With the second leg of their Champions League semi-final against Manchester City to come on Tuesday, it’s not surprising that Jurgen Klopp named a weakened side for Liverpool’s trip to Everton.
The German confirmed that a groin injury kept Mohamed Salah out, with the forward expected to be fit to face City, while Roberto Firmino and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were named on the bench.
That is the luxury that presented itself to Liverpool this afternoon, who are firmly in the mix to finish in the Premier League’s top four and have a 3-0 advantage over Man City in Europe.
It did, however, mean a rather quiet derby at Goodison Park.
The first half passed without too much action, a Loris Karius save from Yannick Bolasie the highlight, and it seemed more like a training ground routine for Liverpool.
The score finished 0-0, with Everton unable to find a winner despite pressing late on.
With Salah and Firmino out, Klopp turned to Dominic Solanke and Danny Ings to start in Liverpool’s attack.
INGS AND SOLANKE BOTH STARTED
For Ings, it was his first Premier League start in 916 days. The 25-year-old played in the right-wing position and struggled to make an impact before being replaced late on.
Liverpool fans wanted nothing more than to see Ings, whose Liverpool career has been a major disappointment, provide a spark on his return to the starting line-up.
But it was clear that a lack of action has hurt Ings and it remains to be seen whether he has a future at Anfield.
As for Solanke, the 20-year-old didn’t look ready to start. His first touch was poor and a shot in the first half, which was saved by Jordan Pickford, was the closest he came to scoring.
WHAT LIVERPOOL FANS WERE SAYING ABOUT INGS AND SOLANKE
The performances of the pair have left a number of Liverpool supporters eager to get another glimpse of Divock Origi, who is currently out on loan at Wolfsburg.
Origi has struggled out on loan in the Bundesliga, scoring five goals in 25 league appearances, but Liverpool fans are confident that he is a better option that the club’s current backup strikers.
temperamental origi > constantly injured sturridge > overly keen ings > shite solanke. we loaned the top two tho ✌️
— Крейг (@ccrregg) April 7, 2018
Origi > Ings, Solanke
Don’t even try @ me
— Arvzz☆ (@arvinn4) April 7, 2018
Origi is 22 now, which is about the time that Liverpool need to decide whether he’s good enough to play for the club.
They’ve probably seen enough of Ings, 25, to believe that he can be sold while Solanke is only 20 and could do with a loan spell away from Anfield to gain more experience.
I hate to say it but Origi is better than both Ings and Solanke. If we had a quality foward on from the beginning we might have been 1-0 up by now .
— ♠♦☆SANVEER☆♦♠ (@SANV007) April 7, 2018
Why did we loan origi and keep ings and get solanke
— Karl (@karlreilIy) April 7, 2018
That said, there are some concerns surrounding Origi. He was substituted after just 42 minutes in Wolfsburg’s 3-0 defeat to Hoffenheim on March 10 after managing just 15 touches of the ball.
He’s since been used sparingly, with the Bundesliga club not at all upset about the thought of saying farewell to the Belgian forward.
Origi is 10x the player Solanke and Ings will ever be
— J (@Barbosa9i) April 7, 2018
Don’t really understand how ings and Solanke stay while Origi gets shipped out on loan. Origi better than both these players at what these players are best at, Origi makes better runs than Ings and holds up play better than Solanke. Origi was pivotal in our Europa league run
— Enemigo (@DocEnemigo) April 7, 2018