Liverpool moved into third place this lunchtime, as they comfortably beat rivals Everton by three goals to one.
The game began, predictably, with both sides on the attack. Ross Barkley began flying into tackles from the off as both sides attempted to gain control in the early stages, with James Milner the first to be on the end of one of his fouls. Barkley was by no means the only one making fouls, but he was the most frequent offender.
After only five minutes, he had been given a stern talking to by referee Anthony Taylor for a late challenge on Emre Can. In any other game, he would have already been in the book.
On eight minutes, Sadio Mane was able to glide past Tom Davies with ease in the midfield, before getting past Ashley Williams in the same manner. The Senegalese could not believe his luck, and took aim in the corner of the goal.
Liverpool had opened the scoring, and Joel Robles had hardly moved.
Philippe Coutinho, who was magical until being replaced in the second half, nearly made it two immediately afterwards, but Williams was this time able to make a block.
Everton managed to regain some control, and began to create some chances for themselves. Leighton Baines found space on the left and put in some dangerous balls, but to no avail.
Philippe Coutinho turned Matthew Pennington inside out time and time again, and by the time twenty minutes had gone by, the Brazilian had tested Robles again.
It took until 26 minutes for the first card to be shown, when Tom Davies clattered into Mane. A well-deserved booking.
Two minutes later, Everton were level. Matthew Pennington slotted in after Dejan Lovren knocked the ball into his path. The move that resulted in the goal was a good one, but Liverpool should have dealt with it much better.
Everton’s joy was short-lived, however, as Coutinho once again made Pennington dizzy on the left, before curling a shot into the top right corner. It was nothing less than Liverpool deserved.
Ross Barkley was fortunate not to see red before half time – although he had certainly seen enough red shirts swirling around him – when he jumped into a tackle with Dejan Lovren. The Evertonian’s studs were up and on another day would have have been off.
Minutes later, Lucas made a challenge by the dugout which both managers reacted angrily to, but it was nothing compared to Barkley’s challenge before.
The second period began in a similar vein to the first, with Everton more urgent than before.
Before the hour mark, Sadio Mane had to be taken off following a challenge with Baines. His leg appeared to twist underneath him, and Divock Origi came on in his place.
Three minutes after coming on, Origi moved in with the ball from the left, and fired past Robles with his right. The Belgian’s shot was quite central, but the goalkeeper appeared to move the wrong way.
On 69 minutes, Emre Can went into the book for a high tackle on Idrissa Gana, shortly before Simon Mignolet made an important stop from a deflected Mason Holgate effort. From the corner that resulted, the same Everton youngster headed over.
Fifteen minutes before the end, Coutinho was replaced by Trent Alexander-Arnold, as Liverpool looked to hold what they had. The Brazilian had earned a rest and will be needed on Wednesday for the visit of Bournemouth.
Alexander-Arnold had a couple of decent efforts saved, but other than that the final few minutes passed without incident.
Liverpool pick up the points, and at least until next time, Merseyside is red.
How many passes will Ross Barkley make this weekend? How many tackles will Kante make? What about touches for Herrera? And assists from Diego Costa? Aguero and shots on goal? With a new feature called Player Bets you can say there will be at least 2 shots or 5 tackles etc. It’s a new way to bet from a new bookmaker.
Simon Mignolet, 8 – made a superb stop from a deflected effort from Mason Holgate, and was largely untroubled; dealt with what he needed to competently
Nathaniel Clyne, 7 – began slightly precariously but grew into the game; offered width at times and defended well for the most part
Joel Matip, 8 – one half of the duo that kept Romelu Lukaku quiet throughout – no mean feat
Dejan Lovren, 8 – slotted straight back in as if he had never been away, and performed well against a strong opponent
James Milner, 8 – gave a captains performance and won his fair share of challenges; also offered width going the other way
Lucas, 9 – did brilliantly in a game that required a level head and a strong tackle; miraculously managed to escape a booking during the game (it is rare that it can be said about him)
Emre Can, 8 – another good showing from the German; just about kept his discipline and marshalled the midfield very well
Gini Wijnaldum, 9 – offered an attacking threat that could easily have been lost in the absence of Adam Lallana, and did his usual defensive duties with aplomb
Philippe Coutinho, 9 – did very well having regained some confidence when away with Brazil; twisted the blood of every defender on occasion – Matthew Pennington’s head must still be spinning around even now
Roberto Firmino, 8 – gave the ball away at times, but also offered so much to the attack time after time, and has genuine quality
Sadio Mane, 8 – caused problem after problem, and also scored a vital opening goal, but went off injured – will be massively missed if it is any significant amount of time
Divock Origi (57th minute sub.), 8 – scored and pressed superbly when he replaced Mane; stepped up considerably on his recent performances
Trent Alexander-Arnold (74th minute sub.), 6 – did well not to get dragged into the intense atmosphere and produced a performance befitting someone much older and more experienced; offered more protection to Nathaniel Clyne and also had a couple of chances to score
Ragnar Klavan (90th minute sub.), n/a
Follow @MattAddison97 on Twitter for updates, photos and more news from VivaFootballCalcio’s Liverpool FC Correspondent.