Jurgen Klopp was full of praise for striker Daniel Sturridge who came off the bench to provide a timely assist to Sadio Mane in injury time to win the derby for Liverpool.
There was plenty of late drama in Jurgen Klopp’s first Merseyside derby at Goodison Park as he watched his Liverpool side battle till the very end and seal a victory right at the death.
Summer signing Sadio Mane had a decent game as he kept threatening the Toffees defenders, but they were up to the task and kept the Senegalese at bay. However, Mane found the perfect opportunity to catch the defence napping as he placed himself in a perfect position to score from a rebound, late into injury time.
Daniel Sturridge appeared to have a go at goal, but his rather weak effort could not be stopped by substitute goalkeeper Joel Robles and the ball ended up hitting the woodwork. Luckily, it was Mane who found himself on the receiving end of the rebound and slotted the ball into an empty net to score the winner in what was his first Merseyside Derby.
After the game, Klopp was ecstatic at his side’s performance, and hailed the impact of super-sub Sturridge. In the post-match press-conference, the Liverpool boss said (via ESPN) “It’s like this, you have Daniel Sturridge on the bench you always think ‘OK, when is the time, when can we bring him? Is he ready for this?
He could make kind of the difference in this moment. They are halfway tired and so when Danny comes in after 70 minutes, it was a real intense game and so then to bring in real fresh legs then, that’s a good thing to do.”
Another talking point in the game was Ross Barkley’s challenge on his compatriot Jordan Henderson. The former went with his studs up into the leg of Henderson, and was lucky to only receive a yellow.
When asked about the incident, Klopp said (via BBC Sport): “I saw it one time. Everything is clear. If you saw it say how it was. I think the referee had a difficult game. Maybe Ross was really lucky and Hendo was really lucky.”
With this win, Liverpool are now back to within six points off leaders Chelsea. The Reds currently sit in second place – a point ahead of Manchester City in third and three clear off Arsenal in fourth position.