Everton traveled to Anfield on Wednesday night for the second Merseyside derby of the season and returned home with an abject defeat – the second 4-0 derby defeat in the three years of Roberto Martinez’s reign at the helm of the Goodison Park outfit.
The Reds, who have been in red hot form, having been unbeaten in their last three league games, as well as administering a rousing defeat of Borussia Dortmund in the Europa League, heading into the derby at Anfield, started the game with intent and went ahead in the 43rd minute when in-form Belgium international Divock Origi headed home from a James Milner cross.
The former Manchester City player provided another delightful cross in the first half injury time to allow Mamadou Sakho to double the lead.
Any hopes of Everton making a comeback in the second half were dealt a severe blow as Argentina international Ramiro Funes Mori earned himself a deserved red card following a horrible challenge on Origi, which saw the Belgium carried off on a stretcher and with the extent of the damage to his ankle still unknown, putting his participation in the upcoming Europa League semi-final clash against Villarreal in doubt.
Sturridge heaped further misery on the Toffees on the hour mark, while Philippe Coutinho completed the rout with a 71st-minute goal to put serious question marks over Martinez’s work at Everton during his three years at the club.
The Toffees outfit finished fifth in Martinez’s first season at the club, but regressed to 11th in the league table last season, and have shown no signs of improvement in the current campaign. In fact, the club are all set to end the season with their lowest home points tally in the Premier League era.
His place at the helm of Everton has come in serious question, and it wouldn’t surprise anyone if he is sacked at the end of the current season. The Catalan did acknowledge his team’s abject performance on the night.
“It was a pretty shocking night; it was a horrible experience for everyone at Everton Football Club. It was a game that probably turned with the two actions that we didn’t defend well enough in the period of three minutes before half-time. We lost concentration”, he said in his post-match comments.
Everton are currently lying 11th in the Premier League table with a tally of 41 points from 34 games and prospects of European football next season through the league route is well past their reach now. Liverpool, on the other hand, are now occupying the seventh spot in the standings with 54 points, six points adrift of fourth-placed Arsenal albeit with a game in hand.
The Toffees have their FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United to look forward to this weekend and winning the prestigious domestic trophy appears to be the only way they can finish this season with any kind of joy.
Meanwhile, Liverpool will be eager to book their place in next season’s Champions League by winning the Europa League, but first, they have to deal with Villarreal next week.