Derby is 'special' and Reds are ready

Paris Saint-Germain's Angel di Maria (in white) fouling Liverpool's Sadio Mane during their Champions League clash on Wednesday. James Milner scored the resulting penalty in first-half added time to pull a goal back. It was not enough though, as PSG'
Paris Saint-Germain's Angel di Maria (in white) fouling Liverpool's Sadio Mane during their Champions League clash on Wednesday. James Milner scored the resulting penalty in first-half added time to pull a goal back. It was not enough though, as PSG's quick start ensured a 2-1 win in Paris.PHOTO: REUTERS

Klopp says it's crucial to set 'intensity' from the start to avoid same mistake in loss to PSG

LONDON • If Jurgen Klopp had his way, he would have chosen Paris Saint-Germain as Liverpool's next opponents after the sobering 2-1 defeat by the French giants in the Champions League on Wednesday.

The Reds were far from their best after being outplayed by Neymar and Co, but they have a chance to bounce back immediately with a Merseyside derby against city rivals Everton at Anfield tomorrow.

"We weren't happy with what we did, we weren't happy with what they did. If you would have let us play a game immediately after Wednesday, we would have played. Preferably against the same opponent," said Klopp at his pre-match press conference yesterday.

The German knew what went wrong for the Reds against PSG and he is determined not to repeat the same mistake against Everton.

"In Paris, I was not happy with the start. We have to set the intensity in a game," he said.

Second-placed Liverpool have dominated the derby at all venues in recent years, with Everton winless against the Reds in 17 matches in all competitions since a 2-0 Premier League victory in 2010.

But Klopp insisted that his team do not need to use the PSG loss as extra motivation for the clash.

The 51-year-old said: "We didn't need a defeat in Paris to get us motivated for Everton.

"It's a special game. When you sign a contract for Liverpool, you know 100 per cent your responsibility for these games. Players want to be part of it before they join."

Despite their recent record over their city rivals, he is wary of the threat posed by Marco Silva's side, whom he described as "the best" he has faced since taking over from Brendan Rodgers in 2015.

He added: "Analyse Everton and then tell me (whether) it will be an easy game. It will be a proper fight, but we expect that in the derby. That's how derbies should be.

"Silva has the best Everton squad. He brought in Richarlison, what a player he is. It's the best squad (I've faced), 100 per cent."

Klopp also reacted angrily when quizzed on whether his midfield lacked creativity. He said: "We conceded five goals (in the league) and you say our midfield is over-run? I don't see that. No, I don't see any problems in midfield."

Pressed on whether the likes of Fabinho and Naby Keita were prepared for the intensity of a local derby with Jordan Henderson missing out through suspension, he added: "I really don't get a lot of your questions today. We have to prove we are ready on Sunday."

Meanwhile, Seamus Coleman says in-form Everton - who are sixth with 22 points, 11 behind Liverpool - need to "do their talking on the pitch" tomorrow.

"It (last win over Liverpool) was a long time ago. We need to look forward and we need to give the new players a bit of a taste of what it's like to win one of these games, and the fans as well," he said.

"This is a massive game for our city and we've been on the receiving end too many times."

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LIVERPOOL V EVERTON

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 01, 2018, with the headline 'Derby is 'special' and Reds are ready'. Print Edition | Subscribe