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Salah makes a mockery of Ballon d'Or ranking in Liverpool's derby demolition of Everton

02:28 IST 02/12/2021
Mohamed Salah Liverpool Everton Premier League 2021-22
The Egyptian scored twice as the Reds ultimately ran riot at Goodison Park, triumphing 4-1 to pile pressure on their former boss Rafael Benitez

Everton 1-4 Liverpool: Match Statistics

Next time you hear someone say the form book goes out the window in a derby match, you can tell them to be quiet.

It certainly didn’t here. All of Everton’s pre-match fears were realised, as Liverpool showed them that yes, there are indeed levels to this game.

Another game, another masterclass from Mohamed Salah, the Egyptian scoring twice as his side recorded a 4-1 win at Goodison which could and should have been even more comprehensive.

He’s the seventh-best player in the world, according to the Ballon d’Or voting. Nice joke. If there’s anyone better than Salah right now, then they’re keeping themselves well hidden.

That’s 19 goals this season in all competitions, and the Christmas decorations have only just gone up.

He got 44 in his first, record-breaking year on Merseyside; playing like this, he really could smash that total this time around.

He was backed up ably here, in fairness. Jordan Henderson, Liverpool’s skipper, was magnificent, scoring the first goal and setting up the second. A captain’s performance, if ever there was one.

Diogo Jota rounded off the scoring, and with a goal of elite class too, and at that point the home fans began to stream for the exits.

“You’re gonna boo in a minute,” came the taunts from the away end. They were right. The final whistle drew a loud chorus from those who had punished themselves by staying.

In the director’s box Bill Kenwright, the Everton chairman, and Marcel Brands, the director of football, were berated by supporters. It was not a pretty sight, or sound.

“Get him f***ing out of this club,” yelled one fan, then two, then more. “Write this in your report,” protested another. “This club is a joke, from top to bottom.”

Liverpool fans loved it, of course. “Rafa’s at the wheel,” they sang, echoing their taunting of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Old Trafford in October.

Solskjaer has been sacked since that humiliation at the hands of the Reds, and it would be a surprise, to say the least, if Rafa Benitez was not following him to the Job Centre soon.

His Everton side, now without a win in eight games, were simply no match for an opponent that was sharper, quicker, more controlled and blessed with far greater quality in every single department.

Liverpool led by two inside 19 minutes, and it could have been five. Joel Matip and Salah had already missed chances by the time Henderson steered them ahead on nine minutes, a sumptuous left-foot finish from Andy Robertson’s pull-back.

Salah made it 2-0, racing onto Henderson’s pass and opening up his body to finish sublimely past Jordan Pickford in front of the Gwladys Street.

Some Everton fans rose from their seats at that point, and you could understand why. Liverpool looked rampant.

They let the hosts back in before half-time though, Demarai Gray left alone to beat Alisson from Richarlison’s fine pass. From nowhere, a lifeline. Goodison, at last, began to direct its passion in a positive manner. Their side, belatedly, began to press and harry and ask some questions.

Liverpool, though, had extra gears, and they used them ruthlessly after the break.

Nineteen minutes into the second half Seamus Coleman, the Everton captain, dallied on the ball on the halfway line and let in Salah, who simply ran away from the Irishman before slipping the ball past Pickford as if it were the easiest thing in the world. It was anything but.

Coleman beat the floor in frustration, as Salah celebrated in front of a jubilant away end, who let off a flare in delight.

There was more to come, Jota spinning sharply in the box to blast home high past Pickford 11 minutes from time, and had Liverpool been a little less charitable then the scoreline could have been even more embarrassing for Everton.

As it was, four will do, to go with the five they scored at Old Trafford earlier in the season.

These really are halcyon days for those Liverpool fans, some of whom invaded the pitch at the full-time whistle, hoping to nab one of their heroes’ shirts.

Nothing doing. Salah & Co made their way to the dressing room. Jurgen Klopp, grinning from ear to ear, delivered his trademark fist pumps; one, two, three.

His side, meanwhile, delivered their very own Fab Four.

A night to remember for the travelling Kop.