Jordan Henderson could be on the sidelines for anywhere between four to six weeks in what is considered the “best-case scenario,” but fears are his groin injury could keep him out longer.
It came as yet another blow to a side who has already been besieged by injury this season, with the centre-back position continuing to prove problematic.
Initial reports of Henderson’s injury stated that the 30-year-old could miss the Reds’ next five fixtures, which would total three weeks on the sidelines before the March international break.
But the Atheltic‘s Oliver Kay has now claimed “four to six weeks has been regarded as the best-case scenario” but there “are fears it will be longer.”
It is said that “some at the club seem resigned to their captain facing an extended spell on the sidelines,” which would be a major setback for Klopp’s side.
A total of six weeks on the sidelines, which sits in the ‘best case’ bracket, would see Henderson miss up to at least five Premier League games, the Champions League last-16 second-leg meeting with RB Leipzig and England’s March internationals.
Games Henderson could miss in six-week period:
The 30-year-old is still under assessment and a clearer picture is hoped for in the coming days, where Klopp could even provide an update in his pre-Sheffield United press conference on Friday.
The unpredictability of groin injuries make it so doubt has even been raised over his ability to play out the season, one where Liverpool are facing an uphill battle to finish in the top four.
That he is touch and go for the Champions League quarter-finals, should Liverpool qualify, on (6/7 April) is enough to leave an uneasy feeling, let alone the majority of what is left of the season.
The absence of his leadership will be felt as will the strain placed on existing personnel to cover yet another injury.
Check out our top picks from the special edition Liverpool FC x Nike Air Max range, as modelled by Curtis Jones.
The collection is inspired by the timeless Air Max 90 OG colourway and is made up of men's, women's and kids fashion - including jackets, hoodies, tees and much more.
Click here to check out the full LFC x Nike Air Max range online now - and scroll down to see Jones trying out a few of our favourites...
Liverpool's Sadio Mane has sprung to the defence of fellow forward Roberto Firmino.
As the form of Jurgen Klopp's side has fallen away in 2021, the Brazil international has come in for criticism due to his lack of goals, having scored just once since Christmas.
But Mane - whose own goal tally of 11 from 32 appearances is five short at the same stage last season - believes without the hard-pressing forward, he and Mohamed Salah would get fewer chances.
"He deserves more credit than me and Mo, for sure," Mane told ESPN Brazil.
"But it is part of football, (people) always seeing the goals scored. But without Bobby, I don't see me and Mo score as many goals as we have, to be honest.2:58 FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Everton's win over Liverpool in the Premier League
"He makes everything easier for us. Brazil are just lucky to have Firmino. I have always said to Bobby: 'You will have to change your nationality and come to Senegal'.
"For me, that would be a dream. I just love him. I think he is my favourite team-mate."
Liverpool's established front three could finally have some competition again as Diogo Jota is expected to return to full training this week.1:03 Andy Dunn and Henry Winter discuss the reasons behind Liverpool's tremendous dip in form, and believe there are issues at the club beyond injuries to key players
The Portugal international scored eight goals in his last 11 matches for the club before a knee injury in their Champions League dead rubber against Midtjylland in early December sidelined him for almost three months.
However, having made tentative steps with individual outdoor training Jota - who has scored a total of nine in 17 since arriving from Wolves in September - is ready to rejoin his team-mates.
There has still been no news on the outcome of scans on captain Jordan Henderson's groin problem which forced him off in Saturday's Merseyside derby defeat at home to Everton amid fears the injury could keep the midfielder out for an extended period of time.
This was meant to be the season that saw Liverpool’s dominance of English football continue, but that natural next step has been snatched away in gut-wrenching fashion.
Back in September, everything appeared rosy for the Reds.
The bonus of keeping hold of Gini Wijnaldum was given an extra boost by the addition of Kostas Tsimikas, Thiago and Diogo Jota, whose arrivals represented a strong transfer window that made the squad even more formidable.
What has unfolded in the six months since has been nothing short of a disaster, however, in one of the most heartbreaking spells Liverpool have experienced in the last 30 years.A season of injustices
From the moment the freakish 7-2 defeat at Aston Villa took place, however, nothing has been the same.
If last weekend’s limp defeat to the Blues felt predictable and deserved, that 2-2 draw back in October made the blood boil.
