OH EVERTON! Even if my grandad was Jimmy Saville, my dad was Donald Trump, my sister was Katie Hopkins and I was dating the Chuckle Brothers my embarrassment levels wouldn’t match yours.
You hadn’t won at arch-rivals Liverpool since 1999, they had recently humiliated you 5-2 despite missing five key players and this time they had put the kids out as they chased Premier League glory.
You never had a better chance to end that painful hoodoo. You had a shiny new manager in Carlo Ancelotti – your best boss in living memory – you were unbeaten in six and No 2 Duncan Ferguson had brought some pride and grit back during his stint as caretaker before your three-time Champions League winner arrived.
Then what happens? A skinny teenager, not even born the last time you won at Anfield, pops up with a worldie to secure a fully deserved FA Cup third-round win. To make it worse he’s a Scouser – a Red Scouser like that Ian Gerrard who terrorised you for decades.
Your full-strength team cost £220million compared to the £45m spent on their cobbled together side and yet it is now 7,409 days since you tasted victory across Stanley Park. Champions train, losers complain.
Jurgen Klopp made nine changes, including three debutants in Takumi Minamino, Nat Phillips and substitute Yasser Larouci. And it was 18-year-old Curtis Jones who grabbed the Merseyside derby glory with a magnificent curling 25-yard effort.
Adam Lallana – skipper after James Milner went off injured early on – was magnificent. He drove his side forward and one take-down of a high ball alone was worth the entry fee. He was so good Klopp literally doffed his cap to him after the match.
This was as embarrassing as it gets for Everton, outmanoeuvred and beaten by what was a Liverpool reserve team – bar Joe Gomez. The young Englishman, 22, has just returned to the starting XI himself after injury and has kept eight clean sheets in nine games.
Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti now knows the full extent of the job he must undertake at Goodison Park because his side are as useful as sunglasses to a bloke with one ear.
And if the Cup KO wasn’t sickening enough, Evertonians are having to witness the Reds beat record after record in the league.
They have played a club record 37 games without defeat, are 13 points ahead of Leicester, oh and have a game in hand.
In 2019 Klopp’s side became only the third Premier League team to manage a year without losing following Arsenal (whose 49 games included the entire 2003-04 ‘Invincibles’ season) and Chelsea (from October 2004 to November 2005).
They are winning matches at a rate of 2.73 points per game. When Manchester City set a record total of 100 points in 2017-18, they did so at a rate of 2.63 points per game.
There are so many incredible stats but these two are truly astonishing – Sadio Mane has not lost at home since he arrived at Liverpool . . . they signed him in June 2016! And the only game Mo Salah has lost at Anfield was when he was a Chelsea player!
After half a season the Reds have more points (58) than Arsenal and Tottenham combined (with that game in hand).
There is a narrative – mostly among bitter fans of rival clubs – that Klopp has had no issues to deal with this season. But it’s utter nonsense to say it has all gone Liverpool’s way.
City have been bleating for months about Aymeric Laporte’s absence but Liverpool were so light on centre-backs that in the league derby they had to field fourth choice Dejan Lovren and because back-up plan No 1 Fabinho was also crocked Jordan Henderson had to play his first game in that position.
There have also been key injuries here or there like Alisson, Joel Matip and Fabinho all being out for two months each and Salah playing through an ankle injury. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Xherdan Shaqiri and Naby Keita have also seen more of the treatment room than the pitch, while the forgotten Nathaniel Clyne has been out all season.
In their last league match against Sheffield United, Klopp had to fill his bench with 16-year-old Harvey Elliott, plus defenders Neco Williams, 18, and Phillips, 22, who had to be recalled from his loan at Stuttgart.
In contrast against the same opponents the week before poor Pep Guardiola with his ‘defensive nightmare’ had £32m Nicolas Otamendi, £60m Joao Cancelo and £49m Benjamin Mendy sat on their backsides. It’s either wilful ignorance or just plain jealousy to snipe at how the universe is conspiring to help the Reds.
AND finally, the Manchester derby came in the league cup and it was City who take a 3-1 lead back to the Etihad for the second leg.
The way Pep Guardiola’s side took United apart in the first half was almost painful to watch – until you saw the angry looks on the faces of Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney in the stands, thinking back to how arrogant they were and thought hmmm hello karma.
Aston Villa battled hard to draw 1-1 at Leicester so that tie is nicely poised although my betting is that it will be the Foxes taking on City in next month’s final.