Matthew Pennington, making his Premier League debut for Everton in defence, equalised for the visitors, only for Coutinho to restore the hosts' lead two minutes later.
Here's five things we learned from Liverpool's victory...
Liverpool 3 Everton 1 player ratings
Liverpool 3 Everton 1 player ratings
1/22 Simon Mignolet – 6 out of 10
Made a handful of important saves – only beaten by Pennington’s close range strike.
2/22 Nathaniel Clyne – 5 out of 10
Was pulled out of position at times and made a habit of playing very narrow.
3/22 Joel Matip – 6 out of 10
His work rate was relentless and he kept Lukaku out of the game.
4/22 Dejan Lovren – 7 out of 10
Committed to every challenge and loose ball – courageous defending throughout.
5/22 James Milner – 6 out of 10
It was a classic Milner display – passed well, held his shape and worked hard.
6/22 Emre Can – 4 out of 10
Ruthlessly crashed into challenges, tackled half-heartedly and lost possession continuously.
7/22 Lucas – 6 out of 10
Read the game very well – dropped deep and opened up space in the midfield.
8/22 Georgino Wijnaldum – 5 out of 10
Drifted in and out of the game at times, but in possession he showed impressive vision and ability.
9/22 Sadio Mane – 7 out of 10
His opening goal was an example of his endless individual ability. Subbed off due to ankle injury.
10/22 Roberto Firmino – 6 out of 10
Worked hard to win possession, but his final product was sloppy at times.
11/22 Philippe Coutinho – 8 out of 10
Was Liverpool’s best player today – he was energetic, determined and his goal capped off a sublime performance.
12/22 Joel Robles – 4 out of 10
Was a victim of Liverpool’s sublime strike force but seemed out of position for all three of the home side's goals.
13/22 Matthew Pennington – 6 out of 10
Unexpectedly scored the equaliser, but then he was beaten by Coutinho for Liverpool’s second.
14/22 Ashley Williams – 6 out of 10
Tackled relentlessly and made countless clearances. However, some of his tackles looked dangerous.
15/22 Phil Jagielka – 7 out of 10
He cleared shots off the line, leaped in front of shots and saved the Everton side on numerous occasions.
16/22 Mason Holgate – 5 out of 10
Showed glimpses of brilliance going forward, but his countless deliveries into the box were over hit and out of control.
17/22 Tom Davies – 6 out of 10
Oozed with confidence and once again proved his prospects for the future. Still has plenty to learn, though.
18/22 Idrissa Gueye – 6 out of 10
Was a key element to Everton going forward, but he did drift out of position at times.
19/22 Leighton Baines – 5 out of 10
Played very deep, which resulted in a lack of width and menace for The Toffees on the front foot.
20/22 Ross Barkley – 6 out of 10
Should have been red carded just before the interval, but his performance improved sufficiently as the game progressed.
21/22 Romelu Lukaku – 4 out of 10
Showed no sign of being the Premier League’s scorer and caused few problems for the Liverpool defence.
22/22 Dominic Calvert-Lewin – 5 out of 10
Lacked service from the midfield, but the striker was invisible at times.
Coutinho shows benefits of international break
International football is derided as dull, destructive and downright dangerous by most Premier League managers, and the two in the Anfield dugouts have been openly critical of it this week. Yet when he reflects on this derby win in a quiet moment, Jurgen Klopp may find himself quite thankful that Philippe Coutinho spent some time back home in Brazil recently.
Coutinho left to play for his country’s World Cup qualifiers in a rut, struggling as he returned from that sickening ankle injury, but the change of scenery did him good. Improved displays in Brazil’s wins over Uruguay and Paraguay were followed by a true return to form here, and you wonder whether a brief break away from the rigours of the Premier League was what he needed all along.
‘Master tactician’ turns up with no back-up plan
Calling yourself a ‘master tactician’ 14 hours before one of your club’s biggest games of the season, ironically or not, is a risky strategy. It could, however, be deemed just about permissible if your cunning plan then beats your opponents all ends up. Unfortunately, Ronald Koeman’s set-up did nothing of the sort.
Even before Mane’s opener, it was clear that any grand scheme conjured up by the Dutchman had backfired, with Liverpool’s dangerous front three given free rein to run amok over Everton’s overwhelmed midfield. Worse still, Koeman seemed to have no response to Klopp's style of play, despite it being exposed several times this season by teams far inferior to Everton. Back to the drawing board, Ronald.
Lallana’s absence not felt
Coming into this game, the fear among Liverpool supporters was that the absence of Adam Lallana would severely affect their pressing style, given how well the nimble, tenacious midfielder has played throughout this current campaign.
They need not have worried. Klopp’s style demands his 11 players run the equivalent of 12 men regardless. If anything, the absence of Liverpool’s most dynamic force left them with a little more mettle, composure and balance in midfield.
Lallana will return when fit, as he should, but Liverpool's display here showed the benefits of being a little more reserved in the middle of the park.
Despite equaliser, Pennington risk does not pay off
Matthew Pennington’s full Premier League debut will be remembered for his equalising goal, a snappy tap-in from two yards out in front of the Kop, the kind which Everton academy graduates long to score.
Nobody will be able to take that moment away from him, but without being too unkind, his defensive display told us why the Warrington-born centre half was only making his first league appearance at the relatively old age of 22.
Coutinho bullied Pennington to create space for Sadio Mane’s first, spun him before scoring Liverpool’s second and generally showed him the standard required to play at this level week in, week out. It was a difficult day for the debutant, his goal aside.
Liverpool’s lack of depth could yet cost them
A comfortable derby win for the hosts, but not one without concerns. Klopp and the Kop will sweat over Mane’s injury in particular, and hearts were in mouths when Emre Can looked like he would not carry on late into the second half.
Liverpool are one of the four-best teams in this division, and their final position should reflect that, but if they fall short, it will be down to a threadbare squad.
Divock Origi, introduced for Mane, is the last reinforcement of any proven quality. He is now likely to start against Bournemouth on Wednesday. Klopp will hope Origi finishes that game too, or he really will be down to the bare bones.Reuse content