Belfast Telegraph

Jurgen Klopp delighted with professional Liverpool as goal rush continues

EFL Cup: Derby County 0-3 Liverpool

By Carl Markham

Liverpool eased into the last 16 of the EFL Cup as the goals continued to flow for Jurgen Klopp's side with a 3-0 win at Derby.

Ragnar Klavan, Philippe Coutinho and Divock Origi were all on the scoresheet as the Reds took their tally to 19 in seven matches this season.

This was the fourth time they have scored three or more and Klavan was their 10th different scorer, highlighting the work Klopp has done in terms of strengthening the team not just in manpower but in the options available.

In two cup games this season they have racked up eight goals, albeit against SkyBet Championship sides.

The return of Roberto Firmino, who missed the win at Chelsea with a minor groin problem, highlighted how much he oils the wheels in the final third as his link-up play, particularly with Brazil team-mate Coutinho, and ability to run into the spaces was again top drawer.

Liverpool boss Klopp said: "We were better and we deserved to win, we created plenty of chances. Could we have done better? Yes, but is that important? No.

"You need to be 100 per cent professional in games like this, which could be difficult, but we were ready for every opportunity.

"We could've been better in the first half with the last pass and in the second with our counter-attack but we will take 3-0.

"The pleasing thing is that we are not surprised by it. I have always thought the difference between home and away shouldn't be that big when you're a good side, which we are.

"That's what we expect. It was very professional from us.

"This is a very important tournament for us, for the players, and we have to show it from the first second. Let's go for it."

Klopp became embroiled in a heated discussion with the fourth official after seeing Coutinho on the end of a number of hefty challenges, but the German played down the confrontation.

"It is so close when someone flies in three or four times like they did, and I said to the fourth official 'Please tell him'," said Klopp.

"He didn't hit the player, I saw that, but it was so close. But that's my problem how I reacted and nothing happened."

Derby manager Nigel Pearson, whose side are struggling for goals and are 20th in the Championship, admits they could not cope with the quality of their Premier League visitors.

"I would be the first to accept there is a gulf in class, and where we are and where we aspire to be is a considerable difference," he said.

"For us to

progress as a club we need to build a squad which can compete anywhere.

"All of the goals had an element of we could have done better, so that is frustrating. Mistakes cost you dearly against sides like this.

"After that it is damage limitation to make sure it is not an embarrassment."

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