Sadio Mane’s late winner sealed victory for Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool in the 227th Merseyside derby and moves Liverpool up to 2nd in the Premier League.
In added time substitute Daniel Sturridge struck the post but Mane reacted and slotted home into an empty net despite pressure from Funes Mori and Ashley Williams.
The Everton centre-backs both had chances either side of half-time but couldn’t head home. Liverpool did look more dangerous throughout however with Mane poking wide, Divock Origi coming close, and Roberto Firmino forcing a great save from Joel Robles.
Robles was called upon midway through the second half as Maarten Stekelenburg clashing with Leighton Baines in the process of preventing Mane. James McCarthy also left the field with an injury and was replaced at half-time by Gareth Barry who made his 750th club appearance.
Jurgen Klopp stuck with Simon Mignolet in goal after he replaced Loris Karius in the midweek 3-0 victory over Middlesbrough.
Half chances dominated the opening thirty minutes of the first Merseyside derby of the season. Mane and Georgino Wijnaldum had wild efforts from outside the area while both Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku couldn’t capitalise on some neat attacking play from Aaron Lennon.
Everton protested for a penalty when Seamus Coleman’s cross look to have hit the hand of Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson however Mike Dean waved away the Toffees claim.
Liverpool’s best passage of play came as Wijnaldum found Nathaniel Clyne bursting into the box. Clyne cut the ball back for Origi but the forward couldn’t extend his recent goal scoring form and skewed his effort wide.
The best chance of the first half fell to Everton centre-back Funes Mori as he climbed highest following a Barkley corner but the Spanish defender headed narrowly wide.
However, Liverpool split the Everton defence just five minutes after the break. Henderson’s pass over-the-top was chased down by Firmino who knocked Funes Mori away but could only poke the ball directly at an onrushing Stekelenburg.
Lukaku came close a few moments later as he flicked a header over Mignolet’s bar. Liverpool remained in the ascendancy however as some a one-two between Mane and Firmino but Mane could only stab the ball wide under pressure from Baines and Stekelenburg.
The collision between Baines and Stekelenburg meant the latter had to be substituted with Joel Robles coming on. Ronald Koeman had also been forced into making a change at half-time with an injured McCarthy coming off for Barry.
Funes Mori had spurned an aerial opportunity in the first half and his partner in the centre of defence followed suit as Williams headed the ball straight into Mignolet’s arms. Liverpool looked the more likely to score as a Firmino volley forced a magnificent save from substitute Robles.
But, the goal came for the visitors in added time as Sturridge, who’d been brought on, hit the post from the edge of the area but Mane was quickest to react as he slotted the ball into an empty net.
Klopp’s side almost doubled their lead in the final minute of injury time when Mane pulled the ball back for Firmino but the Brazilian’s effort was cleared off the line by Coleman.
Everton: Stekelenburg (64); Coleman, Funes Mori, Williams, Baines; Gana, McCarthy (46); Lennon, Barkley, Valencia (72); Lukaku.
Substitutes: Joel (64); Mirallas, Cleverley, Barry (46), Calvert-Lewin (72), Holgate, Kenny.
Liverpool: Mignolet; Clyne, Lovren, Klavan, Milner; Henderson, Wijnaldum; Lallana (80), Firmino, Mane; Origi (80).
Substitutes: Karius; Moreno, Lucas, Can (80), Alexander, Woodburn, Sturridge (80).
Referee: Mike Dean.