Liverpool maintained their stranglehold over Everton in the Merseyside derby with a one-sided stroll against their local rivals who had Ramiro Funes Mori sent off for a horror-tackle in the second half.
Liverpool were never under any serious or sustained pressure and scored twice late in the first half through Divock Origi and Mamadou Sakho, both from James Milner crosses, before Daniel Sturridge came off the bench to make it 3-0 and Philippe Coutinho finished off the rout.
Sturridge was introduced in place of Origi, who was taken off on a stretcher after Funes Mori planted his studs into the Belgian striker’s ankle, which earned the Argentine a straight red card despite his protestations of innocence to the referee.
Liverpool, who are now unbeaten in the last 11 top-flight Merseyside derbies, stay seventh in the table, but riding a wave of recent momentum and finding form at a good time ahead of their Europa League semi-final against Villarreal.
The victory came at a cost, however, with Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp later confirming that Origi had suffered a twisted ankle.
“I would like to say yes, I am delighted, but the injury to Divock Origi has cost me some joy,” he said.
“They say it is disgusting, awful pictures. But it’s not broken, it is a twisted ankle, he is on crutches walking around so we will have to see.”
Everton, who face Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-final on Saturday, are 11th, but morale will be at rock-bottom.
They have not won at Anfield since 1999 and never looked like breaking that hoodoo at any point on Wednesday, while pressure is mounting on manager Roberto Martinez, who did not seek to sugar-coat the defeat.
“It is a really hurtful experience,” he said.
“At the moment we are facing strong adversity but we have to switch attention to the big game at the weekend.”
Liverpool had to wait until the 43rd minute to take the lead when Milner floated a cross to the far post for Origi to outjump John Stones and plant his header into the net.
The second goal was remarkably similar with Milner again the architect, picking out Sakho unmarked to head home from close range in first-half stoppage time.
The second half was only five minutes old when Funes Mori saw red and Sturridge swiftly capitalised, receiving a pass from Lucas and coolly firing home for his fifth goal in his past six Premier League appearances.
He wanted to claim Coutinho’s fourth as the Brazilian’s curling finish brushed the striker’s shorts on its way into the net.