Carlo Ancelotti says Everton’s first win at Anfield since 1999 was “special” but has urged his team to go on and achieve their season’s aim of qualifying for Europe.
Goals from Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson on Saturday evening saw the Toffees’ beat Liverpool 2-0 – not only their first win at Anfield this millennium but their first victory over their bitter rivals since 2010.
The final whistle sparked joyous celebrations among the Everton players and coaching staff, with the result moving them level on points with Liverpool, with a game in hand.
While Everton last played in Europe in the 2017/18 season, Ancelotti’s three Champions League titles make him the joint most successful manager in the competition’s history – he now wants to return to European competition with his current side.
He said: “Our target is not to beat Liverpool – our target is to play in Europe next season. This is the achievement.
“I can understand the happiness – we are really happy. They [Everton fans] deserve to be happy after 21 years.
“It’s special. I think that to be focused in a derby is not so complicated – the players were really focused. Now the next step is to be focused, like we were tonight, in the next game. That will be more complicated.
“We are wrong if we think we have achieved something. I think it’s a good moment for us, but only three points.”
Ancelotti’s glittering career has seen him experience the Milan derby as both a player and manager with AC Milan, while he enjoyed El Clasico against Barcelona as Real Madrid boss and Der Klassiker against Borussia Dortmund while in charge of Bayern Munich.
But the 61-year-old Italian says the game that reminds him most of the clash between Everton and Liverpool is the Rome derby between Roma, where Ancelotti played for eight years, and Lazio.
“There is a big rivalry between the supporters, so the feeling for the derby in Liverpool is really high,” Ancelotti explained. “There is a lot of pressure.
“The fact that there are no supporters here changes a little bit the atmosphere.
“If I had to compare this kind of pressure, I have to compare to Rome, because between Roma and Lazio, the rivalry is really strong.
“More polite in Milan, in Madrid. But of course, to win a derby gives you credit until the next game.”
Sky Sports’ Lewis Jones…
“Viva Tom Davies” the Everton fans would have sung in the away end at Anfield. And I’m sure many were boogying around their living room to the Elvis Presley tune.
The Everton midfielder certainly had Liverpool all shook up with a destructive and tactically astute performance in front of his expertly-organised defence. No player made more tackles than Davies (5) and no Everton player gained possession for their side on more occasions (8). Jurgen Klopp’s side couldn’t find Roberto Firmino in the pockets because of Davies’ sublime positioning.
The 22-year-old is another example of Carlo Ancelotti’s ability as the top man. Many had written off Davies when Everton snapped up Allan in the summer but instead of casting him aside, Ancelotti has kept Davies as part of his plans and he’s now receiving the benefits for persevering with the midfielder.
In the absence of Allan, who had looked an impressive piece of business on his performances since signing from Napoli, Davies has slotted in perfectly to that role to the extent that the Brazil international won’t be getting back in the side with Davies in this type of form.