THERE was no need for Jurgen Klopp to sprint across the Anfield turf on this occasion.
In fact, he barely broke a sweat as his rampant Liverpool side continued their emphatic march to expectant Premier League glory.
Divock Origi bagged against Everton once again as Liverpool's much-changed team won the Merseyside derbyCredit: PA:Press Association
The Belgian opened the scoring when he latched on to a neat through ball and tucked inCredit: PA:Press Association
And on this occasion, in their quest for a first title in 30 years, it proved a hugely significant result.
This time last year, Liverpool were nicking a late win against Everton after Jordan Pickford’s howler handed Divock Origi the easiest of winners.
It was a result that clawed them back to within two points of champions-to-be Manchester City – one which saw Klopp surge onto the pitch in typical Klopp-fashion.
Fast forward 12 months and Origi was the Merseyside hero once more with a sublime first-half double worthy of winning titles all on their own.
Xherdan Shaqiri and Sadio Mane also scored before half-time before Gini Wijnaldum bagged as the clock hit 90 to see off their struggling neighbours.
And this time, it was a victory that saw the Reds maintain an 11-point gap on Pep Guardiola’s City.
The hunters are now the hunted. The chasers are now the chased – setting standards that not even Guardiola can match right now.
Forty points from 14 games. Fifteen consecutive home league wins. A club-record 32 league games unbeaten.
If they were to be caught after bridging such an impressive gap, it would surpass any Premier League meltdown since its inception in 1992.
Xherdan Shaqiri was on the scoresheet with a neat finish beyond Jordan PickfordCredit: AFP or licensors
Origi's second came after a Dejan Lovren long ball over the top before he took it down and lobbed PickfordCredit: Reuters
Of course, Klopp’s record-breaking 100th league win in 159 games was not as comfortable as he would have liked, as goals from Michael Keane and Richarlison before the break gave the Toffees hope.
It’s now 13 games in all competitions without a clean sheet for Liverpool, something that will concern Klopp as they head into their global fixture pile-up.
It’s a pile-up that saw Klopp make a surprising five changes to his starting line-up, with the likes of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Jordan Henderson dropped to the bench.
But he need not have worried, heading into the 234th Merseyside derby with the biggest points gap between the two sides in 125 years of the fixture.
Everton even began the night in the bottom three.
And it showed – an under-pressure and axe-fearing Marco Silva could do nothing but admire as his struggling Everton side bowed once more to their superior Merseyside rivals.
Liverpool’s attacking threat – spearheaded by a man in Mane who looks to have wrestled the Anfield crown from Salah and Firmino in recent months – was unstoppable from the opening seconds.
And six minutes in, Mane and Origi combined to leave Everton’s defenders helpless and stunned.
With what looked like no angle to pass, Mane created one of his own with an inch-perfect ball that wiped out two defenders, allowing Origi to round Pickford and find an empty net.
And ten minutes later, the contest looked to be over with a quick-fire second, Everton without a win against Liverpool after going behind home or away since the Second World War.
Trent Alexander-Arnold produced a magnificent diagonal ball to unleash Mane, who then cut inside before giving a no-look reverse pass for Shaqiri to finish after beating the offside trap.
Sadio Mane scored Liverpool's fourth of the first half with a left-footed curling effort from the edge of the areaCredit: AP:Associated Press
Mane celebrates with Virgil van Dijk as the pair but their Ballon d'Or pain behind themCredit: PA:Press Association
For all their dominance up front, there remains an openness to Liverpool currently, one which Everton took advantage of to get back into the game.
A neat corner routine saw Alex Iwobi find Keane at the near post, who manoeuvred several bobbles to fire his effort into the roof of Adrian’s net.
This sparked Everton’s best spell of the game, one which could have seen them awarded a 25th minute penalty had VAR deemed Virgil Van Dijk’s shove on Richarlison a foul.
Alexander-Arnold was then lucky to avoid red after leaving studs on the ankle of Lucas Digne.
But in a flash, Liverpool responded in the only way they know how.
With 31 minutes on the clock, Dejan Lovren went long from the back as Origi evaded Everton’s centre backs before the deftest of touches teed up a delightful lob over the oncoming Pickford.
And 14 minutes later Mane deservedly got on the scoresheet after a supersonic counter attack by Alexander-Arnold gave him the space and time to curl his effort from the edge of the box into the bottom corner.
That’s now 13 goals for the Senegalese sensation – the same amount as Salah and Firmino combined.
For their consistency in attack there remained some worrying consistency at the back – Richarlison finding space in the box on the brink of half-time to head past Adrian.
Thankfully for Klopp, the second half was a more controlled affair after a six-goal thriller of a first half.
Mane had chances to make it even more comfortable but could not find the net.
6 - All six shots on target in the first half of Liverpool's game with Everton were scored. Glorious. pic.twitter.com/R6sT20oZvF— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 4, 2019
32 – Liverpool are now unbeaten in 32 Premier League matches since a 1-2 defeat to Man City back in January (W27 D5) – the Reds' longest ever run without defeat in English top-flight history. Formidable. #LIVEVE pic.twitter.com/g4XkvQ6NOI— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 4, 2019
Eventually, Liverpool saw out and passed yet another test of their title credentials when Wijnaldum found the back of the net following good work from sub Firmino down the left.
But unlike last season, Klopp did not need to end this Merseyside derby with a pitch invasion.
He will save that for May, with what should be a Premier League medal around his neck.
Michael Keane gave his side hope by lifting over Adrian to make it 2-1 but it did not spark a comebackCredit: Reuters
Richarlison made it 4-2 at half-time as he diverted a left-wing cross into the back of the netCredit: Getty Images - Getty