Mohamed Salah scored twice as Liverpool thumped Everton 4-1 in the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park on Wednesday to stay two points behind Premier League leader Chelsea.
Juergen Klopp’s side produced another top-class performance with its Egyptian forward Salah taking his tally for the league season to 13 goals in 14 games.
Liverpool is now averaging more than three goals per game having found the net 43 times so far in this campaign — 10 more then the second most prolific side Chelsea.
Everton slipped to 14th place, five points above the relegation zone, and its fans protested against their club’s board after booing the team at the final whistle.
A beautiful, curling shot from Jordan Henderson put Liverpool ahead in the ninth minute after a fine pull-back from Andy Robertson.
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England midfielder Henderson then turned provider, setting up Salah with an excellent through ball and the Egyptian provided a clinical finish to make it 2-0.
Everton looked to be on the ropes but it found a way back into the game seven minutes before the break, with Demarai Gray poking through the legs of Alisson Becker, after good work from Brazilian Richarlison.
The home side stuck at the task but Liverpool put the contest beyond doubt after some poor defending as Seamus Coleman was unable to deal with an awkward pass from Gray and Salah whisked the ball away and sprinted goalwards before rolling the ball into the far corner.
Diogo Jota completed the rout with an outstanding finish, the Portuguese forward spinning away from Allan, with a brilliant turn, before blasting past Jordan Pickford at his near post.
“The message from the manager was that they will play physically strong and go 100 per cent for every ball we just had to play our game and try to create chances, which we did,” said Salah.
Liverpool is in third place on 31 points, a point behind Manchester City and two adrift of leader Chelsea.