The scene for this week’s Merseyside Derby at Goodison Park was ominous. Liverpool FC has been scoring goals for fun, and Everton was on their best run of form in years. As many on the blue half of Merseyside were fearing, Liverpool put Everton to the sword, running out as rare victors at Goodison Park, and with no broken limbs for a change.
Speaking to the club’s official media after the game, manager Jürgen Klopp was of course, ecstatic:
It was, for sure, the best performance we’ve shown since I’m at Liverpool at Goodison. We had some good games here, but we were never as good as tonight. We were never as calm as tonight, we were never as convinced as tonight and that’s why we won the game and I am really happy about that.
He also praised the “anger” of his team. Liverpool have always been an emotional team, and they’ve managed to channel that in a mature way:
The two derbies for us against Everton and United are big games and you have to learn to keep yourself calm and together, if you want, to play your best football. To be 100 per cent honest, when I look back there was not one derby at Goodison where I thought, ‘Wow, that was a great game, nearly perfect’, so there is a lot of space for improvement. I wanted us today to be really mature and, yes, very aggressive but in a football way, angry as well but in a football way. So in the situation when you can get balls back, when you have counter-pressing situations, you cannot do that without a bit of anger and a bit of greed and all these kind of things, so you need that. But then there are moments when you just have to move and pass the ball around their formation or through their formation, and for that you need a different mindset – and that’s what we had tonight.
It’s December and Liverpool look well and ready to make their yearly push for a title charge. As for Everton, Merry Christmas.