Tuesday, May 21, 2024
HomePremier LeagueKlopp hails 'special' Merseyside derby victory

Klopp hails ‘special’ Merseyside derby victory

Jurgen Klopp was full of praise for his Liverpool side and their supporters following their 2-0 win over Everton.

Both sides have endured difficult starts to the season, Liverpool coming into the game down in 10th while Everton are firmly mired in the relegation dogfight.

 

Everton will have been buoyed by last weekend’s victory over league leaders Arsenal, though it was Liverpool who started by far the brighter of the two, the Reds quicker and sharper to the ball and playing much more like the slick brand of football that we have become accustomed to in recent years.

Liverpool would strike first blood just after the half-hour mark following a rapid counter-attack. It was actually Everton that almost took the lead as James Tarkowski saw his effort come back off the woodwork from a corner, only for Darwin Nunez to lead the charge forward for the Reds on the break. The Uruguayan had been a livewire throughout the opening period of the game, and having raced to the edge of the Everton box, he picked out Mohamed Salah who steered the ball past Jordan Pickford who was in no-mans-land.

The hosts would double their advantage four minutes into the second half, and again it would come through a devastating counter-attack. Everton surrendered possession inside the Liverpool half, with Cody Gakpo scoring his first goal since his January move to Anfield, tapping home Trent Alexander-Arnold’s cross following a sweeping move.

Following that statement victory over the Gunners last week, Everton were really poor for the vast majority of the 90 minutes at the home of their nearest and most bitter rivals, and Liverpool could have had plenty more had they been at their clinical best.

Speaking after the game, Jurgen Klopp was full of praise for the support his side received from the ‘special’ Anfield faithful, before assessing his side’s performance.

“The atmosphere was outstanding, I am in love with my crowd and what they did tonight, it was special and was extremely helpful – the boys paid it back. It was a real derby and we played a game we wanted to play, not a game Everton wanted to.

“We kept the ball, working the sides and stayed patient. We got in behind their line. I saw a real unit tonight, everyone was really fighting and we scored from two sensational counter-attacks. Tonight we were there and that has to be the sign for us what we have to do. We probably had 70% possession and scored from two counters, that makes it special.

“Last week the first ball came in, deflection and goal. Yes, it was the biggest difference from other games but the performance of the full game was the best for a while. We will take wins when you don’t play well but much better to get three points when you deserve it and today we deserved it.

“A massive relief. You never know when you are going to do it next. Whatever the crowd asked me I would have done except for getting rid of my clothes.

“I really think – and you don’t want to be in difficult situations – the way you behave defines the future. This club has been through worse things but we are the club who can show who can deal with difficult moments. I enjoyed each second of the game.”

Stefan Bajcetic played in a more advanced role in the Liverpool midfield this evening, and the Reds boss was happy with the 18-year-old’s performance.

“I saw a lot of good performances tonight but Stefan showed up,” he said. “We are really happy with him, a top boy, really smart and calm. He played in a new position, at eight, and I asked him afterwards if he liked it and he said yes. It is a nice story.”

Read – Premier League weekend: Five things we learned

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