Klopp not surprised by Jones' stunning Merseyside derby winner

By Sports Desk January 05, 2020

Jurgen Klopp was keen to share the praise among his young Liverpool charges after the FA Cup victory over Everton and tipped match-winner Curtis Jones for a bright future.

Liverpool boss Klopp named a young team for their Merseyside derby in the FA Cup third round on Sunday.

But the unheralded group, aided by the likes of Adam Lallana and Divock Origi, thrived at Anfield, claiming a 1-0 victory thanks to Jones' sensational 71st-minute strike.

It was the midfielder's first goal for the club and he later told BBC Sport he had grown frustrated by a lack of opportunities under Klopp.

The Reds manager welcomed the 18-year-old's confidence, although he also wanted Jones' team-mates to get some recognition too.

"I love it," Klopp told a news conference of Jones' performance. "But I want to say one thing: everybody will ask about Curtis Jones, but there were so many extremely good performances tonight.

"The goal was exceptional, and the boy's an outstanding player, but I can't understand why nobody so far has asked me about Pedro Chirivella, about Neco Williams, about Yasser Larouci. You have to score, otherwise we ignore you?

"So, let me speak about Curtis - unbelievable player, Scouser, very confident. He can't wait to play in the first team. Good, rightly so. He's in a very good way.

"I've known him three and a half years. He's made big steps and will be a Liverpool player, if nothing strange happens, 100 per cent.

"That he scored this kind of goal, I'm not surprised. He is for these situations. But there's still a lot to learn and a lot to improve.

"But sometimes we forget as well in training - he's 18. Unbelievable.

"In Germany, because it's a different system, he'd still play one year 100 per cent in the youth team and nowhere else. Here, he is around the first team."

Liverpool lost James Milner to injury early on, but Klopp saw that as the only negative on an evening of positives.

"All the rest of the night was absolutely perfect," Klopp said. "It was a sensationally good performance of a not very experienced team.

"For a lot of the players, it was the first time playing on this kind of stage, in front of this crowd, against this opponent. It was outstanding. I loved it. I loved each second of it."

Everton were humbled despite Carlo Ancelotti picking a strong side, and he told Everton TV: "We are disappointed, of course. We are out of this competition. It was important.

"The regret in the first half was that we had clear opportunities to score and we were not able to score. We were a little bit unlucky and not precise.

"The second half was different. We were not able to create opportunities. We went up from the back but we were too slow and had difficulty creating.

"We had a lack of energy and it was there that we lost the game. If we had kept the intensity of the first half in the second, we could have won."

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