“Tonight we delivered and our people deserved it,” reflected Jürgen Klopp after Liverpool’s 2-0 victory over Everton at Anfield.
The Reds recorded their first Premier League win of 2023 in Monday’s 242nd Merseyside derby courtesy of clinical goals from Mohamed Salah and Cody Gakpo, who got off the mark for the club.At his post-match press conference, Klopp provided his thoughts on the efforts that earned his team three points, hailed the impact of the home supporters and more.Read a summary of the manager’s reaction below…On the victory being a relief and his feelings about the night…Relieved! Yeah, that’s it, that was the main feeling since the final whistle. Happy with the performance. It was necessary that we played tonight the game we wanted to play and not the game Everton wants to play. You cannot avoid that all the time but I think they didn’t have an extremely high number of set-pieces, so with all the aggressiveness you have to show you have to make sure you don’t overdo it because each set-piece is a massive threat and something they want to have, and I thought we did that really well.On top of that, we were super-dominant; switched the sides, played the ball, kept them running. But both goals came from counter-attacks, that’s allowed as well obviously. I loved both goals, loved the involvement of everybody who was around there. For both goals we had three options in the box I think when the pass came in. So, a lot of things were different tonight, so it was the best game for a while and that’s why we won it.
On Stefan Bajcetic’s performance…
Pretty good… and we put him on a new position; you have to ask him actually, I don’t think he ever played the position before. He came here as a kid as a centre-half, played now the six for us in a few games and tonight as an eight and in a lot of moments a double-six, did extremely well. It was quite a good performance, to be honest.
On whether the week’s training gave him confidence Liverpool would deliver a performance like tonight’s…
Yeah, definitely. Actually, we spoke about it three days ago. It’s like when the coaches talk to each other, it’s like, ‘They trained really good today’ and then it’s like, ‘Yeah, but last week it was not bad either!’ You have to start convincing. Today in the meeting I told the boys I knew everybody thought the training was really good – really good – but now we have to bring it on the pitch. It’s still the basis for everything: the better you train, the better you play, usually. The whole week was a lead-up to the game, that’s true as well. We needed this game, we needed the performance. Now we had it, our people absolutely deserved it – I loved the atmosphere, even before we scored. The people were there, it’s insane what kind of atmosphere the people create here. Tonight we delivered and our people deserved it.
On the importance of Gakpo getting his first goal for the club…
A good performance as well. The way he set up the chance for Darwin [Nunez], he had other moments like this where he came out under pressure and then there was a foul and we got a free-kick. He did extremely well under massive pressure in the centre. In the end, it was not the most difficult goal he ever scored, but it is exactly the goal each striker is dreaming of when it didn’t happen for a while, probably. Both goals were, for both players, really important. The next one who could have needed something like that is probably Darwin; the chance he had was a really good one. Anyway, it was obviously Darwin with an insane run for the first goal and a super pass.
We didn’t have these situations too often, to be 100 per cent honest, but if [we did] then it would have been pretty likely that we kicked the ball on the head of Mykolenko. While I was changing, I saw the analysis of Carra [Jamie Carragher] and they spoke like 10 minutes about how this goal could have been defended. In the end, if you hit the head of the defender then that’s it, nothing will happen. It was still a good counter-attack without a goal. This was obviously a very important moment, not conceding in the first chance they had was a very important moment as well. I am not sure how much you can force luck, but if you don’t have it you are screwed! It’s not that we had too much, think about the first goal we conceded against Wolves – we can talk about everything we did not well and stuff like this, but how the ball went in was just like slapstick. Really important tonight, gave us all the signs that was us tonight, definitely, and now we have to make sure we are us from now on.
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