Liverpool returned to winning ways with a 2-0 victory in Monday night's Merseyside derby at Anfield.

Clinical attacks concluded by Mohamed Salah and Cody Gakpo – to open his goalscoring account for the club – either side of the interval secured the Reds the bragging rights against Everton.

It was a first Premier League success of 2023 for Jürgen Klopp’s team, who were also buoyed by the second-half return from injury of Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota.

Team news

Fabinho and Jordan Henderson came back into midfield as Klopp made two changes to his XI, while Firmino, Jota and Virgil van Dijk returned on the bench.

Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Gomez, Robertson, Fabinho, Bajcetic (Keita, 89), Henderson (Milner, 79), Gakpo (Firmino, 79), Salah (Elliott, 89), Nunez (Jota, 69).

Unused substitutes: Kelleher, Van Dijk, Tsimikas, Phillips.

First half

The sides emerged to brilliant noise and colour inside Anfield as they prepared to contest the 242nd edition of the Merseyside derby.

And there was a slick tempo to the game’s initial exchanges, though threats were limited to efforts at either end from Ellis Simms and Salah that were deflected away from goal.

Liverpool steadily began to assert themselves and carved out the clearest chance yet in the 17th minute when Stefan Bajcetic hooked a cross to the left side of the Everton box.

Darwin Nunez acrobatically sent it back into the middle, where Gakpo connected with a header that he guided the wrong side of the right post.

The Reds continued on the front foot but the half was beginning to hit something of a lull before a remarkable 13-second passage of play in minute 36.

At Alex Iwobi’s deep-delivered corner from the left, James Tarkowski looped a header back onto the opposite post and the hosts cleared their lines.

Nunez and Salah traded passes to launch an immediate counter-attack and the former powered away with intent down the left wing as teammates surged forward in support.

After covering more than half the length of the pitch Nunez lifted the ball into the central run of Salah, who prodded in first time as Jordan Pickford came out from goal.

Nunez saw a close-range blast blocked in the final actions of added time and Klopp’s men carried their 1-0 advantage into the break.

Second half

One turned to two just four minutes after the restart.

Andy Robertson battled strongly to win back possession in his own half and set off a flowing move that eventually freed Trent Alexander-Arnold in the right channel to slide a ball over to the far post, where Gakpo was waiting to tap in his first Liverpool goal – with a VAR check confirming the Dutchman was onside.

Pickford soon had to thwart Nunez at his near post, the No.27 firing in an effort from the angle having been teed up by Salah’s foray along the flank, and he next swerved a shot wide following Gakpo’s lovely turn, run and pass.

With a little over 20 minutes remaining, on came Jota for his first appearance since mid-October, the home crowd rising to acclaim both he and the withdrawn Nunez.

Everton substitute Tom Davies was off target when found in a good position at the back post by Iwobi’s Kop-end cross, while Salah was denied by both a last-ditch Tarkowski block and a Pickford save as time ticked away.

But Liverpool had already done enough to take maximum points against their neighbours and get back to winning ways in the Premier League.

Attendance: 53,027