Joe Gomez swiftly joined by Van Dijk in having his season ended, while the continued fitness woes of Joel Matip – also out until the summer, incredibly – has been added to by issues for the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Diogo Jota.
A relentless stream of VAR injustices have also become the norm, with the shocking offside call against Sadio Mane at Goodison Park just a taster. Here are a few more to refresh your memory:
The list goes on.
This mix of unprecedented injuries, appalling officiating and lifeless empty grounds have turned Liverpool’s title defence into a nightmare – one that very few envisaged.
If the Reds were simply under-performing and wilting under the pressure of being champions it would be far easier to accept, but this season feels unjust.
It’s almost as though the footballing gods felt one league title was suffice before inflicting misery on the Reds as some sort of punishment for enjoying their long-awaited success too much.Most heartbreaking season?
There will be supporters of other clubs sneering at Liverpool fans for bemoaning a bad season in which are they still the reigning champions, but it’s all relative.
Given the expectations everyone associated with the club had last summer, the 2020/21 campaign looks like being one to forget in an instant.
Liverpool have had far worse seasons, including endless failures to get into the Champions League, but pre-season projections were never as great as this one and so missing out has rarely felt as miserable.
This was meant to be the year in which Klopp’s men sealed back-to-back titles and drew level with Man United‘s record tally, further adding to their legend.
It was supposed to be the next act of brilliance in one of the truly great chapters in Liverpool’s history, cementing their place as the best team ever to grace the Anfield turf.
Instead, this has all been snatched away in brutal fashion with the vast majority of the Reds’ issues completely out of their hands.
Klopp and his players certainly haven’t been blameless, especially since Christmas, but there comes a point when it is impossible to keep fighting off increasingly sizeable obstacles.
Imagine Man City having to cope without Ruben Dias, John Stones and Aymeric Laporte for the season and having to get by with Fernandinho and Eric Garcia at the back.
Then picture both of them getting injured as well and Pep Guardiola fielding Rodri at centre-back alongside an unknown youngster from the academy, with six or seven other key players also getting injured.
This is what Klopp is having to deal with and it’s bordering on impossible, especially with an inferior squad to Guardiola’s.
This season offered so much hope, and because of those ambitious-but-achievable dreams that existed in September, the magnitude of Liverpool’s fall makes it their most despairing season since the Premier League‘s inception.
The most important thing now is proving that this is a true one-off – a year in which unrivalled levels of misfortune took over.The Reds will be back
There is still a lot to play for until May, but regardless of what happens, it is next season that will truly define this Liverpool team.
The Reds produced off-the-charts brilliance for three successive years, reaching the Champions League final, winning it the following season (as well as getting 97 points) and clinching Premier League glory 12 months later before this speed-bump appeared.
Liverpool can look at City as the perfect role models when masterminding their return to the top, with Guardiola’s team experiencing a Reds-esque blip in 2019/20 before roaring back and threatening to win a quadruple this time around.
The doom merchants will be reading Klopp’s champions their last rights already, signalling this as the end of a glorious cycle, but that is wide of the mark.
Any team that loses its three best centre-backs for the vast majority of the season is instantly going to become far less effective before you add in all the other absentees, obstacles and everything else making up this strange current version of football.
Once Van Dijk and Gomez are back, legs and minds are rested, Diogo Jota is a fixture in the team and fans are inside Anfield again, Liverpool will be back as title contenders.
Barring a Champions League miracle, this will forever be viewed as the season where everything transpired against them at once, making their hopes of consecutive league titles and more record-breaking magic impossible.
August can’t come soon enough, whether it be for Klopp, his squad or the supporters.
Liverpool have to get back to winning ways and a couple of back-to-back victories could change much of the negativity. Let’s hope the Reds are putting this week to good use.Ocampos keen on Reds switch
A couple of days ago we brought you the rumours that Liverpool were looking at Sevilla winger Lucas Ocampos, a powerful and tricky wide forward who scores for fun when on-form.
There was even an inclusion in the rumour that we might consider adding Takumi Minamino to the deal as a part-exchange option.
Today, the news out of Argentina is that Ocampos himself is very keen on the move – he “wants it to be done”, reports El Intrasigente.
As an additional intrigue, there’s apparently pressure from his former club River Plate to see that the transfer gets done – as they’re entitled to 3.5% of a future deal, which could be worth a couple of million for them.
