Match Report Everton were brought swiftly back down to earth from last week’s impressive win over Arsenal as they were comfortably beaten by out-of-form Liverpool in the Merseyside derby. The Blues came into the Anfield edition of the local grudge match hopeful of being able to take advantage of the Reds’ mini-crisis and the “new manager bounce” provided by Sean Dyche’s arrival but they never really got going and were hit by a couple of sucker punches that exploited their vulnerability in transition. The first half turned on a moment at one end where James Tarkowski headed off the post and Jürgen Klopp’s men raced away on the counter to take a 36th-minute lead before Cody Gakpo netted his first Premier League goal with another counter-attack four minutes after half time. Everton, for their part, struggled to make inroads in attack in the absence of the injured Dominic Calvert-Lewin but should have had the platform to make a game of it in the closing stages but substitute Tom Davies wasted a gilt-edged chance to halve the deficit nine minutes from the end. With Calvert-Lewin ruled out with his recurrent hamstring problem, Dyche handed a second League start in Everton colours to Ellis Simms as the only change from the side that had started against the Gunners nine days ago. Unfortunately, although he made a decent enough start and made some intelligent runs in the early going, the raw 22-year-old cut a largely isolated figure up top and couldn’t make much impact on the game. The first half chance fell Simms’s way in the fifth minute following a slip by Joel Matip but his shot was blocked but it was the home side who started to exert their superiority as the first period wore on, with Darwin Nuñez volleying a ball across the area that Gakpo could only steer wide with his head and young midfielder Stefan Bajcetic seeing a speculative effort comfortably gathered by Jordan Pickford. Idrissa Gueye had a sight of goal back down the other end on the half-hour mark when he smashed a volley over the crossbar from 25 yards following a corner but when Everton got another set-piece from the same side six minutes later, they came within inches of taking a precious lead. Tarkowski rose above Fabinho at the back post to meet Alex Iwobi’s delivery but his downward header back across goal came back off the woodwork. Simms collected the rebound and laid it back to Dwight McNeil and when his ball back into the six-yard box again fell kindly for Liverpool, the hosts streamed away with four red shirts easily out-stripping their blue-shirted opponents for pace and Gueye electing not to take a yellow card for felling his man to stop the counter in its tracks. The move ended with Nuñez centering for Mohamed Salah who had been given an open net in which to steer the cross because Pickford had gone AWOL trying to anticipate the flight off the ball to the farther side of his box. Half-time brought no changes from either side and it was soon 2-0 when Everton lost the ball near the right touchline from their perspective when no foul was awarded to Iwobi. Liverpool accelerated through midfield and moved the ball wide to Trent Alexander-Arnold who swept it across the area to the back post where Conor Coady let it run past him expecting a goal kick only for Gakpo to arrive behind him and knock it into the empty side of the goal. Jordan Henderson almost made it 3-0 but shinned it wide at the back stick after an awful error from Tarkowski had handed possession straight to a red shirt while Gakpo curled wide after Dyche had withdrawn Simms in favour of Demarai Gray with an hour gone. Two more changes saw Neal Maupay replace Dwight McNeil and Davies come on for the somewhat quiet Amadou Onana and it was the Scouser who should have reduced the arrears when Iwobi picked him out unmarked with a beautiful cross but he couldn’t put his header on target and the chance went begging. Tarkowski prevented Salah from increasing the damage in the 82nd minute with an excellent saving tackle and Pickford made a reflex, one-handed save to divert the Egyptian’s shot behind after Vitalii Mykolenko had missed his tackle before referee Simon Hooper blew for full-time. So a set-back for Dyche following the high of his debut match in charge but a result that Everton largely brought on themselves by being too timid, too passive and too open in transition. Though arguably three points better off after the new boss’s first two games than many expected, tonight’s result nonetheless keeps them the Toffees the bottom three with 16 games to play and puts enormous significance on Saturday’s clash with fellow strugglers Leeds at Goodison Park and the home clash with Aston Villa the following weekend. Lyndon Lloyd top Matchday Updates Beyond all the pre-match blather, blustering and bravado that began before the weekend and has carried through at a relentless pace, we will soon get to know