Jurgen Klopp called out Everton pair Jordan Pickford and Anthony Gordon in the aftermath of the Merseyside derby, and dispelled a Liverpool myth regarding their upcoming fixtures.
Liverpool put the pressure back on league leaders Man City after defeating Everton in a feisty Merseyside derby. The Reds were left frustrated at every turn in a first half that saw Everton produce a display Diego Simeone would’ve been proud of.
With the scores still deadlocked around the hour mark, Klopp shuffled his deck when introducing Luis Diaz and Divock Origi to the mix.
That double change would prove an inspired call when Origi teed up Mohamed Salah with his first touch before the Egyptian provided the assist for Andy Robertson’s opener.
Origi then settled the tie late on when heading home an errant – yet acrobatic – Luis Diaz strike.
Speaking to the BBC after the match, Klopp dissected where Liverpool went wrong in the first half when playing straight into Everton’s hands.
The German also called out Jordan Pickford for taking “five minutes” off the clock each time he took a goal kick.
“We didn’t react well” – Klopp
“Thank God the game has two halves,” admitted Klopp.
“We didn’t play particularly well in the first half. They made it uncomfortable but we didn’t get in behind the last line. We didn’t have enough movement.
“We weren’t quick enough. We passed the ball into the area they had nine players. Second half we were much more direct and caused them much more problems. The goals were wonderful.
“We expected it [Everton’s delaying and defensive tactics] but we didn’t react well. It’s difficult. Each ball Jordan Pickford has he takes five minutes so we couldn’t gain rhythm which you need to break down a low block. We expected them to do it.
“The amount of wins we’ve had in recent months is insane. You have to work. The boys did that again. I’m really happy.
“We stayed really cool and calm. The changes helped, Fresh players, different formation. It made it difficult for the opposition. We won 2-0, it’s absolutely fine.”
Klopp on Anthony Gordon penalty appeals
Everton winger Anthony Gordon twice saw appeals for a penalty waved away.
The first saw him carded for simulation after tumbling over Naby Keita’s leg. The second was more contentious after going to ground under pressure from Joel Matip with the pair both running at top speed.
On the penalty claims, Klopp claimed Gordon was lucky not to be dismissed for two acts of simulation.
He continued: “It [the Matip challenge] was clearly no penalty. He’s really good but he’s lucky not to get a second yellow. The first was not a penalty and the second wasn’t.”
Klopp then apologised in advance when admitting the theory that Liverpool will breeze through their remaining games is a myth. Instead, Klopp is expecting more frayed nerves and heightened tension in the Reds’ upcoming fixture list.
“If anybody thinks we fly through these games, I can apologise, it won’t happen,” added Klopp.
“If we can create atmospheres like today it’s difficult to deal with us for 95 minutes.
“Everton did what they had to do. We deserved the three points. With a performance like this I think they can get the points they need.”