Pickford apologises to Everton fans for ‘freak’ Liverpool goal
Klopp says he apologised to the Everton manager for his wild reaction to Origi’s winner – a claim denied by Silva
Liverpool’s Divock Origi about to score his dramatic winner against Everton’s Jordan Pickford at Anfield. Photograph: Reuters/Phil Noble
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.”
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.”