That old Bill Shankly saying about the two best teams in the city being Liverpool and Liverpool reserves once again came back to haunt Everton following the 235th Merseyside derby.
If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past 24 hours you may have heard that a team full of kids was able to send a full-strength Everton side packing from the FA Cup.
What made it all the more discomforting for the blue side of the city was the reality that it was an 18-year-old scouser that got the better of them as Curtis Jones sparked scenes of pandemonium to become the youngest scorer in a Merseyside derby since Robbie Fowler in 1994.
Jones, who has been on the club’s books since the age of nine finally announced himself and showcased the maturity in his game over the previous 12 months.
Liverpool were able to make it a league and cup double over their bitter rivals despite Jurgen Klopp making nine changes to the team that beat Sheffield United on Thursday.
The German manager was even able to hand Alisson Becker, Virgil van Dijk, Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Gini Wijnaldum, Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold the day off.
Liverpool were even-handed a significant setback when James Milner was withdrawn due to injury inside 10 minutes and still, the noisy neighbours across Stanley Park were unable to capitalise. By the time the Reds’ vice-captain had left the field, six of Liverpool’s 10 outfield players had never started a Premier League match.
However, Klopp redefined not only why Everton are so behind Liverpool in pretty much every department, but also why there is no club in world football currently like the Premier League leaders and champions of the world.
It wasn’t just Jones that stole the spotlight as Harvey Elliott, Yasser Larouci and Neco Williams also excelled despite all of them being under the age of 20. Adrian also continues to impress following the Spaniard’s first-half heroics that kept the contest on level terms before the break.
The FIFA Coach of the Year has developed a mentality of both resilience and defiance. Klopp’s effect on the team is infectious for both the senior XI and youngsters alike.
An unforgettable day that saw exciting new additions make their mark and an example that home-grown talent is still able to take its effect. Liverpool’s derby dominance goes on. Maybe Shankly really did have a point.