Football

Klopp: We couldn't cope with Everton's wild football

Klopp relieved as Reds emerge unscathed

Tackles came flying in and tempers frayed.

It was exactly what you would expect from a Merseyside Derby and, in the words of Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp, his side handled "wild football" dished out by Everton.

The Reds eventually ground out a dramatic 1-0 win yesterday morning (Singapore time), thanks to an injury-time winner by Sadio Mane, as Liverpool moved into second place in the league table.

Klopp told Sky Sports: I can't remember one chance for Everton. The plan of Everton was wild football. They were chasing us everywhere, it is really difficult to play against this.

"We couldn't handle it at first. We will be better at reacting against this in a few months.

"We were much better in the second half, we could have scored earlier but actually I don't care."

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson added that they had expected their arch-rivals to come snapping at their heels from the get-go.

He said: "It was a bit hectic and a bit wild. We dealt with it well. We knew Everton would come at us from the off."

Until Mane struck home a rebound from Daniel Sturridge's 94th-minute shot, the game's main talking point had been Ross Barkley escaping a red card after a high stamp, above the ankle of his England colleague, Henderson.

"I thought it was a harsh challenge," said Klopp.

"You all saw it, I don't have to say anything about it. I think Ross is lucky and Hendo is lucky too that nothing else happened."

I think Ross is lucky and Hendo is lucky too that nothing else happened.Liverpool boss Juergen Klopp, on a harsh tackle by Everton’s Ross Barkley on Jordan Henderson

Everton manager Ronald Koeman agreed Barkley could have been dismissed by referee Mike Dean.

However, as Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren was involved in a shoving match following the incident, Koeman believes the opposition player might have been dismissed, having already been booked.

"It was a tough tackle, maybe it's a red," he said. "But what happened after this is not a fair decision from the referee.

"Maybe it's a red for Barkley but, there was a reaction from several players but it was started by Lovren.

"He already had a yellow and the referee gave a yellow to (Seamus) Coleman and nobody else. If you're straight, you give Lovren his second yellow, Coleman a yellow and maybe a red card."

At least Barkley's England teammate Henderson suffered no ill effects from the challenge and believes his friend does not have any ill intent.

"I think it was pretty late but I know Ross well and he's a good lad. I'm good friends with him," said Henderson.

"He mistimed the tackle and after the game he apologised.

"It was a little bit late, but thankfully I'm alright and walking around.

"It was just mistimed and you're going to get them in derby games.

"When you're on the pitch, you give 100 per cent to win the game and after the game you shake hands and move on."

Klopp, missing the injured Joel Matip and starting with Simon Mignolet in goal, would also have been delighted at his side's fourth clean sheet in six games.

Former England defender Gary Neville, who annoyed Klopp by criticising goalkeeper Loris Karius earlier this month, hailed centre back Lovren.

He told Sky Sports: "He was absolutely outstanding.

"The way he defended, and won aerial battles, he was the outstanding defender no doubt." - WIRE SERVICES

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