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Koeman refuses to blame players after Derby loss

Manager’s post-game reaction after Everton slip up late

Everton v Liverpool - Premier League
Ronald Koeman
Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Everton conceded a late goal deep in time added on during the Merseyside Derby to lose 1-0 to Liverpool last night.

After the game, manager Ronald Koeman was disappointed with the final result, but commended the effort, especially in the first half.

“It was a cruel way to end. I think we did everything. Of course, you can maybe do several things a little bit better but I can’t complain to my players tonight after what they showed.

“I think we put in a good performance, maybe the first 45 minutes was our best so far. But, of course, the second half was more difficult and we were not as dangerous as we had been.

“You need to have a little bit of luck. There weren’t many big chances in the game and maybe our best was the free header for Ramiro Funes Mori in the first half. If you score that, it’s a different situation.

“It was a tough game for both teams. In the second half they were more comfortable on the ball, they looked more dangerous but they didn’t create open chances. That's a derby. We did everything which is a big compliment to the players."

He went on to add that the injuries to James McCarthy and Maarten Stekelenburg disrupted the game plan in the second half.

"Maybe we had the best of the first 45 minutes and of course the second half was more difficult. We were not so dangerous and it made it more difficult.

"Then with eight minutes extra time, you know, with the substitutions of James McCarthy and the goalkeeper it was difficult.

"The players didn't deserve a defeat tonight. Not the fans either. But we know they are strong.

"The substitutions had a big impact and they were a bit lucky with the goal. We have to accept how difficult the result is."