Cody Gakpo feeling 'amazing' after first goal helps Liverpool beat rivals Everton

Dutch forward, a January signing from PSV Eindhoven, scores second in 2-0 win at Anfield

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Cody Gakpo said it was "amazing" to score his first goal for Liverpool after the Dutch forward helped his new side claim their first Premier League win of the year against rivals Everton on Monday night.

Mohamed Salah opened the scoring at Anfield in the 36th minute before Gakpo doubled the hosts' lead shortly after the interval as the Reds put an end to a miserable start to 2023 which started with three defeats and a draw. Liverpool return to ninth in the standings, nine points behind fourth-placed Newcastle in the last of the Champions League places.

"It feels amazing to get my first goal in this game – also an important one. I'm really happy," said Gakpo, who joined Liverpool from PSV Eindhoven in January in a deal worth a reported £45 million ($54.7m).

"It was amazing. Obviously for a striker it's always nice to score and then also in a derby is a really great feeling."

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was delighted for Gakpo to get off the mark, saying: "A good performance as well. He did extremely well under massive pressure in the centre. In the end, it was not the most difficult goal he ever scored, but it is exactly the goal each striker is dreaming of when it didn’t happen for a while, probably."

The Merseyside derby victory came after a miserable start to the year for Liverpool, who suffered chastening away defeats to Brentford, Brighton, and Wolves. The Reds faced a potentially tricky encounter against Everton, who while stuck in the relegation zone, did arrive at Anfield following a hugely-impressive win over Arsenal in Sean Dyche's first match in charge.

"The result is massive relief," Klopp said. "The better you play the more likely you will score. The whole performance was extremely important for us because we needed to make a statement."

For Dyche, it was a reminder of the task at hand as Everton crashed back down to earth following the euphoria of the win last weekend over league leaders Arsenal. The Toffees are in 18th place, one point from safety.

"It's been quite a big change in terms of what we feel is correct going forward. There's been a lot of information given. I don't think it just clicks overnight," Dyche said.

"Last week we beat Arsenal and I wasn't jumping for joy - I know there's work to be done. I think there was a sign of that tonight but there was no lack of effort, no lack of work ethic.

"It's still tough coming here, I know they've had an indifferent time but they're still a good side."

Updated: February 14, 2023, 3:55 AM