Liverpool thrash Everton 5-2 at Anfield - despite naming a weakened starting XI

Liverpool FC v Everton FC - Premier League

Liverpool retained their eight-point lead at the top of the table after beating Everton in an absolute thriller on Wednesday night.

The Reds eventually won 5-2, with six goals coming in a pulsating first half at Anfield.

Jurgen Klopp raised eyebrows with a bold team selection.

The German manager decided to rest Jordan Henderson, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino for the clash.

Xherdan Shaqiri, who had only played 11 minutes of football this season, Adam Lallana and Divock Origi started in their place.

But it didn't appear that was going to cost Liverpool as they took the lead inside six minutes.

It was Sadio Mane, fresh after finishing fourth in the 2019 Ballon d'Or, that inspired the opener with a wonderful pass.

The Senegalese international played an exquisite through ball which was latched on to by Origi.

The Belgian forward then rounded Jordan Pickford before putting the ball in the net.

It really was a great pass. And a composed finish, too.

The Reds were 2-0 up 10 minutes after and Mane was at the heart of it once again.

Trent Alexander-Arnold fired a brilliant 60-yard cross-field ball, which was taken down brilliantly by Mane.

He then produced a clever reverse pass to Xherdan Shaqiri, who fired past Pickford.

Liverpool FC v Everton FC - Premier League

Everton fought back though and cut the deficit to just one shortly after.

Dejan Lovren failed to clear his lines and Michael Keane took full advantage as he fired past Adrian from a tight angle.

Liverpool thought they would go into the break with a three-goal advantage. 

They made it 3-1 as Origi got his second just after the half-hour mark.

Dejan Lovren played a long ball over the top and Origi took it down exquisitely before firing past Pickford to grab his second of the night.

FBL-ENG-PR-LIVERPOOL-EVERTON

And Mane got himself on the scoresheet as he curled a wonderful effort into the bottom corner.

But Everton would keep themselves in the game as Richarlison netted just with virtually the last kick of the first half.

What a breathless 45 minutes it was. Without doubt the best half of football in the Premier League this season.

Unfortunately, the second half was nowhere near as exciting as the opening 45 minutes.

But it exploded back into life with 10 minutes remaining. Both Liverpool and Everton were guilty of missing golden chances late on.

Liverpool FC v Everton FC - Premier League

Mane found himself one-on-one with Pickford but he skewed his effort wide.

And he produced another bad miss shortly after. He rounded Pickford but was unable to put the ball in the back of the net.

Shortly after, Kean then should have made it 4-3, but he was also unable to convert.

And Gini Wijnaldum made the points safe for Liverpool as he rounded off the scoring with an injury-time goal.

Liverpool FC v Everton FC - Premier League

What a game at Anfield. Liverpool have now won 14 of their 15 games and are eight points clear of Leicester at the top of the table.

Everton, meanwhile, only have 14 points and are now in the relegation zone. Marco Silva may well be out of a job very soon.

News Now - Sport News