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Klopp Reflects on a "Wild" First Merseyside Derby

After his first Merseyside derby, Reds' boss Jürgen Klopp broke down his impressions of a passionate if largely one-sided affair.

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

The Merseyside derby has a reputation for bringing the blood and thunder, with players fully aware of the local pride in Liverpool that comes with a victory. Wednesday's match was no exception, unfortunately, with Divock Origi injured from a rash challenge by Ramiro Funes Mori in the second half. Despite that setback, though, the Reds had full control, cruising to an easy 4-0 victory on the night.

"The first half, it was a derby so it was a little bit too wild for a normal football game," was manager Jürgen Klopp's take on the night's performance. "It’s a derby, so you have to accept it, and it’s not about a passing game or things like this. We had the moments where we passed and could have done better, but we lost a little bit of patience in our own moments.

"We are in a good moment, we played football, we created chances and we could have scored a few more. We did well, but usually after a 4-0 I don’t know how to keep my smile off my face, but today it is pretty easy to be honest [after the injury to Origi]."

The team's "good moment" has seen Liverpool knock an in-form Borussia Dortmund out of the Europa League, advance to the semi-finals of that competition, and score four goals in each of their last three home games. And that good moment certainly continued on Thursday against Everton.

By the second half of the match it was smooth sailing for the home side, at least outside of Funes Mori's awful red card tackle on Divock Origi shortly after the restart. Already up two goals and dominant in the run of play, they then went on to score two more goals, one from substitute Daniel Sturridge, and the other, a Philippe Coutinho thunderbolt special from outside the box that could in the end go to Sturridge given the ball brushed him on the way to the back of the goal.

"Second half, what can I say?" was Klopp's response when asked about his side's dominant forty-five minutes. "It changed completely with the red card, and of course when Stones had to come off it was then really not easy for Everton.

"We had a good moment, we created chances, we could have scored much more. To be honest, I could sit here and say it was really difficult but in the second half it wasn't. It was really difficult for Everton; injuries, red card, good opponent. We did well. For the crowd it was maybe not as easy. There was no real fight any more.

"They enjoyed the game, they had fun. Phil could try three times, Daniel tried, we enjoyed the situation when Adam, Alberto, and Phil had a little bit of fun on the sideline and gave the ball to Lucas, who destroyed this wonderful moment.

"But that's not usual. There have been a lot of more intensive derbies for sure, and there will be more to come. But that's how it is. What happened today is not really normal."

Normal or not, Liverpool fans probably wouldn't mind this sort of blowout of their nearest rivals happening a few more times, and considering the last three games against Everton have ended in stalemates, tonight's victory is one to savor.

James Milner, Liverpool's acting captain, put in a man of the match performance, setting up the team's first two goals with two pinpoint crosses to the heads of Divock Origi and Mamadou Sakho. Add that to his tally of two assists against Dortmund and two against Stoke, and Liverpool have a player who seems to be peaking right as the team needs him most.

"If you asked him tomorrow morning he would say 'yeah, I can train if you want!'" Klopp said about the England midfielder's excellent performance. "He's a good player. He brings spirit, he's a nice guy. Really, with all respect, I could speak for an hour-and-a-half about Milly."

With so many strong performances recently, and with Newcastle and then Villarreal still to come next week, Klopp was also asked about the team's consistency and whether he felt that they could continue their good run of form.

"What is consistency?" he asked philosophically. "You need luck with injuries. We have still played the most games in Europe. Consistency is about having players ready for the next game. If you look back, you can say 'ok, it's only 1.8 or 1.9 points per game' or something like this, but we have so many games.

"Imagine we were still in the FA Cup! I can't see a day where we could play – maybe in June or something! That's our situation. We have been longer together, working together, and we can do more things. We have always been positive and knew about the difficulties of the situation. We have 54 points, not bad, with 15 to get.

"All the games are difficult with challenges. Consistency comes with working together. The last thing in football that everybody wants to do is to wait, but that's the only way I know, to work and to wait, sorry. We have shown different parts to our performances. We are not only a pressing and counterpressing team, we can be possession team too. We can bring it together. We are not finished yet, but we need players."

On the upcoming game against Rafa Benitez' Newcastle, Klopp was cautious: "It is like it is, we have to take it, see what happens and in three days we have the next game – a real battle. I saw Newcastle yesterday and they played very physically, it was a little bit like a derby [against Manchester City]. They will fight for the league and we have to respect this, so we will have to see who we can bring in."

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