Liverpool embarrassed a lifeless 10-man Everton side as they romped to a comfortable 4-0 triumph in Jürgen Klopp's first Merseyside Derby at Anfield on Wednesday night.
It took them until the end of the first-half to open the scoring, with Adam Lallana guilty of spurning an excellent opportunity in a one-on-one early on, but they regularly threatened to find the opener beyond the half-hour mark.
A couple of strong saves from Joel Robles and diving blocks from the defenders in front of him only delayed the inevitable, as Divock Origi marked his first Merseyside Derby with a header from James Milner's deep cross after 43 minutes.
The Reds' captain on the night then created another late into first-half stoppage-time, when he delivered a teasing ball across the face of the box which Mamadou Sakho was there to meet to give his side a 2-0 lead going into the break.
A seemingly serious injury to goalscorer Origi saw Ramiro Funes Mori handed a straight red card by the referee and dampened the mood inside Anfield somewhat, before his replacement Daniel Sturridge made it 3-0 on 60 minutes.
Liverpool enjoyed an abundance of chances to build on their lead in the final stages, substitute Joe Allen going close on a number of occasions, before piling on the misery with a fourth through Philippe Coutinho's curling strike from the edge of the box to climb up to seventh in the Barclays Premier League - six points off of fourth.
Both sides make wholesale changes
Jürgen Klopp made nine changes from the team that beat Bournemouth at the weekend, with Lucas Leiva replacing the injured Emre Can in midfield having started in central defence on the South Coast and otherwise only Roberto Firmino keeping his place in the line-up.
Simon Mignolet reclaimed his position in goal as the likes of Nathaniel Clyne, Mamadou Sakho, Dejan Lovren, Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana all returned.
But rather surprisingly, Daniel Sturridge was left on the bench as the Reds boss opted to go for Divock Origi as the man to lead the line, whilst Joe Allen was also benched despite impressing in his recent performances.
Underfire Toffees manager Roberto Martinez also made changes, with Bryan Oviedo coming in for Seamus Coleman at right-back in one of six changes from the team that drew with Southampton on Saturday.
Elsewhere, with captain Phil Jagielka out with a hamstring complaint, John Stones joined Ramiro Funes Mori in the heart of defence whilst Romelu Lukaku, Leighton Baines and Ross Barkley all came back in to the side, as did James McCarthy after serving a suspension.
Although the Merseyside Derby is no longer recognised as the aggressive vociferous affair it once was, the tempo was quick and purposeful from the off as both sides showed their threats going forward.
Liverpool could and should have taken an early lead at the Kop end, as Adam Lallana raced clear through on goal after beating the offside trap and latching on to Philippe Coutinho's through ball.
But though he found himself in acres of space, and with an unmarked Firmino to his left, Lallana could not squeeze his effort underneath a sprawling Joel Robles as he wasted an excellent opportunity to break the deadlock early.
With neither side really settling on the ball and controlling possession, it wasn't long before Everton found themselves with a half-decent opportunity as Kevin Mirallas surged forward on the counter-attack before attempting an effort from the edge of the box, though it never looked like troubling Simon Mignolet as it curled over the crossbar.
The visitors continued to exploit the space left behind by Liverpool's midfield two, James Milner and Lucas, with Barkley and Lukaku looking threatening on every attack without really creating any clear cut opportunities inside the first 20 minutes.
Mirallas had another shot after breaking into space down the left flank, cutting inside and beating Lovren with a nutmeg, but he could only swipe a wild effort well wide of the far post and into the Anfield Road end.
Liverpool left frustrated by wasted first-half chances
Up the other end, with Everton packing bodies in front of the ball, Liverpool were left largely frustrated as Coutinho reverted to a trademark right-footed effort from distance which only sailed a yard or so over the bar.
On 22 minutes, it seemed as though Lukaku had an ideal chance to give Everton the lead. After getting away from Sakho inside the area, the powerful Belgian drove towards the near post before a perfectly-timed recovery tackle from Sakho denied the striker a chance to shoot.
