The record books may not show this particular Everton defeat at Anfield to be anything out of the ordinary.
However, the devil is in the detail and this was a truly humiliating defeat for the Blue half of Merseyside.
Why? Here’s 5 telling stats.
Humiliated by Kids
Liverpool’s team averaged 23.4 years old
For the first time in decades, Everton were bookies’ favourites as kick-off dawned at Anfield.
Jurgen Klopp was expected to make wholesale changes for the tie given the Reds’ packed schedule, but most people didn’t expect him to name quite so many youngsters in the line-up as he did.
Liverpool started with three teenagers and brought on a fourth inside the first 10 minutes after James Milner picked up an injury.
Footnote to the game. Liverpool’s starting line-up cost £43.95m. Everton’s cost £221.06m.— Dominic King (@DominicKing_DM) January 5, 2020
Three huge early misses
The game was evenly poised in the first half, with Liverpool enjoying more of the possession, but Everton creating the better chances.
In the end, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Mason Holgate and Richarlison’s big misses early in the game proved costly as Liverpool took control of the second half.
Klopp’s 9 changes and youthful line-up gets in Everton heads
The RBM group chat was pretty dour after the game, but I thought Brian F nailed it pretty well this comment:
“How we could play both overconfident of the result and scared out of our pants at the same time was impressive”
The pressure was off Liverpool in this one. They clearly didn’t care about this competition and it was a great opportunity for their kids.
By putting out such an inexperienced line-up, the onus was instead on Everton. And once again, the mental fragility of our team came to the fore. Clearly the Toffees played the event more than the opposition.
Just 17 players used in 4 games in 11 days
The first criticism of Carlo Ancelotti were echoed today, and many of them revolved around the manager’s lack of rotation during this intense period of fixtures.
Of course, Everton’s fixture list is not a patch on Liverpool’s, but with four games in 11 days, you’d expect to spread the burden as much as possible.
One might argue that Everton have also had a lengthy injury list to contend with. But the likes of Cenk Tosun and Anthony Gordon didn’t see a minute of action, while Mason Holgate and Dominic Calvert-Lewin didn’t miss a second, and Richarlison only missed five minutes.
Everton haven’t won at Anfield in 23 attempts
Even playing their B team couldn’t end this awful run. Great opportunity to start off this decade with a win at the Reds squandered.