One to watch…Three-way pull for Milenkovic
Click here if you can’t see the video above.
Onto centre-backs, then. No doubt there will be another half-a-dozen linked with the Reds between now and the summer, but there’s a strong chance Nikola Milenkovic will be on the move.
He has just over a year to go on his Fiorentina deal and, quite frankly, he’s a better performer than a team heading in the wrong direction. He’ll be off to a bigger club – with three reported as interested so far.
He’s big, powerful, decent in the air and plays right side of the two (or indeed the three with La Viola).Top to bottom
There will be no respite in the search for perfection, even if that seems a long way off right now. They all know how they got there in the first place, and will fight to do so again.Quickfire LFC news
There’s a fine line between amazing ingenuity and unbelievable idiocy. This player was not remotely close to the line. He was just an incredible moron.Tweet of the day
In 1977, the BBC visited Melwood to see how @kennethdalglish was settling into his new role as Kevin Keegan’s replacement at Liverpool.
— MUNDIAL (@MundialMag) February 23, 2021Worth watching tonight
Pick your Champions League poison.
Liverpool first-team physio Chris Morgan has taken to Twitter to defend the club’s medical and performance department amid the injury issues that have plagued the Reds this season.
With reports on social media on Tuesday that captain Jordan Henderson could become the fourth player to be ruled out for the rest of the season – following Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip – Morgan’s Twitter account received some distasteful messages.
Morgan, who returned to the club last summer after departing in 2016, told supporters not to “confuse correlation with causation [of injuries].”
He explained how injuries that weren’t preventable, for example Virgil van Dijk being taken out by Jordan Pickford, have had a knock-on effect on the ability to prevent injuries to other players.
During his time away from Anfield, Morgan acted as physio at Crystal Palace and Arsenal, and he sought to explain the intricacies of a medical department at an elite football club, saying how “one person is not a medical/performance dept” and listing all 19 of those involved as:
3 Soft tissue therapists
1 rehab coach
1 head of recovery
1 sports scientist
1 head of fitness
3 fitness and conditioners
1 head of nutrition
One person is not a medical/performance dept?
3 Soft tissue therapists
1 rehab coach
1 head of recovery
1 sports scientist
1 head of fitness
3 fitness and conditioners
1 head of nutrition
**2 just happen to run on the pitch?????
— CMo (@ChrisMorgan10) February 23, 2021
In replying to a fan, Morgan added: “It’s complex and multi factorial mate…the ones [injuries] we can’t prevent (and we’ve had lots) then impact the ability to try to prevent others..we still have to put 11 players on the pitch every 3-4 days after all..”
Liverpool’s fitness and medical department has had quite the turnover in recent times, with three first-team physios departing in the last year (Christopher Rohrbeck, Richie Partridge, Jose Luis Rodriguez), plus club doctor Andy Massey and medical rehab manager Phillip Jacobsen.
In response, Dr Andreas Schlumberger joined the club shortly before the New Year as head of recovery and performance, while Morgan and Steve Lilley arrived as physios last summer.
Dr Jim Moxon was promoted from the academy to the first-team to replace Massey.
That would leave only Henderson and the long-term centre-back trio on the sidelines.
Liverpool FC can confirm Gary O'Neil has left the club to take up a first-team coaching role at AFC Bournemouth.
O'Neil joined the Reds' Academy set-up in August 2020 and served as assistant to Barry Lewtas with the U23s.
The former Premier League midfielder has now departed Kirkby to link up with Cherries boss Jonathan Woodgate in the Championship.
Everybody at LFC would like to thank Gary for his work at the Academy and wish him all the best for the future.
Paul Glatzel and Abdi Sharif both returned from injury to feature in Liverpool U23s' 3-1 win over Salford City in a friendly on Tuesday afternoon.
Goals from Joe Hardy and second-half substitutes Layton Stewart and Billy Koumetio gave the young Reds the victory at the Academy.
Glatzel played the opening hour of the contest, marking his first appearance since November, while Sharif was withdrawn seven minutes later.
Barry Lewtas' side entered half-time a goal down but, after an excellent save from goalkeeper Liam Hughes, drew level in the 63rd minute thanks to Hardy's composed finish.
Stewart then came off the bench to give Liverpool the lead before Koumetio made sure of the win with a fine strike in the aftermath of a corner.
