klopp crisis Jurgen Klopp reveals his agony after derby defeat and expresses Henderson fears
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admitted he felt the pain of the 2-0 home defeat against Everton "deep inside", as his side's desperate slump in form continued at Anfield.
Everton won a Merseyside derby on enemy territory for the first time since 1999 as goals from Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdssonβ secured a famous win, with Liverpool's limp performance throwing up plenty of questions.
Klopp's side now face a real battle to finish in the Premier League top four, with the manager of the outgoing Premier League champions struggling to hide his agony as he summed up a run that has seen Liverpool lose four times at home for the first time since 1923.
"We stand here having lost 2-0. I know how important it is. We feel it deep inside," he admitted.
"It is tough to take, but we conceded this early goal which was completely unnecessary and have to defend it better. We had to chase the game and did it well creative wise, we created some in the first half and even more in the second half but we did not finish our situations off.
"We made one mistake in the first half and they used it. I don't like to talk today about the good stuff because we lose the game and we feel that deeply, I have to use it tomorrow and it is our lifeline to keep going. We have to improve on the finishing stuff and then we will win football games.
"But from tomorrow on I have to use all the good stuff. These good situations are the guarantee that we can change it but the decisive moments we have to change as well.
"The first goal which we have to defend better gave the direction of the game. It was unnecessary. There were plenty of good football moments so we did well from a creative point of view but we had to chase the game and were not clam enough.
"Everton defended deep and full of passion but there were still moments where we were completely free in the box but we didn't finish.
"In the second half we changed formation a little because we wanted to cause them more problems. Immediately we had big chances. Sadio (Mane) twice in the box and Bobby (Firmino) was twice in promising positions, so we had all these moments.
"The penalty was late and wasn't really decisive so we don't have to talk about that too much.
"We could talk about this for an hour in detail and you would realise what you were talking about would be 90% positive but 10% was not and we have to change 10% because it makes the difference result wise."
Captain Jordan Henderson limped out of the game in the first half and Klopp admitted his injury will be assessed after a scan as Kkopp added: "It's in the region of his groin and abductor. It's not good. It's how it is. The rest we will know tomorrow."
Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti toasted his side's famous win with familiar calmness, as he saluted his side's success in unpicking Liverpool's weaknesses and poured praise on much-maligned keeper Jordan Pickford.
"I am very pleased for the club and the supporters," he declared. "I hope for sure that they are going to celebrate tonight. It was a good performance. A lot of fight and spirit. I am really happy.
"We played with two strikers James Rodriguez and Richarlison and we played with Coleman to fix the position of Robertson and four at the back to control Salah, Mane and Firmino.
π΅ πππ πππππππππ. πππ.ππππ. π΅ pic.twitter.com/Nd8oy8T4opβ Everton (@Everton) February 20, 2021
"We wanted to avoid the pressure from Liverpool. We know they press a lot but sometimes we had the opportunity to play. Richarlison is back. He is scoring and is playing with a lot of consistency. He has that quality.
"We have to find more consistency at home and we are working on this. We are fighting for Europe and now we are in a good position. This kind of performance helps to improve the belief of the team.
"Jordan (Pickford) did really well. He accepted the criticism. You have to do that and try to be better and he did it."
Everton's joy rubbed salt into Liverpool's wounds and while their defensive injury crisis has contributed to this fall from grace, the magnitude of their demise has left all in Klopp's squad in a state of shock.
"You know what the derby means for the club, the supporters, the players - it means a lot and the loss is extra painful," said Liverpool midfielder Gini Wijnaldum.
"The first goal we conceded, we tried to keep possession when the long ball came instead of clearing it away. In the first couple of minutes you should take less risk, a pass through the defence and they scored. One more chance after that and we were the better team.
We'll miss you on derby day but it's important to keep yourself, friends, family and the local community safe Γ’ΒΒ€Γ―ΒΈΒβ Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 19, 2021
Thank you for continuing to support us safely, Reds π #StayHome | #StaySafe pic.twitter.com/NBSPobh3dx
"Losing players during the season upset us a lot. We cannot play the victims, we have to deal with the situation and not feel sorry for ourselves. We have to give until the end of the season, it is painful and you could see if on the faces of the players. That is the situation we are in right now and we have to deal with it.
"Winning games in the Premier League is always difficult and the injuries don't make it easier, we still have a squad who can change it around and we have to work harder to change it around."
Read John Aldridge's verdict on the Merseyside derby in this weekend's Sunday World.
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