Ancelotti: Everton not good enough

Everton’s winless run at Anfield stoops to agonising new low as Liverpool’s youngsters dump first-choice Toffees team out of FA Cup

Last Updated: 05/01/20 8:59pm

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Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti says Liverpool fielding a severely weakened side ‘didn’t affect’ his team in their FA Cup third-round defeat on Sunday.
Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti says Liverpool fielding a severely weakened side ‘didn’t affect’ his team in their FA Cup third-round defeat on Sunday.

Carlo Ancelotti revealed he broke his usual habit and confronted his Everton players immediately after their performance at Anfield which he described as “not good enough”.

The Toffees’ winless run at Anfield extending back to 1999 was extended after Liverpool 18-year-old Curtis Jones scored a brilliant winner in the 1-0 FA Cup third-round victory.

If Everton were ever going to end their drought this was a game for them to do it as Jurgen Klopp made nine changes, fielding a side with two debutants, while a third played 81 minutes after injury to James Milner.

However, the virtually full-strength visitors squandered four good opportunities in the first half and never recovered from not taking any of them.

“I am not used to speaking to the players after the game, but I am going to speak to them about this,” said Ancelotti after slipping to back-to-back defeat for the first time as Everton boss.

“I think in the second half we were not able to keep the right ideas on the pitch as we did in the first half, when we had (the) opportunity to score.

“The fact we didn’t score in the first half affected the performance in the second half, which was not good enough.”

Richarlison drew one of three first-half saves from Liverpool goalkeeper Adrian
Richarlison drew one of three first-half saves from Liverpool goalkeeper Adrian

It was suggested to Ancelotti that the players had a mental block when it came to games at Anfield, such is their record at the ground, and that they had missed their best chance to win there with Liverpool fielding an under-strength team.

“The line-up of Liverpool didn’t affect our idea,” he added. “It was to play a good game. We knew Liverpool would put fresh players in and the intensity could be high.

“The defeat arrived because we were not able to keep a high intensity in the second (half). We lost energy and confidence.”

After a performance which former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher described as the worst derby display at Anfield in 35 years, the situation Ancelotti has inherited was laid bare to him and it is something he hopes to address in the transfer window.

“We are going to speak all together and find a solution to try to improve the team,” he said.

Klopp selection comes up trumps

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was understandably delighted after his calculated gamble of giving the majority of his first-team stars the day off paid dividends.

“I saw a sensationally good performance from a not-very-experienced team, with a lot of players for the first time playing on this stage in front of this crowd and this type of opponent,” he said.

“It was outstanding. I loved each second of the game. We never take it (the cup) for granted. I would love to see a few people and ask them what they thought about the line-up, and all these bad things about me and the FA Cup and no respect.”

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Jurgen Klopp says Takumi Minamino showed he is ‘exactly the player’ Liverpool wanted after the midfielder made his debut in Sunday’s FA Cup win over Everton.
Jurgen Klopp says Takumi Minamino showed he is ‘exactly the player’ Liverpool wanted after the midfielder made his debut in Sunday’s FA Cup win over Everton.

Klopp on Jones’ sensational strike

Of Jones’ goal, the German replied: “It was an absolutely sensational goal, I love it. An unbelievable player, Scouser, very confident, can’t wait to play in the first team. And rightly so. He is in a very good way.

“He has made big steps, he will be a Liverpool player if nothing strange happens – 100 per cent. I’m not surprised he scored that kind of goal.

“He has still things to learn and improve, but you sometimes forget, and we forget it in training, that he is only 18. Unbelievable.”

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Source : Sky Sports