Koeman bemoans cruel loss to Liverpool

Ronald Koeman has revealed his devastation at losing the Merseyside derby to a 94th minute goal.

Having matched and sometimes outplayed rivals Liverpool during the tie, Koeman said it was "cruel" to have lost to such a late goal.

A long-range shot from substitute Daniel Sturridge came back off a post into the path of Sadio Mane who gratefully slotted home.

After the match, a disconsolate Koeman told the club's official website: "It was a cruel way to end. I think we did everything. Of course, you can maybe do several things a little bit better but I can’t complain about my players tonight after what they showed.

"I think we put in a good performance, maybe the first 45 minutes was our best so far. But, of course, the second half was more difficult and we were not as dangerous as we had been."

It was a game of few chances, although the Toffees did come close to scoring at the end of the first half.

"You need to have a little bit of luck. There weren’t many big chances in the game and maybe our best was the free header for Funes Mori in the first half. If you score that, it’s a different situation."

The game was made tougher for Everton as both James McCarthy and Maarten Stekelenburg were withdrawn due to injury, while Liverpool had impact players on the bench.

"It was a tough game for both teams. In the second half, they were more comfortable on the ball, they looked more dangerous but they didn’t create open chances. We had to substitute James McCarthy at half-time and then the goalkeeper; it was difficult.

"They are strong, their substitutes had a big impact and we were a little bit unlucky with the goal but we have to accept how difficult the final result is."

Everton further revealed they will monitor McCarthy and Stekelenburg ahead of the Boxing Day trip to Leicester.

"James played well in the first 45 minutes but he was not sure about his hamstring and we couldn’t take that risk, Koeman added.

"With the goalkeeper, it is always a difficult situation.

"We need to recover from tonight now. We’ve had a big, intensive game and we will prepare and see which players are available [for Leicester] and, in particular, the fitness of both of those players."

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