Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was left in disbelief by the exploits of Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford in Saturday’s Merseyside derby draw with Everton at Goodison Park.
England’s number one produced a man-of-the-match performance with a tremendous eight saves to keep the scores level and extend Liverpool’s frustrating start to the new Premier League season.
Pickford spectacularly tipped Darwin Nunez‘s effort onto the bar during the end of the first half before thwarting Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino in the second period.
Klopp was also indebted to his own shot-stopper Alisson Becker for keeping out Neal Maupay from close range, but the Reds boss could only stand in awe and applaud Everton’s Pickford.
“It was a real derby, super intense and full of really spectacular moments. They scored a goal – I didn’t see it back but I think it probably was offside. Ali made an excellent save. I think we hit the post three times and there were a few unbelievable saves from Pickford – wow, what can you do?,” Klopp told BT Sport.
“In this game, easy and free-flowing is not possible. You have to dig deep, that’s what we did. A 0-0 draw sounds strange, but that’s it.
“It was a super intense week for us. We had a really tough game that went to the wire [against Newcastle on Wednesday], then a few days later you play here. If you open up with a goal, the situation can look different. I don’t know how many derbies I’ve had now – quite a few – but it’s always difficult here.”
While Pickford needed to be on hand to prevent Liverpool from taking all three points back to Anfield, the Toffees threatened their bitter rivals on numerous occasions in a hotly-contested derby.
A depleted Liverpool midfield struggled to cope with Everton’s explosive pace and power on the counter-attack, and the Reds missed a chance to break into the top four as they sit on nine points from their opening six games.
“The situation we’re in right now is not a dream. It’s good that players are coming back, but we have to make sure we use them in the right manner,” Klopp added when speaking to BBC.
“It feels like we lost two points. The best moments they had were from counter-attacks after we were in their box. Our positioning for the second ball wasn’t great.
“It’s not the start we wanted. Six games and nine points is not exactly a dream, but those are the points we’ve got and let’s go from there. If we get through these moments together we have a chance to create better moments in the future.”
Klopp was also asked for an update on Fabio Carvalho, who was given the nod to start in a depleted Liverpool midfield before being forced off at half time with an injury following a challenge from Amadou Onana.
While Klopp admitted that the former Fulham starlet was in some agony, he is confident that Carvalho has not suffered anything more than a dead leg as he works around numerous absentees.
“It’s not bad. I think it is extremely painful, it is a dead leg on the muscle above the knee and he couldn’t bend the knee anymore. When this muscle swells up, there is no space for anything else,” Klopp added.
“We have to now see how quickly that will settle. You could see he tried, but you could see he couldn’t run properly. We just waited for half-time and then made the change with Bobby.”
Liverpool’s focus now turns to their opening Champions League group-stage clash with Napoli, who welcome the Reds to the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on Wednesday.