Premier League - Liverpool roll over Everton in one-sided Merseyside derby

Premier League, Anfield - Liverpool 4 (Gerrard 21, Sturridge 33, 35, Suarez 50) Everton 0

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Premier League - Liverpool roll over Everton in one-sided Merseyside derby
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Liverpool's Steven Gerrard celebrates scoring the first goal of the game with a header

Daniel Sturridge inspired Liverpool to a convincing 4-0 victory over their fierce rivals Everton after a rampant first-half showing as the Toffees’ barren run at Anfield continued.

The Reds ran into a three-goal lead in the opening 45 minutes courtesy of a Sturridge double and a Steven Gerrard opener. Luis Suarez added a fourth at the beginning of the second half.

It was the biggest margin of victory in a Merseyside derby since Ian Rush scored four in a 5-0 Liverpool win at Goodison Park in 1982.

Gerrard – playing a Premier League record of 28 Merseyside derbies – broke the deadlock on 21 minutes after heading home Suarez’s corner.

Sturridge struck twice in two minutes to score his 12th and 13th goals of the season. He opened his account after 33 minutes, latching onto Philippe Coutinho’s delightful through ball and sliding the ball beyond the reach of Tim Howard.

He scored again on 35 minutes when he was first to react to Kolo Toure’s clearance and as the Everton defence snoozed, he sneaked in behind the back four to pull off an outrageous lob and beat the onrushing Howard.

Five minutes into the second-half, Liverpool caught Everton on the break once more, this time Suarez making the visitors pay after taking advantage of a mistake from Phil Jagielka to race through on goal and finish superbly.

When Sturridge was tripped by Howard on 54 minutes, the England international had the perfect opportunity to seal his hat-trick but he stepped up and blasted his spot-kick over the bar.

KEY MOMENTS

21’ – GOAL - 1-0 to Liverpool! Gerrard powers home Suarez's whipped corner to give the Reds the lead!

33’ – GOAL – 2-0 to the hosts! Everton are falling apart as Sturridge coolly dinks the ball past Howard following a great pass from Coutinho!

35’ – GOAL - It's three! And it's Sturridge again! Everton are caught out with their high defensive line, Howard rushes out to meet the danger and the England man pulls of an outrageous lob to make it 3-0!

50’ – GOAL – 4-0! Just as we thought Everton were coming back into the game, they're hit on the break again! This time Suarez makes the most of a Jagielka mistake to race away from the defence and coolly slide the ball past Howard.

54’ – PENALTY MISS - Sturridge wastes a wonderful opportunity to seal his hat-trick - he blasts the spot kick high over the top of the bar!

KEY STATS

Steven Gerrard played in a Premier League record 28th Merseyside derby, surpassing Jamie Carragher's 27.

Daniel Sturridge becomes only the second player to score more than once in the first-half of a Premier League Merseyside derby, after Robbie Fowler (pen 15 & 21) in April 1999 in Liverpool’s 3-2 home win.

Luis Suarez now has 23 league goals in 18 Premier League matches – he has matched his total of 23 goals last season, achieved in 33 matches.

Liverpool have scored four goals in a top-flight Merseyside derby for the first time since their 5-0 Div 1 away win in November 1982, and for the first time at home since their 4-0 Division One home win, March 1972.

MATCHCAST: FULL MATCH STATS AND COMMENTARY

TALKING POINT

Is fourth place Liverpool’s for the taking? The Reds have now lost only one of their last 21 games at Anfield and tonight’s performance will really force their rivals to sit up and take notice. Brendan Rodgers believes his side are still in with a shout to compete for the league title despite trailing leaders Arsenal by six points but Liverpool have played all of the current top six away and can look forward to welcoming the likes of Tottenham and Chelsea to one of the toughest grounds in the Premier League.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool): There were a number of standout performers for the home side tonight – including Philippe Coutinho and Luis Suarez - but the England striker was on fire tonight and he really should have added to his two goals. Liverpool were simply breathtaking on the counter attack and Sturridge made Everton pay for playing such a high defensive line.

PLAYING RATINGS

Liverpool: Mignolet 6, Cissokho 7, Skrtel 7, Toure 7, Flanagan 7, Gerrard 8, Henderson 7, Coutinho 8, Sturridge 9, Sterling 8, Suarez 8. Substitutes: Kelly 6, Moses 6, Alberto 6.

Everton: Howard 6, Baines 7, Jagielka 5, Mirallas 6, McCarthy 6, Lukaku 5, Barry 6, Barkley 7, Pienaar 6, Stones 6, Alcaraz 6. Substitutes McGeady 6, Naismith 5, Osman 6.

MATCH IN A TWEET

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