Speaking to Liverpoolfc.com post-match, Lewtas said: “It was a good workout for us and we scored some really good goals.
“It was great to see Paul and Abdi back and they will take a lot from that. Tony Gallacher got some minutes after his ankle injury, so it was great to see him back.
“Joe Hardy played his first 90 minutes for a while and scored, so that’s pleasing.”
The pair have shared the field 190 times since they formed the new-look Reds attack back in 2016, becoming the first two pieces of a formidable attack that would later be bolstered by Mo Salah.
Heavily relied upon by Jurgen Klopp, the duo have experienced all the highs and lows under the German’s tutelage.
Firmino has directly had a hand in 17 of Mane’s goals, which makes up 18.5 percent of his total Liverpool tally, and that is not even noting the indirect influence of the No. 9.
And Mane from sung Firmino’s praises when speaking to ESPN Brasil, as he explained how he “makes everything easier” and “deserves more credit” than his fellow forward teammates.
“He deserves more credit than me and Mo, for sure. But it is part of football, always seeing the goals scored,” Mane said.
“But I think without Bobby I don’t see myself or Mo scoring as many goals as we have, to be honest.
“He makes everything easier for us. I think Brazil is just lucky to have Firmino. I always say to Bobby ‘you have to change your nationality and maybe come to Senegal’ – which for me would be a dream!
“I just love him and he is my favourite teammate.”
The selfless style of Firmino’s play ensures the feeling is mutual among Liverpool supporters and no doubt his other teammates.
But despite their total contribution of 13 goals and 11 assists this season, it has not been all smooth sailing for the pair in 2020/21 as they each battle for form within a campaign like no other.
Mane’s words, however, are a clear indicator of just how well-respected Firmino is and how crucial of a cog to the system he is. Here’s hoping he can get back to his best in the near future.
Jamie Carragher has defended his criticism of Liverpool during the Premier League champions' astonishing slump and insisted injuries do not excuse their run of four consecutive home defeats.
Since January 1, Liverpool are 17th in the form table, with just seven points from nine games, including Sunday's 2-0 loss to Everton at Anfield.
"I said during commentary that 'l am sick of talking about Virgil van Dijk'. And what l mean is that we have highlighted that throughout. Liverpool can't win the league. I said that after the last league derby game. They can't win the league with Van Dijk being out the whole season. That's the big picture," Carragher told Sky Sports' Monday Night Football.
"But the problems Liverpool have, with centre backs out and midfielders at centre back, does not mean they can't win home games against Everton, Brighton, Burnley, West Brom. Manchester United, maybe. And Manchester City are real top quality.
"It's not an excuse for individual games. No matter what problems you have as a Liverpool player, you can't not win at home for six games. That is not acceptable. It's not."2:58 FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Everton's win over Liverpool in the Premier League
Carragher added: "The reason I don't want to use Virgil van Dijk as an excuse because Liverpool started the game against Everton with 10 Champions League winners.
"That is why it is not an excuse in individual games. They have to find a way to win."
Since topping the table at Christmas, Liverpool have been held to a 1-1 draw at home to second-bottom West Brom and suffered defeats at Anfield to Burnley, Brighton and Manchester City before Everton claimed their first derby away win in over 20 years.Liverpool PL formations used, 2020/21 4-3-3 22 4-2-3-1 2 4-3-1-2 1
"I've played in teams not as good as this one," continued Carragher. "But they find a way to win. We beat Everton twice with 10 men.
"So when we are talking about Jurgen Klopp doing something different, it's not ripping everything up. Of course it is not. But l do think there could be there could be a tweaking in the system, maybe a 4-2-3-1, bringing in an extra attacking player in because Liverpool are struggling to score goals.
"Defensively, is there a case that they could they put the defence 10 yards further back? Liverpool never played this high when Jurgen Klopp first came in.
"With the high line they are playing at the moment, Ozan] Kabak is struggling, (Ben) Davies is coming in, (Nathaniel) Phillips is going to play and they need more protection."
Liverpool have fallen to sixth in the Premier League table, two places outside of the automatic qualifying positions for the Champions League, and next play Sheffield United before facing Chelsea, live on Sky Sports, on Thursday March 4.
With the Reds no longer firing on all cylinders, opportunists have looked to spread a number of rumours about both the squad and the manager across social media.
