Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is hopeful that his team can use their humiliating defeat to Aston Villa as motivation to bounce back against cross-town rivals Everton in Saturday’s Merseyside Derby.
After a season that saw almost everything go their way, Liverpool’s stunning 7-2 defeat to Villa was a huge moment as the Anfield club attempts to retain their Premier League title.
Such has been the change in fortunes since last season, it’s the city of Liverpool’s blue club that currently tops the Premier League table, as Everton lead the way with a 100 percent record after four games. Liverpool sit just one win behind, in fifth.
That one slip came in an incredible collapse against Villa, and ahead of Saturday’s Merseyside Derby with Everton, Klopp said he hopes the pain and humiliation of that defeat will ensure his team plays with more intensity to avoid another morale-sapping defeat to their local rivals.
“Maybe after all the positive things that happened to us, it needed a proper knock in the middle of our face to shake us through,” Klopp told reporters on Friday.
“That’s the way I take it. There’s no other reason why 7-2 should be good. If it was for that, it could have been the most important game of the season, so that’s why we try to use it and we’ll see.
“The challenge in this situation is that you don’t want the players to be affected or influenced in the next game. You want a confident team. You don’t want a team that looks like it’s got heads down, but you don’t want to forget the game as well.”
Everton may have started better than Liverpool so far, but their record against the Reds has not been good. Indeed, “The Toffeemen” haven’t beaten Liverpool in the Merseyside Derby in exactly 10 years, but Carlo Ancelotti has molded a talented, well-organized side that has made an excellent start to the campaign.
Klopp said his side will be well-prepared and highly motivated ahead of their lunchtime clash at Goodison Park.
“The perfect shape that maybe Everton were in before the international break is not automatically there and the problems we had at Villa aren’t automatically there,” he said.
“We’re a team that people don’t like to play against, whoever they are. It will be the same for Everton.”