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'Not necessary': Klopp shares his half-time message for Liverpool stars against Everton yesterday

Jurgen Klopp told Liverpool players and Andy Robertson in particular to stay away from Everton’s time-wasting tactics in yesterday’s Merseyside Derby.

The Toffees managed to get Liverpool into half-time at 0-0 through a variety of examples what you could only describe as gamesmanship. And speaking to BBC Sport post-game, Klopp told of how he instructed his players not to react.

“There were situations when the players come all together, it was not necessary that we were involved in that,” said the Liverpool boss. “It was something they wanted to do as well, it’s not the first time but we were in there as well.”

Klopp singled out Robertson as being someone who was keen to see cool heads prevail in the dressing room. However, according to the manager, Robbo was one of the key Liverpool players looking to get involved in Everton’s shenanigans.

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“Even Robbo wanted to calm everybody down. I said with your face, you wind everybody up, get away from these kind of things,” said Klopp.

“Aggression yes, emotion yes, but the right kind of ones. I really think we stayed really cool and calm, could make the changes, that helped as well of course.”

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The changes certainly did help. The introductions of Divock Origi and Luis Diaz just after the hour proved to be the catalyst. A change of shape allowed Liverpool to throw more bodies forward and they eventually broke Everton’s resolve.

Robertson rises to the energy of the crowd

As far as Derby’s go, this was a pretty feisty one. After a period of unmitigated Liverpool dominance often leading to a watered-down affair, the bite has returned to these games in recent years.

From an Everton point of view, a lot of that comes from their number 7. Richarlison almost seems to get too up for the battles against Liverpool. Instead of focusing on hurting The Reds with his football, he tends to resort to underhand tactics instead.

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In the first half those tactics looked to be working on an unusually ruffled Liverpool. But after Klopp’s stern words at half-time, the players appeared more focused and less willing to get involved in petty incidents.

The manager’s words also seemed to have had a galvanising affect on Robertson. Liverpool’s left-back is a player who feeds off the kind of energy that these games bring.

It was fitting that it was he who headed home the opener for Liverpool.

Race for the finish

At times it wasn’t pretty, but that was a huge three points for Liverpool as they continue to hang onto Manchester City’s coattails.

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The games against Manchester United and Everton were seen as two real potential banana skins for The Reds. They’ve navigated them both with relative ease, though, racking up six goals without reply over the two games.

And for all the talk of City’s easier run-in, three of the top two’s remaining five league games are against the same opposition.

Klopp’s side are still on the hunt for the quadruple. After dispatching their two biggest rivals this week, next up for Liverpool is a Champions League semi-final at Anfield. What a week.

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