The rumour goes that Alisson and Robertson were involved in a scuffle at Leicester that left the Scot with a busted lip, Jordan Henderson had already debunked the story and now the left-back has had his say.
And it’s fair to say he was not impressed by his designated role in the ‘fight’ as he found the humour in the nonsense.
“I don’t look like the boxing type, do I?” Robertson said in an interview with Sky Sports’ Soccer AM. “The least [likely] two people to fight in the changing room are Ali and myself, to be honest.
“When you get a couple of bad results I think people are sitting at home a bit bored and obviously somebody made up a rumour that the gaffer didn’t come home, whereas me and Ali were fighting.
“I love how I was the one who ended up with the burst lip! I would rather it was the other way about but beggars can’t be choosers!
“The stuff that was getting written was a lot of nonsense. For the players and everyone in the training ground, we just need to block all that out.”
The Scot’s humorous take on it is what is needed during times like these and it goes to show that online rumours are just that and one cannot take them as gospel.
Jamie Carragher has looked to clear up the criticism he’s aimed at Liverpool, explaining that the loss of Virgil van Dijk is “not an excuse” to lose individual games, especially at Anfield.
The former Reds defender was in the commentary box for Liverpool’s derby defeat over the weekend, where he came in for some criticism of his own regarding his analysis of Jurgen Klopp‘s side.
The defeat was the fourth in succession at Anfield for the first time since 1923 and the first time the Reds had lost a derby on home soil since 1999 – a new low in a season to forget.
Liverpool are in relegation form having picked up just seven points in the league in 2021, where only three teams are worse off – all of whom have taken points off the Reds.
And while the loss of Van Dijk was always going to derail title ambitions, Carragher was quick to say that it can not be used as justification for individual games which are winnable for a side boasting domestic and European title winners.
“I was very critical of Liverpool on commentary in the derby game and I seemed to upset a section of supporters that I wasn’t more supportive,” Carragher said on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football.
“I have analysed this Liverpool team for three years under their best with Klopp and I come off shows like this and other fans say Carra is biased for Liverpool because all he says is positive things.
“Premier League champions, European Cup winners and best team in the world. There is nothing negative to say. Right now, there is.
“If I have upset Liverpool fans I don’t want to apologise for it. What this team has done is amazing, we love them, but it doesn’t mean they are exempt from criticism.
“I said ‘I’m sick of talking about Virgil van Dijk‘ and what I mean about that is we’ve highlighted on this show the bigger picture.
“Liverpool can’t win the league, I said that after the last derby game. They can’t win it with Van Dijk being out for the whole season I didn’t feel.
“It’s not an excuse for individual games. No matter what problems you have as a Liverpool player, you can’t not win at home for six games. That is not acceptable. It’s not.”
Klopp’s men have 13 league games to turn it around and clinch a top-four spot and with little going to plan at this juncture, Carragher feels a tweak is needed to spark the attack and protect the makeshift defence.
“They have to find a way to win. [When I played] we beat Everton twice with ten men,” he continued.
“That is why I’m saying it is not an excuse in individual games. The bigger picture for the league and qualifying for the top four, I get.
“It’s not ripping anything up, but there could be a tweaking of the system, a 4-2-3-1, bring an extra attacking player in.
“Defensively, is there a case for putting the defence 10 yards further back? [Ozan] Kabak is struggling early on, [Ben] Davies is coming in, [Nat] Phillips is going to play and they need a bit more protection.”
Dominic Corness' gifted left foot earned him the nickname 'The Wand' throughout Liverpool's youth set-up.
The midfielder has caught the eye for Marc Bridge-Wilkinson's U18s this season with his overall play and sublime execution from set-pieces.
Living up to his tag, the Scouser scored directly from a corner on two occasions in the same game back in September.
Having joined the Academy at the age of five, Corness has progressed through the ranks at Kirkby – earning his alias along the way – and signed his first professional contract with the club earlier this month.
"This has been a nickname for years now," 'The Wand' tells Liverpoolfc.com. "All the coaches at the Academy over time have just given me the nickname due to my passing and the things I do with my left foot really. It's not bad at all.
"It's just carried on over time and it's still going now. I think it was around the age of 12 or 13 and it's carried right through to the U18s."
Read on for more from our interview with Corness in the latest edition of our Meet the Academy series...
Let's start at the beginning. You've been at Liverpool since the age of five – how did that come about?
