The race for Champions League football might be more important in the grand scheme of things, but after Liverpool extended Everton’s 18-year barren run at Anfield with an emphatic 3-1 win yesterday, you’d be forgiven if you thought that was all that ever mattered. As punters cashed in a well deserved Unibet bonus on the back of the Toffee’s misery, the Reds once again did the double over their closest rivals, securing their spot in the top four for another week in the process.
“These games are always tough and you never quite know what is going to happen. I thought we played pretty well considering,” explained stand-in Liverpool captain James Milner. “It was a good performance after a week in which everyone has been all over the place and we’ve not had long to prepare,” stressed the veteran utility man. “It’s all about the result – giving the fans those bragging rights. We’ve got eight left and we just want to accumulate as many points as can and see where it takes us.”
Overtaking Manchester City in third place for the time being, the Reds go in to the last two months of the season en-route to booking a place in Europe’s premier club competition. A win would have drawn Everton into equation, but it also would have given the likes of Manchester United, who dropped points to West Bromwich Albion yesterday, and Arsenal, who square off with City later today, a march on their rivals. With that being said, regardless of what’s going on in the table, the Merseyside Derby is an event unto itself and its safe to say that no one was considering anything else at Anfield on Saturday.
“Yes, I thought it was deserved. Like always, you have to learn a little bit from the game. We knew about the intensity we needed to be ready for, and I thought we were,” said Reds boss Jurgen Klopp in his post match press conference. “I said to the boys before the game that it needs to be a mixture of being really smart and emotional – not only emotional,” stressed the German manager. “I thought they did really well, controlled it and scored fantastic goals.”