Cody Gakpo registered his first-ever goal for Liverpool, helping his side put aside rivals Everton 2-0 in a dominating display at the home territory of Anfield on Monday to end the four-game losing streak.
Manager Jurgen Klopp promised fans that good times would return to the club if they kept faith ahead of the derby and the Reds surely proved that faith in them was well-placed as they outfought Everton from start to finish.
Everton on the other hand failed to keep up with the momentum that came after downing table-toppers Arsenal in manager Sean Dyche’s first game in charge and remain in the relegation zone with 18 points in 22 games, four wins in 22 matches. Liverpool on the other hand has moved to the ninth position in the table with 32 points and nine wins in 21 matches. Nine points separate the Reds and Newcastle United, who are placed at fourth.
Mo Salah broke the deadlock in the 36th minute, responding well to a cross by Darwin Nunez. Following the break, Gakpo doubled the lead with a close-range strike, putting the game away from the reach of timid Toffees.
Following the match, Klopp told Sky Sports, “Atmosphere was outstanding. I am in love with our crowd – what they did tonight was extremely helpful and the boys paid back.”
“It was a real derby with a difficult opponent but we played the game we wanted to play not the game Everton wanted to play. We kept the ball, switching sides, staying patient, getting behind the line and I saw a real unit tonight where everyone was really fighting.”
“And the goals we scored were two sensational counterattacks. Can you remember the last time we had that many options for the guy starting the counter attack? I cannot.”
“Tonight we were there. That has to be the sign of what we have to do. We had 70 per cent of the ball and we scored two from counterattacks, that is really special,” concluded Klopp.
Everton head coach Sean Dyche told Sky Sports: “There is more to come, I am sure of that. The mentality is good but we have got to play as well. I said to the players at half-time, you want to work, you want to fight but you have got to play as well.
“That next step is to play and be brave with the ball with the ball as well as without it.”
“We have only been here a short time and asked a lot of the players. It is quite a big feel in what we feel is correct, a lot of information given, and it doesn’t just click overnight. Last week we beat Arsenal, and I wasn’t jumping for joy.”
“There is work to be done, there was a sign of that today, but there was no lack of effort or work ethic. It is still tough coming here, they might have had an indifferent time but they are still a good side.”
“The home crowd were amazing [against Arsenal] and we are going to need that mentality away when we cannot fill the stadium, that inner mentality from the team. That grows with the confidence of the side, and on the training pitch with what we want to achieve as a group.”
“We want bravery when we’re not at home. The margins are tight and they were again tonight,” concluded Sean.
Liverpool will next take on Newcastle on February 18 and Everton will lock horns with Leeds on the same date. (ANI)