I played for my local team, Netherley Woodlane Legion, and I actually played with Layton Stewart as well. We both got brought into the Academy at the age of five. From then on, it's just been Liverpool through and through. I'm a Red myself and every single minute at the club is a dream come true.
Have you always been a midfielder?
No, I haven't. I used to be a left-back when I was younger. I only got moved into midfield when I was U14s. Sometimes I still do have a bit of exposure at left-back but I'm mainly a midfielder now.
Who do you look up to as a player?
I love to watch Thiago really. I just try to base myself off some of the things he does. Obviously he plays for the first team and that's just the level you want to try to get to. I just try to get on the ball as much as I can. I've always liked the way Thiago played. He came from Barça as well, so he automatically had that side of football where he just has the ball as much as he can and tries to play. I haven't seen him knocking about Kirkby yet, but with the new campus it's an opportunity every time you train now because you don't know who's watching. So you've just got to make every session the best you can because you never know what's going to happen.
How much do you work on set-pieces? It's apparent how much of a threat they pose in matches...
Set-pieces have been a massive part of my game throughout my whole time at the Academy. I've worked on them loads. Over the past one or two years, I've focused on them a lot more. I've had people working towards it with me, like Tyler Morton – the quality he has is unbelievable. So when I am working on set-pieces with him, the quality that he shows, it automatically improves my level as well. What we have been doing is just grab as many balls as you can after training – 10, 15 minutes – and just practise as much as you can. There's always balls everywhere at the end of the session!
As a Liverpool fan, did you go to the games much? What's the best game you've been to?
I used to go to the games all the time but due to COVID you can't anymore. I'd probably say the best game I've been to was Man City away in the Champions League quarter-finals a few years back. It was unbelievable. We used to be ballboys nearly every home game in the U15, U16 season. I never got any assists but I always used to put myself in the corner so I could get right up close to all the players when they were taking their set-pieces. It just gives you that drive and motivation to get where you want to be in many years to come. Being that close, it's just surreal. It's different on the telly, you don't realise until you're up close, you're just amazed and your breath is taken away every time.
What are your targets, short term and long term?
Short term, I've just signed my first professional contract, so I just want to kick on now and carry on doing what I'm doing. Hopefully try to take that jump to the U23s this season – if not, then next season it'll come as well. Long term, I just want to keep doing what I'm doing, try to progress as much as I can, and try to get close and around the first team, like other players have done.
Carlo Ancelotti was the secret behind Everton ending their 22-year Anfield hoodoo in Saturday's Merseyside derby, says ex-Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher.
Everton won at Liverpool for the first time since 1999, with their 2-0 success ending a run of 24 games without victory against their oldest rivals.
They led inside three minutes through Richarlison and doubled that advantage late on courtesy of a Gylfi Sigurdsson penalty. However, the main man to credit for the Toffees' success was manager Ancelotti, Carragher told Monday Night Football.
"I never gave a man of the match in the game for whatever reason, maybe it slipped my mind. There was probably three or four Everton players you could have given it to, but I watched the game again yesterday morning when I got up and their man of the match was the manager, Carlo Ancelotti," said Carragher.
"It's 22 years since they won at Anfield, 1999. But that's just the Premier League; notoriously, Everton's record at Anfield is horrendous. So, to actually win at Anfield for Everton is huge. They're celebrating like mad, and rightly so.
"Before Saturday, this was Everton's league record at Anfield since 1962/3 - 58 games, six wins in 58. That's why that was so big, what happened on Saturday night.
"Forget the '22 years, Everton's record at Anfield'. Even with the greatest team, you go through the 60s - Everton won a title in the 60s, an FA Cup, got to another final - only won once at Anfield. They won the league in 1970. Again, the 70s, only one win at Anfield. The 80s, Everton's greatest-ever team - only won twice there."
Carragher played in his fair share of Merseyside derbies himself as a Liverpool defender, and was left feeling his former club had enjoyed a mental edge over their near-neighbors which had inhibited Everton's hopes of taking the bragging rights in games between the pair down the years - something Ancelotti managed to overcome last weekend.
