Ronald Koeman: "The players didn't deserve a defeat"

Sadio Mane scored in stoppage time to snatch victory for Liverpool at Goodison Park

Ronald Koeman

Image: Mike Egerton / PA Wire/PA Images

Liverpool kept the heat on Chelsea on Monday night and secured a late victory over neighbours Everton at Goodison Park.

Summer signing Sadio Mane was on hand to ensure Jurgen Klopp's side picked up back-to-back league wins and cut the gap at the top to just six points.

In the fourth minute of stoppage time, Mane ran towards fans at the Bullens Road stand as flares rained down and delirium gripped the travelling red contingent.

Things were decidedly less cheerful the players draped appropriately in blue.

"The players didn't deserve a defeat tonight," Everton boss Ronald Koeman said after the game. "Not the fans, not the players. But we know they are strong.The substitutes had a big impact and they were a bit unlucky with the goal. We have accept how difficult the result is."

Sadio Mane celebrates his 94th minute goal in front of the travelling support at Goodison Park. Image: Martin Rickett / PA Wire/PA Images

The home side had enjoyed a dominant first half performance, keeping a high tempo which may have cost them as the end. Eight minutes of stoppage time came at the end of the game and with the Toffees tiring, things weren't looking good.

"That intensity is difficult [to maintain]. In the first half we had more possession. We kept the ball better than we did in the second half. When you don't have it, you have to drop back and that is difficult. They had more possession, more movement. They are a strong team. What they brought in was difficult to manage.

"Of course you can do several things maybe a little bit better but I can't complain. My players, what they showed tonight needed just to be lucky."

Koeman's side have just one win in their last seven league games, a run which includes four defeats and two draws.

They now travel to champions Leicester City on St Stephen's Day, 10 points adrift of a coveted European spot.