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Cody Gakpo – I have to prove that l can perform at the highest level in Liverpool vs Real Madrid



January signing Cody Gakpo beat his goalscoring duck for Liverpool against Everton in Monday night’s Merseyside derby as the Reds ended a horror run in the Premier League

Cody Gakpo insisted there was plenty more to come – from him and his team – after finally smashing his Liverpool duck in the derby.

The £45m signing in January had gone exactly 546 minutes without a goal or assist since moving to Anfield… finally smashing his duck in the best way possible to seal victory over bitter rivals Everton.

It was a goal that manager Jurgen Klopp later said was “that goal that all strikers dream of when it hasn’t happened for a while; really important,” acknowledged the Dutch World Cup star. “Guys who say they don’t mind not scoring are lying – so it was a really good moment for me and I’m really happy about it,” he explained.

“The dream is that you score from the first minute of the first game you play. In the end, I had to wait a bit but I’m really happy to have been able to score this goal in the derby.

Virgil (van Dijk) told me all about the derby and said it was going to be a big fight. He also reminds me that he scored his first goal against Everton – so it was an incredible moment for the team and for me.”

Gakpo came with a huge reputation after a thrilling World Cup, where he helped lead Holland to a quarter-final showdown, with eventual winners Argentina only losing on penalties after a draw spectacular.

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An unusual situation could force Loris Karius into a starting role for Newcastle against Manchester United in the EFL Cup final.

A moment of madness from Newcastle goalkeeper Nick Pope against Liverpool may have brought former Reds Loris Karius back into the spotlight. Pope earned a freezing red card – despite what Eddie Howe thinks – after deliberately handling the ball well outside his own penalty area, denying Mohamed Salah a goalscoring opportunity.

Jürgen Klopp supports former Red Loris Karius

Newcastle face Manchester United in the EFL Cup final next Sunday and will likely be forced to start Karius with a Pope suspension and a Martin Dúbravka Cup tie.

Jürgen Klopp supports former Red Loris Karius

Asked after the match whether Newcastle should turn to Karius, Jürgen Klopp shared his confidence in the ex-Liverpool goalkeeper. “Yeah, I’ve heard of that,” Klopp said of the likely starting Karius. “I think they can absolutely rely on him, there’s no doubt about that. He’s a great goalkeeper, that’s why Newcastle signed him. But obviously bad luck for Nick Pope at the moment.”

Jürgen Klopp supports former Red Loris Karius

For Karius, it’s an opportunity for a little redemption after a difficult road in recent years. The German goalkeeper was unable to hold down a regular starting place after suffering a concussion in the Champions League final for Liverpool and subsequently losing confidence. “Definitely (a good opportunity for him),” Klopp said. “That’s what he worked for all along, absolutely.”