Jurgen Klopp shares surprise at 'over the top' Everton and Liverpool reaction he wants

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp addresses his players on the touchline
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp addresses his players on the touchline -Credit:Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

Jurgen Klopp has urged his Liverpool players to keep their cool in the heat of derby battle as they prepare for a Goodison inferno this evening.

The Reds make the short journey across Stanley Park for the 244th Merseyside scrap against Everton aiming for their 100th victory in the fixture to maintain their chase for the Premier League title.

Klopp recently expressed his surprise at the ferocity of derbies earlier in his Anfield tenure, with his first game against the Blues in April 2016 seeing Everton defender Ramires Funes Mori sent off for a foul that injured Divock Origi.

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And in October 2020, both Virgil van Dijk and Thiago Alcantara were ruled out for lengthy periods after challenges from Jordan Pickford and Richarlison respectively, the latter receiving a red card.

But although Ashley Young was dismissed for two bookable in Liverpool's 2-0 win over Everton at Anfield earlier this season, Klopp believes the fixture - which has seen a record 23 red cards in Premier League history - has benefited from losing some of its physicality and has outlined the importance of his team keeping 11 players on the pitch, with Sotirios Kyrgiakos the last Reds player sent off in a derby in February 2010.

Asked if the derby was the most physical game of the season, Klopp said: "It used to be. At the beginning I remember I showed the players videos of (Jamie) Carragher in the derby and Stevie (Gerrard) where he got red cards. I love one, and respect the other a lot.

"That's what the people expect, that if you get a red card against Everton it's fine. It's not, it's absolutely not because we want to win the game, and it's the only reason why we go there.

"At the beginning there were a few situations where I thought it was over the top. Since then it has become a bit settled and I hope it stays like this because it should. At the beginning I thought 'wow, that's what they are allowed to do?!?' and I didn't get that. But I had to learn all these things over the years, obviously.

"Everything that makes it a really special football game with all ups and downs in a game and good and bad and stuff like that, I'm fully in for it. When it goes over the top, I'm absolutely not. That's how it is. Let's see."

Klopp is expected to again rotate his resources with the game the third of four away matches inside 10 days for Liverpool. Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez, Alexis Mac Allister, Curtis Jones, Ibrahima Konate and Dominik Szoboszlai are all pressing for a recall, although Diogo Jota - who scored on his first start in more than two months in Sunday's 3-1 win at Fulham - is out for a fortnight.

Jota's goal was the first in open play by a Liverpool striker in more than four games, and Klopp has detailed attempts to cajole the forwards back into goalscoring form.

"We try all the time and do things in training, we do all these kind of things," he said. "It's not they aren't able to do it anymore. With strikers it's always like this. You always go through difficult patches. It always was like that. At the moment when the knot opens again it looks completely different again. Until then, we have just to create as many as we can."