Everton boss Marco Silva says Liverpool celebrated their December win in the Merseyside derby as if it was a World Cup final.
Jordan Pickford’s error at Anfield allowed title-chasing Liverpool to collect three Premier League points thanks to Divock Origi’s 96th-minute goal.
The strike was celebrated wildly, with Jurgen Klopp earning a charge from the Football Association for running on the pitch to embrace goalkeeper Alisson.
Klopp has subsequently suggested the derby – which Everton have not won in their past 18 attempts – is like “a World Cup final” for the blue half of Liverpool.
But Silva hit back at that claim when he spoke to reporters ahead of the return match at Goodison Park on Sunday.
“For us? It’s a special match for the city and the fans,” Silva told a news conference on Friday. “I didn’t see a big difference. I managed my last derby in December.
“What I felt was a special match for both teams. They celebrated that lucky goal. Like us and for them, they celebrated like a World Cup final.”
Klopp, however, rowed back on his comments at Liverpool’s pre-match news conference ahead of the 200th top-flight derby between the clubs.
“I said a thing a couple of weeks ago when we spoke about the upcoming games,” he said. “Everybody spoke only about Bayern Munich or only about Manchester United. Nobody really spoke about Watford or Everton.
“But they are all important and for us, we are Liverpool, we play against Everton and for us it is like a World Cup final as well. That is how it is. It is not a World Cup final, obviously, but it is a very, very, very important game in the season. Not only because of the situation, but because of the history.”
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— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 28, 2019
Although Everton’s recent record in the derby is atrocious, two of their past three Premier League meetings with Liverpool have been draws.
“If we can perform at the level we did [against Liverpool] in December it will be very good,” Silva added. “That means we will be very close to winning the match.
“It’s a different period of the season but we need to be ourselves. Derbies are really tough matches. Normally it’s not fantastic football from both teams but we have to be really competitive.
“We have to do our best and give 100 per cent. If we can do more it’ll be great.”
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