EPL

Jurgen Klopp insists winning is all that matters ahead of final Merseyside derby

By Sports Desk April 23, 2024

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp accepts results are all that matter at this stage of the season as he looks to end his final Merseyside derby with a rare victory at Goodison Park.

Klopp has lost just one of 18 matches against the Toffees – the behind-closed-doors game at Anfield in February 2021 – but across Stanley Park his record is just two wins and five draws.

He was surprised by some of the reaction to Sunday’s 3-1 win at Fulham, which attracted criticism for not being the most fluent, but insists winning was the main objective, with no margin for error in a title race in which they are currently third favourites.

“I know this is the last part of the season: it is not about playing the freshest football of the whole year – that would be strange if that works out with the schedule all the teams have,” said Klopp, who will be without Diogo Jota for at least a fortnight after the forward injured himself scoring at Craven Cottage.

“But you have to win games and I think we know how to do that and we have to make sure everybody understands the way we want to try (on Wednesday).

“I wouldn’t say it was straightforward but until two weeks ago everything was probably better than anyone would have expected.

“Then you have this week (losing to Atalanta and Crystal Palace) when the performances were not as bad as the results felt afterwards.

“And then it is like, ‘Why don’t you score enough? If you look at our numbers, yes, there are two teams who have scored more than us (Arsenal and Manchester City) but it is not like there are two teams who scored 50 goals more than us.

“It is always about how you can get the right feeling again for the situation and the next game and we usually do that. I am really happy now with the response.”

Liverpool’s disappointing run of games at Goodison stretches beyond Klopp’s arrival in 2015, with nine of the last 11 encounters ending in draws.

Klopp’s five draws are more than at any other away ground, but that has to change on Wednesday night if they are to maintain the pressure on Arsenal and Manchester City.

“I don’t know exactly when my first derby was, 2016, but when I (first) came here it would not be honest if I said that is my game of the year. It wasn’t, I knew how important it was for the people, but didn’t feel it then.

“Now I know it and feel it. My understanding developed over the years. They are always difficult games, especially there, but it is not too important, what we had in the past.”

Losing Jota will not help in unlocking what is likely to be a determined Everton defence, especially as Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez and Luis Diaz have all looked below their best in recent weeks.

“Unfortunately Diogo scored the goal, felt a little bit and now we found out it’s a little bit more so he will be out for two weeks,” said Klopp, who revealed Jota had complained of a hip problem in the last couple of weeks.

“It’s a small one but we are late in the season, so obviously now it’s not a great moment for each injury pretty much.

“When I say two weeks, actually really it’s pretty much nothing but enough to not be available.”

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    MATCH PREDICTION: ST. LOUIS CITY WIN

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    OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

    St. Louis City – 44.8%

    Draw – 27%

    Seattle Sounders – 28.2%

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