Pick ford a po log is es to Ever ton fans for‘ freak’ goal

Klopp says he apol­o­gised for his wild re­ac­tion to the win­ner – a claim de­nied by Silva

The Irish Times - Monday - Sport - - Front Page - Andy Hunter at An­field

Jor­dan Pick­ford apol­o­gised to Ever­ton fans for the “freak in­ci­dent” that gifted Liver­pool vic­tory in the 96th minute of the Mersey­side derby and sent Jür­gen Klopp sprint­ing across the An­field pitch in cel­e­bra­tion.

Klopp said he apol­o­gised to Marco Silva for his wild re­ac­tion to Divock Origi’s dra­matic win­ner – a claim de­nied by the Ever­ton man­ager – af­ter the Eng­land goal­keeper turned Vir­gil van Dijk’s mis­cued vol­ley back into play via his cross­bar and on to the Bel­gium in­ter­na­tional’s head to score.

A close-fought derby had seemed des­tined for a draw un­til Pick­ford’s er­ror al­lowed Liver­pool to re­turn to two points be­hind lead­ers Manch­ester City.

Ever­ton’s goal­keeper was dev­as­tated, but in­sisted he would re­act pos­i­tively. “I think it is the Ever­ton luck when we come to An­field,” said Pick­ford. “It was a freak one, re­ally. It had hit the bar twice and I tried to flick it over. The ball spun and as I tried to flick it over, my hand hit the bar. It’s un­for­tu­nate but I am strong men­tally.

“I just want to say sorry to the Ever­ton fans. I think you could see our pro­gres­sion as a group, the chances we cre­ated, and the foot­ball we played. That’s a pos­i­tive, but what can I do? There is al­ways a case as a goal­keeper if you make an er­ror it will lead to a goal. Un­for­tu­nately it has been me to­day, but I will be ready for New­cas­tle on Wed­nes­day.

“We know we held our own against a good Liver­pool side for 96 min­utes. I will say sorry to the Ever­ton fans again be­cause I know how much it means to them. As play­ers we know how much it means to us. You make mis­takes ev­ery now and again. It’s not some­thing you can learn and train and get bet­ter from. It’s just a freak in­ci­dent.”

Re­spect

Liver­pool’s man­ager sprinted across the pitch to em­brace Alis­son af­ter his free-kick to Trent Alexan­der-Arnold led to the win­ning goal.

“Im­me­di­ately af­ter the game I apol­o­gised to Marco Silva when we spoke to each other,” said Klopp.

“I told him how much I re­spect his work, be­cause it’s in­cred­i­ble what he has done with that team. They are a re­ally out­stand­ing side.

“Der­bies are al­ways dif­fi­cult games, but this was com­pletely dif­fer­ent to the last few years. What can I say about it? I didn’t want to run. It was not in my plan. I didn’t want to run to Ali, I couldn’t stop ob­vi­ously. Not cool, but it hap­pened.

“The more im­por­tant things hap­pened dur­ing the 95 min­utes. Again, all my re­spect for Ever­ton, re­ally good. Both teams de­liv­ered a proper fight, a proper derby from the first sec­ond.”

How­ever, Silva, who de­scribed Liver­pool as “lucky, lucky, lucky”, re­jected Klopp’s claim about the apol­ogy.

“He didn’t apol­o­gise to me,” said the Ever­ton man­ager. “To be hon­est I didn’t see it, I don’t know what he [Klopp] did. I don’t think he ex­pected any­thing like that ei­ther.

“It was a lucky way to win, but that’s foot­ball. I don’t say it was a lack of re­spect be­cause I didn’t see it. Maybe when I see that mo­ment I can say more about the sit­u­a­tion.”

Against the bar

The goal came when Pick­ford at­tempted to tip a sliced ef­fort from Van Dijk over, only to send the ball bounc­ing against the bar and to­wards Origi.

Silva said when asked about the Eng­land goal­keeper, who had done well to deny Xher­dan Shaqiri in the first half: “What I told him will stay be­tween us. What I can tell you. Like we started the match all to­gether, like we have been work­ing since the first day all to­gether, we fin­ish the match all to­gether.

“He did re­ally well un­til that mo­ment, and it is some­thing no one ex­pected. It is easy to un­der­stand how the sta­dium cel­e­brated the goal in the last minute.”

He added: “I know the main thing in foot­ball is al­ways the re­sult, but I can tell you I am proud of our play­ers. I think it is clear for ev­ery­one we didn’t de­serve [Origi’s goal] and it was a lucky, lucky, lucky day for Liver­pool.”

– Guardian/PA

PHO­TO­GRAPH: PHIL NO­BLE/REUTERS

Ever­ton goal­keeper Jor­dan Pick­ford scram­bles back as Divock Origi keeps a close eye on the ball be­fore pounc­ing to score the late, late win­ner for Liver­pool in the Mersey­side derby at An­field yes­ter­day.

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