Our win at Anfield on Saturday was absolutely massive. As players, as fans, this is the one you want to win when you look at the fixtures at the start of the season.
It’s always tough going there but we had belief we could do it. I thought, to a man, we were outstanding, defended really well and took our chances when we got them. We’re just really happy that during these tough times we can make our fans so happy.
A lot of us have experience of playing against Liverpool so on the morning of the game the manager asked, ‘What have you learned from the past and how do we want to approach this?’
We knew what to expect. They are a great team but if you defend well, track runners and work really hard, then you can frustrate them. There’s space to hit them on the counter-attack and I thought we took advantage of that.
Before the game, we discussed tactical aspects like our centre-halves not getting sucked in; when Firmino drops, to look for Salah and Mane in behind – little things like that. We knew they like to press high so we looked at how we would play through that, how we would cope with it. I’m glad it worked really well for us.
At full-time, it was unbelievable to be part of scenes like we enjoyed. It had been so long for us winning at Anfield and to see what it meant to the likes of Seamus and Dunc, how emotional they got, it just lets you know what a derby win means.
Also, a word for Jordan. I thought he was outstanding. His save from Henderson in the first half was superb and I thought the shot was going in. Jordan got across so quick and then did so well again against Salah in the second half with another unbelievable save. He’s massively played his part but we’ve always known how good he is.
He’s shown how mentally resilient he is and how good he is and we’re really lucky to have someone like him.
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ANCELOTTI ON WHAT ANFIELD WIN MEANS FOR EVERTON
I was pleased with my display, too, and it meant a lot to be named man of the match for a special win like this.
I thought I got in a lot of good positions for interceptions and heading balls away. I think that’s something that comes with experience and organising people around you so you know where to expect the ball to come. The whole back four, midfield and front players were excellent defensively and we’re really happy with a clean sheet.
Off the ball we played four at the back and then when we had the ball we were three at the back. Trying to play forward, we knew we could get the ball out wide and get space. James was a striker but dropped deep to get on the ball. You’ve seen with the first goal what he can do and the qualities he brings and Richarlison finished it off brilliantly.
The victory can be important for us. We’ve definitely shown progress and made big strides this year, that’s clear for everyone to see.
The players we’ve brought in, the mentality, the style of football we’re playing. There’s no doubt Liverpool are still a brilliant team – we obviously want to finish above them and if we do that will mean we’ll be in a good position. We’ll do everything we can to make sure that happens.
⛔️ | Just the 1️⃣3️⃣ clearances from this guy last night. 🤯— Everton (@Everton) February 21, 2021
Magnet Keane. 🧲 pic.twitter.com/SxQ05Tj2VG