the truth of the matter as the 242nd derby match is finally set to kick off at Anfield. Sean Dyche starts only his second match in charge of the Blues and has made a big call in handing Ellis Simms only his second Premier League start in place of the injured Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Looks like Everton won the toss and chose to switch ends, Liverpool kicking off and hoofing it upfield. Onana was caught by Fabinho to give Everton a free-kick that Coady played long and Tarkowski headed behind. Simms headed on the first long punt from Pickford. Everton looked to retain their shape and press when the opportunity came, with Liverpool going long to evade the midfield block. Simms got a half-chance off Matip but waited too long for the ball to bounce and his shot was blocked. Salah looked to get free but was immediately surrounded in the Everton area. Simms again got to the clearance but Mykolenko couldn't do much with the lay-off. Simmms again laid off a clearance, this time to Iwobi. Tarkowski had to slide across Nunez and give away a very dangerous free-kick on the edge of the penalty area but Salah hit his own player in the dummy wall. It was all a bit too crowded in midfield, Everton giving up possession too easily and allowing Liverpool time to build more attacks. But Doucoure won a good tussle with Robertson near the corner flag. Henderson bounced off Onana off the ball and played dead. Tarkowski strong-armed Salah beautifully off the ball. Everton were not playing enough forward ball, however, and Nunez produced a half-chance from a quick throw-in that was headed wide. Simms was doing well repeatedly getting to Pickford's clearances but the second ball was going Liverpool's way and coming straight back to Pickford. In a rare decent forward move, Onana allowed Henderson to sneak the ball off him and he tried to chase it, sliding into Alisson. Liverpool then piled on the pressure and all Everton could do was defend in numbers; when they did clear it, Simms could not use it. Liverpool's press was getting more and more effective, driving again and again into the Everton area, while the Blues could hardly get over the half-way line. If anything, the Blues were a little too naive trying and failing to play through midfield. Iwobi gave away a foul wide right but Tarkowski headed the cross away. Yet it kept coming right back. Alexander-Arnold smacked Onana in the face and the free-kick at least saw the Blues advance and somehow win a corner. But Iwobi's delivery was easily defended and Gueye did his usual wild attempt when the ball fell for him. A cross in from McNeil after some good work from throw-ins was too close to Alisson. But McNeil did well to win another corner delivered high by Iwobi which Tarkowski headed onto the post. Simms picked up the rebound and played in McNeil but his shot was blocked and Liverpool advanced at tremendous pace on the breakaway, four on two, and Salah beat Pickford easily as the Everton man picked the wrong player to shoot Liverpool ahead. Doucoure tried to advance but too slow and Simms was easily blocked off the ball. There was little to no response from Everton who needed to lock down the defence under more Liverpool pressure after they were so massively exposed on the counter. Tarkowski caught Henderson a bit late but escaped a yellow card. Gatkpo sold the ref on a foul by running across Iwobi. Everton were being suckered all over the pitch and had failed to come to terms with the intensity or energy of this match in the first half. Liverpool were given another free-kick in added time, and claimed a penalty off it that was not given. A poor half for Everton overall. No changes after the break, and a massive mountain to climb as Liverpool have all the momentum and impetus. Let's see just what Sean Dyche can do here… Everton tried to play football down the wing, only to let it out of play. Doucoure was fouled by Matip, McNeil's free-kick sailing wastefully over everyone. Iwobi tried to beat four men and failed, Liverpool scampered forward again, Gakpo scored easily at the far post on Salah's deflected cross. McNeil did well to win a corner but it was too close to Alisson, as was Tarkowski, committing the foul. Tarkowski then gifted a pass to a red shirt and Henderson fired close but over. Mykolenko played in Iwobi but he shot too early, straight at Alisson. Liverpool broke at speed again, Nunez firing twice at Pickford from a narrow angle. Gray replaced Simms. Liverpool surged forward again, Nunezcurling his shot wide. Another abysmal giveaway by Tarkowski, almost let Liverpool in again, Everton showing no sign of turning the game, and having to go more for damage limitation, but dangerously reduced to playing poorly out from the back without a target man. Everton tried to play up with some intricate passing until Iwobi lost it. Iwobi did well to get a ball wide to