Everton sat only one place above their derby rivals at the start of play, having won only one of their first four matches.
But they hosted a Liverpool side still looking for their first win and they made emphatically sure that statistic remained intact with an utterly dominant display that belied their league position and resulted in a 2-0 victory.
However, it could well have been a very different story had Liverpool converted a glorious chance in the 10th minute, but Katie Brusell fluffed her lines with only Rachel Brown to beat, dragging a woeful shot wide.
Instead, they watched as their opponents took complete control and the Toffees’ dominance was eventually rewarded in the 25th minute when Brooke Chaplen curled an exquisite shot into the far corner.
Mo Marley’s ladies’ tails were up, while their opponents were barely able to escape from their own half, and a second goal looked only a matter of time. It duly arrived five minutes from the break, substitute Lucy Bronze firing home.
Liverpool again missed an excellent chance almost immediately to make this a contest, but new signing Emily Gielnik was unable to convert Kelly Jones’ centre.
The second half began in the same vein as the first, Duggan going close four minutes after the restart.
Liverpool looked bereft of ideas as their hosts strolled around in the evening sun, rarely threatening and their miserable night was completed with Hannah Keryakoplis leaving the pitch on a stretcher.
Everton missed a number of chances to increase their lead; Chaplen, Duggan and Lucy Bronze all going close but, in the end, they had to settle for their two first half strikes.
Marley was pleased with her side’s display: “I was very disappointed with the way we played against Chelsea when we could have been cruising but let the game slip away.
We were looking for a good response, and I’m more than delighted with the way we played today.”
Liverpool boss Robbie Johnson felt his side contributed to their own downfall.
He said: “Disappointed with the result, disappointed with the performance. Both goals were our responsibility.
We keep doing this time after time and the players have to realise the level of concentration that’s required against quality teams like Everton.”
FA WSL report
Sportsister, The Women’s Sports Magazine