Liverpool secured a 3-1 victory over Everton in the much-anticipated Merseyside derby. Jurgen Klopp became the first Liverpool manager to win all his first three games against their city rivals.
Liverpool’s victory maintains them in the running for a top four finish in the Premier League. Klopp’s team took control of the game early on. Sadio Mane scored the game’s opener in only the eight minute. Everton equalized through Matthew Pennington, but this lasted for only three minutes as Philippe Coutinho made it 2-1. Divock Origi put the game beyond any doubt in the second half. It ended 3-1 and cemented Klopp’s reputation as a manager whose teams do very well in important games.
It was Klopp’s third Merseyside derby. The previous two ended in victories, 4-0 and 1-0. Everton’s good recent form could not be translated into a good result on Saturday. They now have 13 consecutive games without a victory over Liverpool, the longest run since the 1970s.
Everton manager Ronald Koeman praised his team’s courage and said they were unlucky not to get more from this game. The Dutch manager also talked about Liverpool’s complaints of Everton playing too aggressively. He believes this is an exaggeration.
“Maybe he deserved two yellows for two tackles but if I watch the bench of Liverpool and one coach on the bench – not the manager – but one of the coaches, it looks like the referee had to show eight red cards to Everton.”
“I felt we controlled the game. It was really a face-to-face game in the first half. We came back to 1-1, and conceded too easily for the 2-1 – everyone knows the quality of Philippe Coutinho and his finish is great.”
“And in the best period of the game after half-time when we controlled the game Liverpool were defending and defending, we had some chances – but we did a mistake and they punished us for that mistake in our ball possession. You need to learn from this, but I am proud of the way we played because that is the way that I like Everton to play,” Koeman told reporters after the game.
Jurgen Klopp was Liverpool’s hero, with fans chanting the manager’s name. The German however says the team needs to guard against complacency. He also said that his players have the duty to remain focused for the entire game, in spite of the result.
“The crowd can do what they want but I thought in this moment, I don’t know why, the game is still five, six minutes to go, so how can they start now singing this?”
“Actually it’s difficult for me to understand and I really think it’s important. For me it’s kind of a sign that we think it’s done and the game is done. It’s done at the final whistle not a minute earlier,” Klopp said.
— Colin Lane (@snapperlane) April 1, 2017
Liverpool are in third place for the moment, ahead of Manchester City’s game away game to Arsenal. Everton remain in seventh place. Both teams will hope to use the remaining eight games of the season to secure a Champions League spotfor next season.