Joel Matip wants Liverpool to replicate their performance, if not the result, from last month’s Merseyside derby when they host Everton in the FA Cup on Friday night.
The 230th clash of red and blue comes just 26 days after the 229th, which saw Jürgen Klopp’s side enjoy nearly 80 per cent possession and rack up 23 shots on goal but ultimately be denied a win by a contentious late penalty.
Centre-back Matip, though, believes an equally dominant display from Liverpool this time around would prove enough to progress in the competition.
“It was really hard because we did it very well against Everton and out of nothing they got a point,” the No.32 told Liverpoolfc.com at Melwood.
“This was really hard for us and frustrating but we are still looking forward to this game and if we do it similar to the last game, then I think we are on a good way to go to the next round.”
Matip is also acutely aware that there is more at stake than just a place in the draw for the fourth round.
“These are special games against a neighbour,” the defender said.
“The Liverpool fans and the Everton fans are living close to each other, next to each other, so this is always a special game. They will be looking forward to this game because they will speak about it for a few weeks or a few days [afterwards].
“They are always intense and emotional and because of this the games are always something special.”
The Reds head into Friday’s match on the back of a 16-game unbeaten run - a streak that was extended twice in the space of 48 hours with dramatic victories over Leicester City and Burnley in their two most recent outings.
A second-half brace from Mohamed Salah earned the come-from-behind 2-1 win against Leicester on December 30, before Ragnar Klavan nodded home deep into stoppage time to claim all three points via the same scoreline at Burnley on New Year’s Day.
Matip continued: “We had some really tough games where we had to work hard. It’s not always easy but we have a brilliant offense and they are a threat for every defence.
“We conceded against Leicester an early goal and it’s not easy against a deep-standing team which is playing on counter-attacking with fast strikers, but we did it very well. We kept working hard in this game, we tried it and we tried it and in the end we deserved this win.
“It [Klavan’s winner at Turf Moor] was unbelievable. I think after this game everybody was happy because after we conceded the goal everybody was a little bit down, but we came back with this punch at the end and everybody felt really relieved and happy.”
Liverpool therefore boast an impressive record of eight victories and five draws from their 13 fixtures between November 18 and January 1.
But while Matip acknowledged that they deserve credit for navigating their way through the season’s busiest period without losing, he insisted Klopp’s team are setting their sights higher for the remainder of the campaign.
“We did it very well, even though there were so many games in a really close time but we try to continue our form and try to stay focused to keep that form,” the 26-year-old stated.
“We are on a good way but we are not happy with our situation. We want more.”