Everton ended a 22-year wait to win a Merseyside derby at Anfield as goals from Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson earned a 2-0 victory that condemned Liverpool to a fourth consecutive Premier League defeat.
The Toffees had not won a derby on any ground in 23 previous meetings stretching back to 2010, but took full advantage of the English champions’ lost invincibility in front of empty stands.
Victory takes Carlo Ancelotti’s men level on points with their local rivals and with a game in hand to come in the battle for a top-four finish.
After a club-record 68-game unbeaten run at home in the league came to an end last month, Liverpool have now lost four consecutive home games for the first time since 1923.
Jurgen Klopp’s men remain in sixth, three points off the Champions League places, and suffered another major injury blow when captain Jordan Henderson limped off midway through the first-half with a muscle problem.
The destiny of Liverpool’s title defence was irrevocably damaged by the loss of Virgil van Dijk to a knee ligament injury when the sides last met in October.
Van Dijk was in attendance as he continues his rehabilitation, but the gap he has left was exposed inside three minutes.
Season-ending injuries to Joe Gomez and Joel Matip have exacerbated the talismanic Dutchman’s absence, forcing Liverpool to recruit two new centre-backs on the final day of the January transfer market.