"I'll tell you the reason, in my experience, the record is so poor, and also at Goodison in the last 20 years as well," he said. "Everton never get the derby right emotionally. They're either too up for it, and they get players sent off, or they're absolutely terrified going into games, certainly at Anfield.2:58 FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Everton's win over Liverpool in the Premier League
"And the reason I say Ancelotti won Everton that game, is that he took the emotion out of the game, with the team he picked. So when that team came in, Evertonians, getting ready for the game, their heart sank. No Calvert-Lewin, and no Allan. Now, Allan hasn't played for two months. Calvert-Lewin was coming back from a hamstring injury. So it's the right decision.
"But emotionally at times, Everton see the derby as the biggest game you have to win. Roberto Martinez told me a story where he almost felt pressured to play Gareth Barry in a derby game at Anfield and he wasn't 100-per-cent fit.
"He got injured, they lost the game, and he missed an FA Cup semi-final, and he always looks back at that as a huge regret. Ancelotti, again, ended up saying this is three points for our European ambition, forget Liverpool."The tactics behind Everton's historic victory
While much of Ancelotti's work to win the derby was done ahead of kick-off, the game could not be won, even with Liverpool's nightmare run of form, without Ancelotti's players executing a solid plan to stifle the reigning Premier League champions.
Carragher credited the former Chelsea, Real Madrid and AC Milan boss with winning the tactical joust against Jurgen Klopp - and pointed out exactly how he set up his side to finally break their Anfield duck.
He said: "In the first derby, Liverpool scored after two or three minutes with Mane, because they exposed Rodriguez, who at times can leave his right-back really exposed.
"So he didn't do that in this game, he played off the front - and he's massively involved in the first goal. He gets in between the lines. When he gets on the ball in these positions, it's, 'can he deliver?'3:04 Carragher says that the Liverpool side has been so good that they should not be losing home matches to the likes of Brighton and Burnley, even if they have midfielders plugging their centre-back positions
"And in that position, with that pass on to Richarlison, there's very few who can deliver that pass better than James Rodriguez. Tactically, they got that right playing him in a 10 position, because he does what he's in the team for, to deliver that pass - and Everton get off to a great start.
"The next thing is the debate on, were Everton playing with a back four or a back five? Now Carlo said before the game he wasn't changing too much, and then I looked down and thought it's a back five. And then I saw Holgate taking throw-ins, and thought maybe it's a back four. It was both.
"I think was primarily a back four, but there was a man-marking system on this right side. It was Holgate with Mane, and it was Seamus Coleman with Andy Robertson, and that's what caused the confusion.
"When you play against Liverpool, they're a team that press really well. The way you stop that is to just kick along, and it took me back to Jose Mourinho with Chelsea when Liverpool almost won the league under Brendan Rodgers, and we highlighted on this show, Mark Schwarzer kicked everything long - it beats the press.
"Then you go to Calvert-Lewin. And I was talking in commentary about when he probably will come on - I thought the only way he was going to come on was if Everton were losing and he'd join Richarlison, but he brought him on at 1-0.
"And that's what won them the game, keeping the two attacking players on the pitch. I said at the time I don't actually think [their second goal] was a penalty but it doesn't matter, it didn't affect the result."
A dismal, dreadful derby defeat in a senseless, stupid, season. Upon reflection, it appears there’s not much sense in anything this term, so why should Liverpool be different?
If there’s one big advantage to be taken from watching teams and leagues beyond ‘your own’ – our own, in this case – it’s the broader scope for comparison and judgement it brings.
You’re not just looking at Liverpool now versus Liverpool then. You’re not just seeing a points tally decline and a growing list of injuries that is isolated to L4.
It wasn’t a day of easy reflection for Liverpool supporters, after the defeat to Everton. But it’s even less easy for those fans to make sense of the campaign overall – not helped by the flawless approach Man City have been able to plan, manage and execute.
But in that regard, they are almost without peer this year, not just in the Premier League but pretty much in the entire elite footballing universe.
This is a season where Bayern Munich can become 2020 Club World Cup champions without even playing in that competition during that year – then go home and immediately fail to beat Arminia Bielefeld and Eintracht Frankfurt in back-to-back games.
This is a season where Kylian Mbappe and PSG announce their ‘arrival’ as the world-leading replacements for Lionel Messi and Barcelona, yet follow it up with a sixth league loss of the season. The last time they lost that many, they weren’t even owned by Qatar Sports Investment.
