give Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip something to think about, but the 23-year-old was starved of through balls and decent passes to notch a first Anfield goal in Royal Blue.

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