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Silva responds to Klopp’s Everton jibe

Liverpool manager labelled Sunday’s Merseyside Derby a ‘World Cup final’ for the Blues

Cardiff City v Everton FC - Premier League
Silva’s Everton won 3-0 at Cardiff City on Tuesday
Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Everton manager Marco Silva has reacted to Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp’s comment on Sunday’s Merseyside Derby being a ‘World Cup final’ to the Blues.

Klopp, whose side top the Premier League by one point, made the remark last weekend ahead of this weekend’s Goodison Park fixture.

But Silva, speaking at Friday’s pre-match press conference, said the German’s over-zealous celebration to Divock Origi’s fortuitous late derby winner in December showed that both clubs are in the same boat:

“It’s a special game for both teams, for the city. For our fans, it’s a special match; for their fans, also. I don’t see a big difference.

“I managed my first Merseyside Derby last December and I felt it was a special match for both teams. They celebrated that lucky goal in the last seconds of the match like it was a World Cup final to them.”

Liverpool FC v Everton FC - Premier League
Klopp ran on to the pitch for Liverpool’s derby winner in December
Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Sunday’s derby will be Everton’s latest attempt to end a nine-year derby hoodoo over their neighbours, having failed to record a victory over Liverpool in the last 18 meetings.

But Silva added he takes great encouragement from the Toffees’ commendable showing at Anfield in the reverse fixture, saying that the Blues have every chance of a result if they can replicate that performance:

“We have to believe in ourselves. It’s a long time without a win for us; that shows it’s a difficult match. If we can perform in the level we performed at in December, we will be very good. In that type of performance, we are always closer to winning the match. In that match, we deserved something more.

“Derbies are normally a really tough match. Normally, it’s not fantastic football from both teams, but we have to be really competitive, keep our focus all the time, play better than them if we can, and do our best.”

Everton ended a run of three straight consecutive league defeats on Tuesday by dispatching Cardiff City 3-0 in south Wales.

And while Silva admitted the result has had a hugely positive impact on morale, the Portuguese manager wants to leave that game behind and focus entirely on the Reds’ trip across Stanley Park:

“We achieved a good result, a good performance also, more in the second half. Of course, we are happy with that.

“But that finished on Tuesday night. We only achieved three points. Now we are preparing for another game, but of course, the faces and the moods of the players are different.”

Central defender Phil Jagielka and midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin were surprise inclusions in the win over the Bluebirds, having previously made just 11 appearances between them this season.

Cardiff City v Everton FC - Premier League
Schneiderlin delivered a solid showing at the Cardiff City Stadium
Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

After the pair each put in credible individual performances, Silva was asked if he now faces a selection dilemma ahead of the derby:

“It’s normal that I have this headache to pick the starting XI. It’s not just because we won the match. When I take these decisions, I’m always thinking what the best solution for us as a team will be.

“In each game, we have a plan and a strategy, and it’s up to me to decide the players who fit that type of situation better.”