This is also a season where PSG aren’t even in the top two of their domestic league, where LaLiga’s big two are seen as an irrelevance on the European scene (and neither are top of their domestic league), where Juventus are at best third in Serie A (they are sixth but play Monday night) and Borussia Dortmund are sixth.
So Liverpool are a million miles from being the only champions or title-fighting side who are, well, failing to do so.
And yet even by those standards, Saturday was a culmination of abominable misfortune and timing.
Nearly four years without a home league defeat, now we can’t buy one. Ninety-eight years without four straight home league losses, until now. More than 20 years since Everton won at Anfield, but now they have.
This was a footballing equivalent of not just seeing Halley’s Comet, but getting hit by it.
We all know the biggest and baddest reason for the dropoff: those absent central defenders. It destabilises everything, from buildup play to, obviously, actually defending.
At one stage we had the entire diamond of goalkeeper, centre-backs and holding midfielder missing – bad enough at any time, worse when three of the quartet can claim to be at least world class, and quite possibly best-in-class.
Put another way, Liverpool have played more centre-back partnerships this season than two clubs have Premier League points.
And despite these issues at one end of the pitch, it’s pointless trying to pretend there aren’t problems in attack, too.
The movement off the ball is non-existent at times, which has a knock-on effect of limiting link play, one-touch exchanges, allowing good crosses and disrupting the opposition’s own defensive line.
Without question, movement is the single most important attribute an attack can have, and that increases exponentially when the back line has eight well-drilled players in it.
Teams know how Liverpool play now and know how to defend against it; previously, we’ve still been able to beat even those best-set-up teams by sheer relentlessness, self-belief and speed of movement. All three are now absent, so we don’t.
A change seems likely to be needed, whether by formation or a different overall style – tough to implement mid-season – to get back to troubling teams in the attacking third.
Putting players into different areas of the pitch forces different buildup patterns and gets different individuals combining in new (better, hopefully) areas, which is less predictable for defences.
The other change we’ll see from clubs beyond Anfield is likely to be a shifting of focus from domestic tables to European hopes.
Spurs are well outside the top four, for example, and in even worse form than Liverpool – but Mourinho knows how to win games over two legs. They could get in the Champions League by winning the Europa League, even if they finish 30 points behind us.
Similar approaches might well be seen by Real Madrid or Atalanta, as well as Man United and Leicester – both of whom look safe for top four, but with no chance of the title.
Do Liverpool even get allowed to make the distinction? Probably not. There’s very little chance we could reasonably look at our style, our in-form players and our consistency and say: we’d beat Bayern. Or City, come to that.
So a full focus on league results is probably the priority still, despite having ‘more chance’ of success in Europe.
In the summer comes the Euros, but there will be a period of reset for some. Hopefully, those involved for more than a couple of weeks will be given an enormous rest afterwards, because it’s badly needed for some.
After three such terrific years of style and results, this year is very hard to explain or to deal with for some Liverpool supporters. It’s understandable, and it’s also natural to want to vent at something, someone, but sadly that doesn’t mean there is a single person who bears the blame.
Cause isn’t the same as fault, and it’s important to remember that when frustrations rise.
There unquestionably have been missteps, poor judgement, under-performance, misfortune, bad timing, pure coincidence and false dawns.
Yet every single one of those factors can also be applied to the wider global landscape over the past 15 months, which has had the knock-on effect of belting the football world off-kilter for nearly a year.
Liverpool have suffered from that, just like others have, but the jolt has compounded and been magnified for Reds supporters – and players, it can be argued – simply because they were at a higher point at the moment of shaking the tree.
This is a crazy, stupid, largely awful year to deal with and football should have been a big way to balance it out somewhat, but for Reds fans it isn’t.
And there’s little sense rationalising or reasoning through much of it – beyond the obvious – because it’s not just Liverpool who are affected.
This is an outlier season, an opportunity for some and a car crash for others, the real campaign with an asterisk beside it, and it’s far from over yet.
Highlights of Liverpool U18s' 6-0 win over Sunderland on Saturday are now available to watch on LFCTV GO.
Marc Bridge-Wilkinson's side netted some superb strikes with all the goals coming in the second half at the Academy of Light.
On the mark for the Reds were Isaac Mabaya, Max Woltman, Mateusz Musialowski, Jarell Quansah, James McConnell, and a sublime free-kick from Dominic Corness.
Click play above to watch highlights of the game via LFCTV GO.