I let my heart rule my head but Liverpool know how to really beat Everton

Beto of Everton challenges Mohamed Salah of Liverpool during the last Merseyside Derby at Anfield on October 21, 2023

Liverpool know the key to derby success

The Merseyside derby is upon this week but for Liverpool, they have to view it as just another game.

With Jurgen Klopp's side basically needing to win all their remaining five to have a chance of winning the Premier League, taking their eye off the prize now could be fatal, so the derby is simply another day at the office.

You don't get four points for it anyway, do you? And, look, of course Everton will see it as a chance to aid their own fight against relegation - and dent title hopes for Liverpool - but you have to expect that in this fixture.

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We all know Liverpool have the superior quality and if they can match Everton's desire and hunger to win the game then they should win. But if they play like they did against Crystal Palace then they could come unstuck. If there is a more measured, calm level of finishing like Fulham they should have too much.

The mindset shouldn't change just because it is a derby and they shouldn't get panicky like they did at Manchester United just because of who it is they are playing. They are both the biggest rivals and have been for donkeys' years but it is all about keeping your composure now.

I played on derbies and look, I let my heart rule my head at times and was found chasing the ball like a headless chicken, trying to get stuck and into battles with centre-halves, but that is the way it was.

What I would say though is Liverpool have to win their personal battles. Against Atalanta the players didn't do enough of that and they were found wanting as a result. They have to make sure they win those battles against Everton. It means a little bit more, of course, but they cannot let their heart rule their heads. It's about being clinical.

Gravenberch must now kick on

I think with Ryan Gravenberch barely featuring for Bayern Munich for a season has had a delayed impact on his development at Liverpool.

When he came in initially he was hitting the right notes in the Reds' midfield but then went a little bit backwards as the season wore on.

He is only 21 years of age though and that can happen to a young player moving to a new country, different league and set of circumstances and demands.

He needs to keep working at his game and doing what the manager is asking of him because there is undoubtedly a player in there and he showed that at times on Sunday, not least with the goal he scored, which was a terrific finish.

Maybe he just needs to get settled into the Premier League a bit more with minutes because it is very different to the Bundesliga and while that might take a little bit more time, he has shown there is talent there. Now he just has to work his way into the team and he can keep his place.