Liverpool 4 Everton 0: Brendan Rodgers eyes Champions League place as Roberto Martinez rues Everton 'naivety'

The Liverpool manager hopes result will act as boost in season run-in

Anfield

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said he felt his side had eased away from Everton in the fight for a Champions League place, delivering a major psychological boost as he seeks to meet the aim of the club's American owners to be back in the elite competition next season. “It's four points clear now of Everton,” Rodgers said after the emphatic Merseyside derby win for 32 years left Everton manager Roberto Martinez ruing the “naivety” of his players.

Daniel Sturridge apologised to fans for reacting angrily to a missed penalty to put Liverpool 5-0 up, with his disappointment also showing when he was substituted soon later. “I want to apologise for my reaction after missing the penalty. I let myself down and the fans,” Sturridge said. “I didn't react in any way [to Rodgers] when I came off. I was just disappointed in how I took the penalty. But it's not about myself. It's about the boys in the team.”

Luis Suarez appeared to be the target for a missiles throw in his direction, which will be the subject of an investigation today - though Rodgers was unaware of the incident and Liverpool have not lodge a complaint.

Of his side's top four aim, Rodgers said: “I think we've shown all season we are going to be in contention. We've shown a wonderful team spirit and we've had players missing but we've set the team up so we're not reliant on one player. To get Suarez and Sturridge in the team it's a bit of a risk because you have to get other players to fill in. Everyone has to work hard for that happen.

“I think we had five shots against us so it was important for us to manage the game. We blocked the spaces. Everton are a good side and have only conceded 11 goals which tell s you have efficient they are. To win the big games you have to attack and defend together.“

The manager said he hoped Liverpool would have a “major signing” over the next few days after missing out to Chelsea on Basel's Egyptian Mohamend Salah. “Hopefully we'll do something over the next few days,” he said.

Martinez said: “In the first half we had a period of 13 or 14 minutes where we got ourselves in a position where we lost the game in a naïve way. We were desperate to come here and be ourselves. We lost our concentration and didn't look solid. We focused on trying to score goals and left ourselves way too open. It became a test of character after the goals. The players who came back didn't have that match intensity. We gave away the ball too easily, to cheaply and left ourselves exposed.”

He denied that it a risk to play Phil Jagielka, who has been struggling with hamstring trouble. “It wasn't a risk. It was a game that we had to have that tempo straight and it was quite difficult. We became a bit ragged. We didn't look after the ball and were an exposed team. Liverpool's front three used that quite well. Unfortunately for us it was a performance that came at the wrong time. We need to get everyone back and match fit.”

Related articles...
Liverpool show top four credentials with win over Everton
Liverpool eye 'major signing'
Police investigate missiles thrown at Suarez
Champions League place comes into focus for Rodgers
Everton wait on Lukaku injury
Sturridge says sorry
Suggested Topics
News
The guide, since withdrawn, used illustrations and text to help people understand the court process (Getty)
newsMinistry of Justice gets law 'terribly wrong' in its guide to courts
News
Bobbi Kristina Brown with her mother Whitney Houston in 2011
people
News
Starting the day with a three-egg omelette could make people more charitable, according to new research
scienceFeed someone a big omelette, and they may give twice as much, thanks to a compound in the eggs
News
Top Gun actor Val Kilmer lost his small claims court battle in Van Nuys with the landlord of his Malibu mansion to get back his deposit after wallpapering over the kitchen cabinets
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
The actress Geraldine McEwan was perhaps best known for playing Agatha Christie's detective, Miss Marple (Rex)
peopleShe won a Bafta in 1991 for her role in Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit
News
newsPatrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
News
Robert Fraser, aka Groovy Bob
peopleA new show honours Robert Fraser, one of the era's forgotten players
Life and Style
Torsten Sherwood's Noook is a simple construction toy for creating mini-architecture
tech
Sport
David Silva celebrates with Sergio Aguero after equalising against Chelsea
footballChelsea 1 Manchester City 1
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links