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    Relieved Klopp felt Liverpool made a ‘statement’ in derby win over Everton

    Jurgen Klopp felt Liverpool made a “statement” in a 2-0 Merseyside derby victory over Everton that provided a “massive relief”.

    The Reds claimed their first Premier League win of the year at the fifth attempt by dominating their relegation-threatened neighbours at Anfield on Monday.

    Mohamed Salah was set up by Darwin Nunez to open the scoring in the first half with his 18th goal of the season, finishing off of a blistering counter-attack 13 seconds after James Tarkowski hit the post at the other end.

    Cody Gakpo’s first Liverpool goal early in the second half doubled the lead and the toothless Toffees were unable to respond, suffering their first defeat under new boss Sean Dyche after starting his reign with a win over leaders Arsenal.

    Klopp was also able to introduce the fit-again Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino as second-half substitutes in his 250th win as Liverpool manager, while Virgil van Dijk was back on the bench after a spell out with a hamstring injury.

    The German hopes his side can now get on a roll after a poor start to the year after they moved up a spot to ninth spot, nine points behind fourth-placed Newcastle United ahead of a trip to St James’ Park on Saturday.

    He told BBC Sport: “It felt like us, it looked like us. The result is massive relief. Tonight everyone starts believing a little bit more again. We have to keep going.

    “The performance was a statement for us that we can do this. We had to play our game and that was pretty much the case for 95 minutes and that’s why deserved the points.

    “To get out of our situation we need performances. I saw the same [swagger] but we have to prove it. We have to carry on.”

    He added: “We were lucky [when Tarkowski hit the post]. Darwin went full throttle. The second goal was a wonderful counter-attack as well. We were so dominant. I don’t know the figures, but it must have been 70 per cent possession.

    “The whole performance was extremely important for us because we needed to make a statement.”

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