McNeil but Alexander-Arnold easily stole the ball off him. More errors from Tarkowski, who was having a 'mare. Maupay and Davies came on for the last 10 minutes. Iwobi put over a great cross, what a gift for Davies at the far post, but it was far too much to expect him to put his header on target. Instead, it was yet another gallop back to the Everton goal, Coady deflecting Salah's shot over for a Liverpool corner that caused chaos. A total lack of discipline by Doucoure saw him kick the ball away and get a stupid yellow card. Pickford got excited about Robertson playing through after the whistle and and it all kicked off, Onana getting involved very stupidly from the dugout. Pickford had to produce a good save to stop Salah scoring a third, summing up the tone of a hugekly disappointing derby defeat. Liverpool: Alisson, Gomez, Fabinho, Salah (90' Elliott), Henderson (80' Milner), Gakpo (80' Firmino), Robertson [Y:86'], Nunez (70' Jota), Matip, Bajcetic (90' Keita), Alexander-Arnold. Subs not Used: Kelleher, van Dijk, Tsimikas, Phillips. Everton: Pickford [Y:88'], Mykolenko, Tarkowski, Coady [Y:67'], Coleman, McNeil (78' Maupay), Doucoure, Gana, Onana (78' Davies), Iwobi, Simms (61' Gray). Subs: Begovic, Holgate, Keane, Mina, Godfrey, Vinagre. Michael Kenrick top Match Preview Everton could be without their main attacking outlet for the Anfield derby in the form of Dominic Calvert-Lewin as the striker continues to struggle with a niggling hamstring complaint. James Garner and Ben Godfrey are back in full training at Finch Farm but Calvert-Lewin is rated as "touch and go at best" by Sean Dyche ahead of Monday's all-Merseyside clash having not trained all week due to ongoing discomfort in the troublesome muscle. "We're still monitoring him," Dyche said of Calvert-Lewin in his press conference at Finch Farm today. "It will be touch and go, at best, I think for the Liverpool game. We'll just have to monitor it and hope that it settles down sooner rather than later. "He's had a couple of niggling injuries which you'll know. [We're trying to get] on top of them, getting his body to adapt and all of those things for the longer term. "He put a real shift in [against Arsenal]. His stats were very good but unfortunately he's just got a niggly hamstring and we've got to get on top of it as quick as we can." Garner hasn't featured for Everton since before the World Cup due to a back injury and Godfrey has also been sidelined recently but both rejoined the group this week for full sessions and should be in contention for the squad that will make the short trip to Anfield. Both players will add depth to the options at Dyche's disposal but the manager is likely to go with an unchanged defensive and midfield unit. It's up front where he may have to make some difficult choices if Calvert-Lewin isn't risked, between starting Neal Maupay or Ellis Simms. Maupay offers experience but his lack of height was evident in the final half-hour against Arsenal, when the Blues unable to make the ball "stick" in forward areas as easily with direct balls out from the back. Simms, meanwhile, has the height and physical profile that Calvert-Lewin offers but is far less experienced, having made just a handful of Premier League appearances to go with his combined 34 League games for Heart of Midlothian in Scotland and Sunderland in the English Football League Championship. The Toffees come up against a Liverpool side in a patch of poor form of their own with the reds slipping to 10th in the table following their 3-0 defeat at Wolves last weekend, well off the pace in the title race and some 11 points adrift of the fourth and final Champions League spot. Jürgen Klopp might be able to welcome back a key duo in Virgil van Dijk and Diogo Jota if they are passed fit i time as he tries to engineer a first Premier League win of 2023. For their part, Everton will travel with optimism they can get something from the game, although while Liverpool may be struggling for form, the derby is notoriously divorced from the form book. Should Calvert-Lewin be absent, it will make coming away with a first Anfield win in front of fans for the first time in almost 24 years that much more difficult. Regardless of who starts, the instruction from Dyche and his staff is likely to be very similar to what it was last Saturday against Arsenal — remain disciplined in your defensive shape, fight for every ball, stay in the game and make sure set-pieces count. Kick-off: 8pm, Monday 13 February 2023Referee: Simon HooperVAR: John Brooks (replaced by Andre Marriner)Last Time: Liverpool 2 - 0 Everton Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Coleman, Coady, Tarkowski, Mykolenko, Gueye, Onana, Doucouré, Iwobi, McNeil, Maupay Lyndon Lloyd top * Unfortunately, we cannot control other sites' content policies and therefore cannot guarantee that links to external reports will remain active.