As the home side upped the ante in search of the opening goal, Lallana saw a shot blocked in the box after being released by Alberto Moreno before a short corner routine led to Lucas having a rare attempt from 20-yards which was well beaten away by Robles.
Only moments later, the lively Lallana went close again - running beyond the defence to meet Nathaniel Clyne's whipped cross, but he could power a header a few inches wide of the near post.
As the Reds peppered Robles' goal with attempts, Coutinho could only fire wide from a free-kick just outside the area after trying to wrong foot the goalkeeper.
Chances came and went as the linesman failed to flag Firmino up for offside and he ran in behind Everton's back-four but when bearing down one-on-one, the Brazilian couldn't beat Robles as he looked for the far bottom corner.
Time and time again Everton put their bodies on the line as they blocked shots from Lallana and Coutinho in quick succession, although they looked like eventually wilting under the pressure of Klopp's charges.
Referee Robert Madley was waving away half-hearted penalty calls just after the half-an-hour mark as Dejan Lovren's hopeful drive in the box lashed off of the arm of Barkley, although it would have been incredibly harsh to punish the Englishman, who was merely two yards away.
Reds make dominance pay with two goals late into the first-half
Liverpool were almost camped in Everton's half as the first 45 minutes crept to a close, Origi doing well to make space for himself before scuffing a relatively harmless effort that Robles dealt with capably.
But he did much better just two minutes before the end of the half, after climbing above Stones to meet Milner's pinpoint cross into the back post, heading powerfully into the top corner for his first Merseyside Derby goal and his fifth goal in as many games.
Just a few minutes later, Liverpool doubled their advantage for a commanding half-time lead as no-one closed down Milner after a one-two in the box, allowing him to send a cross into Sakho inside the six-yard box and he only needed to head past Robles to make it 2-0 with his second goal in three games after just one in his previous 77 appearances in all competitions.
Martinez brought on Muhamed Besic at half-time, seemingly due to injury to captain Gareth Barry as opposed to a tactical switch on the midfielder's record-equalling appearance and in theory to add more dynamism and zest in the centre for the visitors.
But that substitution was rendered pointless in the 49th minute as Funes Mori's badly-timed tackle on Origi, stamping down on the in-form striker's ankle, rewarded him with a red card after he also thumped away the ball shortly after the foul.
With Klopp shaking his head in disbelief on the sidelines, Origi stayed down for around five minutes before being withdrawn via stretcher in serious pain, to be replaced by Sturridge.
Home side make numerical advantage count with third and fourth goals
Although that stoppage sucked the life out of the crowd briefly, it wasn't long before the joyous atmosphere was restored as Sturridge took just seven minutes to get on the scoresheet.
Stones' clearance fell straight for Lucas in the final third and he had no hesitation in spotting Sturridge, slotting a well-weighted pass in to the striker's feet. From there, the Englishman controlled before placing past Robles for his 50th goal for the club in just his 87th appearance, a feat only Roger Hunt, Albert Stubbins and Fernando Torres have bettered in the post-war era.
From there on in, it was a one-way affair and Besic's deflection was the only thing preventing Coutinho from testing Robles once more on 64 minutes, with substitute Joe Allen also having a couple of half-chances which he couldn't force over the line.
But the Reds showed no signs of holding up and added a fourth when Coutinho found space on the edge of area and bent a shot inside the far post and past Robles, as they went in search of an even greater margin of victory.
Liverpool continued to search for for more goals, Moreno and Clyne even surging forward to hit shots over and wide respectively, but they couldn't find a fifth as the match entered an almost testimonial-like mood.
However the manner of the result, and the fact they didn't allow Everton even a single shot on target throughout the 90 minutes, undoubtedly leaves them with the bragging rights for the foreseeable future as Klopp and his squad beamed at the end of the game.