What’s been happening in the world of football on Merseyside this week? Jennifer Jewell gives us the scoop….
Merseyside was well and truly Red midweek with Liverpool beating Everton 4-0 at Anfield. While Liverpudlians celebrated, Evertonians cannot remember a more one-sided derby and were certainly not happy with either the performance or result. Jürgen Klopp’s debut derby was full of positives for the Reds including Daniel Sturridge reaching 50 goals for Liverpool – the fourth quickest player to do so. Divock Origi’s injury from a Ramiro Funes Mori tackle seemed to be the only negative on the night. The 226th Merseyside derby was definitely one to forget for Everton fans.
The campaigners for Roberto Martinez’s sacking are now out in full force following the poor display at Anfield. After a supporter stormed the pitch at Goodison last Saturday to make his feelings known, fans are taking to Twitter in their thousands to air frustrations. Speaking on speculation on the safety of his job, Martinez said: “That’s not my focus. My focus is to make sure we prepare the game properly on Saturday.” He added: “There’s no denying that the only thing that matters is to prepare the game on Saturday, regroup and make sure we have that opportunity to repay what the fans deserve.” The next few weeks will be huge for Martinez as Everton manager.
Last Friday saw Anfield host the final memorial service for the 96 supporters who died in the tragedy. Hillsborough Family Support Group chairman Margaret Aspinall has said the final service will “draw a line under it” after 27 years. Thousands of families gathered to pay their respects one last time alongside England manager, Roy Hodgson, Kevin Keegan and Kenny Dalglish. Reds and Blues came together, as always, to unite in remembering the 96 and Klopp was amazed by the service. He said: “I obviously knew about this tragedy but this was my first time involved personally and it was really special. I’ve only been here for half a year, so it is not my story, but it is the story of the city.” Merseyside will never forget the victims of the Hillsborough disaster.
Fa Cup semi-final
Saturday could see Everton’s season take a slight turn in the right direction when they take on Manchester United at Wembley in the FA Cup semi-final. Fans will no doubt be behind the players for the 90 minutes but are worried who will be playing at centre-half. Phil Jagielka is still carrying an injury, Funes Mori is suspended due to Wednesday’s red card and the usual go-to cover, Gareth Barry, is a doubt after injury forced him off at half-time in the derby. Regardless of who plays alongside John Stones, the Toffees feel they need a good result to ensure this season isn’t a disastrous one. The FA Cup could save Everton’s season – and possibly even Martinez’s job.
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