Liverpool have had a 2022-23 season well short of expectations, and 2023 to date has been especially difficult, with Jürgen Klopp’s Red heading into the derby against Everton having drawn one and lost three while scoring just a single goal in league play.
Meanwhile, expectations were on the rise for an Everton side that might have been in the relegation places but that had appeared much revitalised by the arrival of new manager Sean Dyche in a 1-0 victory over league leaders Arsenal the week before.
In the end, though, it was Liverpool who were the better side. Whether that was down to the Reds’ own improvements or to Everton’s failings will only be answered in the coming weeks, but on the night it was hard to argue Klopp’s Reds didn’t fully deserve the win.
“We played tonight the game we wanted to play and not the game Everton wants to play,” Klopp said following Monday night’s 2-0 victory over their local rivals. “On top of that, we were super-dominant—switched sides, played the ball, kept them running.
“I loved both goals, loved the involvement of everybody who was around there. For both goals we had three options in the box I think when the pass came in. So, a lot of things were different tonight, so it was the best game for a while and that’s why we won it.”
The Liverpool manager had felt hopeful heading into the match thanks to a good week of training—and a rare nine day break between matches in a season that has seen them playing two games most weeks—but then he admitted he’s felt that way before.
“It’s like when the coaches talk to each other,” Klopp added. “It’s like, ‘They trained really good today,’ and then it’s like, ‘Yeah, but last week it was not bad either!’ Everybody thought the training was really good–really good–but now we have to bring it on the pitch.
“We needed this game, we needed the performance. Now we had it, our people absolutely deserved it–I loved the atmosphere, even before we scored. The people were there, it’s insane what kind of atmosphere the people create here. Tonight we delivered.”