LONDON: Marco Silva has dismissed Jurgen Klopp’s claim that the Merseyside derby is a “World Cup final” for Everton by recalling Liverpool’s wild victory celebrations in their last meeting.
Everton boss Silva was infuriated by Klopp’s inflammatory jibe about Sunday’s showdown at Goodison Park and quick to point out that Klopp must also put a premium on winning the derby judging by the frenzied scenes that followed their last-gasp 1-0 win at Anfield in December.
Divock Origi punished a mistake by Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford by heading home in stoppage time and Klopp got so carried away he sprinted on to the pitch to hug Alisson Becker before celebrating with the rest of the team at the final whistle.
“I didn’t see a big difference. I managed my first Merseyside derby last December and what I felt was a special match for both teams,” said Silva.
“They celebrated that lucky goal — that lucky moment they had in the last seconds of the match — (like it) was the final of a World Cup for us and for them.”
Everton, ninth in the Premier League, have not won any of their past 18 meetings in all competitions against leaders Liverpool, a barren run that stretches back to 2010.
But Silva is confident Everton can put a dent in Liverpool’s bid for a first English title since 1990 if they play with freedom.
“We have to be ourselves, believe in ourselves. Of course it is a long period without a win for us as a football club. It shows us it is a difficult match,” he said.
“If we can perform at the level we did last December, it will be very good.” —AFP