Seamus Coleman called on Everton to use their long-awaited Merseyside derby win to propel themselves in the challenge for Europe after Carlo Ancelotti’s team claimed a 2-0 victory at Anfield.
Premier League champions Liverpool suffered their first home defeat to their city rivals since September 1999 as Richarlison’s early strike and Gylfi Sigurdsson’s late penalty secured all three points for the Toffees.
It also ended a decade-long wait for a win over their neighbours in any competition home or away for Everton, while they have won eight of their 12 away league games this season (D2 L2) – only in 2008-09 have they won more on the road in a Premier League campaign (nine).
Liverpool on the other hand have lost their last four home games in the league, and their last four top-flight matches overall in the top flight.
Among defending Premier League champions, only Leicester City in 2016-17 (21) and Chelsea in 2015-16 (30) have had fewer points after 25 games the season after winning the Premier League title than Liverpool’s 40 this campaign.
24 – Everton picked up their first win over Liverpool in 24 meetings in all competitions (D12 L11) – ending what was Liverpool’s longest ever unbeaten run against a single opponent. Finally. pic.twitter.com/fpEqMwX5Ki
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 20, 2021
Yet Liverpool’s struggles are of little concern to Coleman, who was the only player involved on Saturday to have featured in Everton’s last win over Liverpool in October 2010.
“It’s an amazing feeling. Coming here over the years and letting ourselves down but more importantly letting the Blue side of the city down,” Coleman told Sky Sports.
“It’s been hard, we can put a face on it and try and brush it off but when I’ve been in the city for 10 years it’s difficult to take, you feel sorry for the fans and get fed up of coming out with the same cliches after losing to them, so to be honest, thanks to the manager for the way he set us up, the players put in an unbelievable shift against the champions – we’re delighted.”
Everton were set up in a defensive shape by Ancelotti but offered a threat on the break, and Coleman explained how the Italian came up with a masterplan.
“I had to follow Andy Robertson, I think the last time I had to do a job like that I was at Stamford Bridge trying to follow Ashley Cole around the pitch!” Coleman said.
“For the team it was about staying compact, it is difficult to be brave and we probably didn’t play as much as we’d like. We got the result.”
However, Coleman knows Everton cannot rest on their derby triumph. The Toffees are seventh, but level on points with Liverpool with a game in hand, and only three points off the top four.
While they are in brilliant form on the road, Everton have lost four of their previous five home league matches, including defeats to strugglers Fulham and Newcastle United.
“For us now, move on from it as quickly as possible, because it can’t just be a celebration,” Coleman added.
“That goes back to the likes of Fulham and Newcastle at home, we need to start being better all round. All credit, enjoy it. We’ve got 10 days now until the next game. That’s for all the Evertonians over the last number of years who have struggled.”
— Carlo Ancelotti (@MrAncelotti) February 20, 2021
Ancelotti, meanwhile, echoed the club captain’s thoughts.
He added: “Really pleased. Really happy for the club and supporters.
“I can only imagine if our supporters were there tonight, but I hope for sure they are going to celebrate. It was a good performance. A lot of fight, a lot of spirit – really happy!
“We did really well away. At home we have had a lot of problems, we need to find more consistency at home and we are working on this.
“We are fighting for Europe and now we are in a good position. This kind of performance can improve the belief of the team.”