Ross Barkley should apologise for rash tackle in derby - Dejan Lovren

A bruised Dejan Lovren was unhappy not to receive an apology from Ross Barkley for the Everton midfielder's over-the-top challenge in a feisty Merseyside derby.

The Toffees' England international could have been sent off in the first half of their 3-1 defeat at Anfield as he made at least three reckless challenges, the last of which on Lovren earned him a yellow card but could easily have been interpreted as a red by referee Anthony Taylor.

Lovren played down the ferocity of the tackle, which saw his opponent plant his foot on his shin after over-running the ball, but felt a charged-up Barkley should have at least said sorry.

"That is the only thing I do not like. If you make a hard challenge than be open about it and say sorry or something like that,'' said the Croatian.

"Don't talk to the referee and say it was not a foul. I think everyone saw it, especially me, but now it is over.

"If I show you [my leg] it will be headlines tomorrow.''

Victory strengthened Liverpool's claims for Champions League football next season, but effectively ended Everton's slim chances of crashing the top-four party.

With all their matches against top-seven rivals now complete, the Reds have to prove they have the mettle in games against teams they have struggled against the most this season, starting with the visit of Bournemouth on Wednesday.

"We are still there in the top four, but we want to be there at the end to go to the Champions League, so need as many points as possible,'' added the centre-back, on his first appearance since January 31 because of injuries.

"There are still a lot of games ahead of us and we must think of the next game.

"We lost away at Bournemouth which was a wake-up call for next time, so now we must continue.

"We need to show our qualities in our mind and repeat it against Bournemouth and take as many points as possible.

"If you want to play in the Champions League then you need to play like a Champions League team.''

Liverpool coped well with the absence of key midfielders Adam Lallana and Jordan Henderson, the latter who will hopefully return to training after a lengthy absence by the end of next week.

Jurgen Klopp's side have been beset by injuries to key players, with Philippe Coutinho's six-week absence mid-season having a particularly debilitating effect after they had already lost striker Danny Ings for the season with a knee problem and seen fellow forward Daniel Sturridge struggle with a number of issues again.

At the back Lovren and preferred first-choice partner Joel Matip have both had extended absences and the Croatian believes that has impacted on what, in December, looked like being a genuine title challenge.

"Listen, it is important. If you don't have injuries you will be in the place of Chelsea. Chelsea have not had one injury I do not think,'' he said.

"Sometimes you need to be lucky in football, but we also played [against Everton] without Henderson and Lallana who are massive players for us, but we showed we can play against everyone with other players.''

After a shaky start to his Liverpool career in 2014 Lovren is in talks over a new contract and expects to have it signed before the end of the campaign.

"Yes, I think the progress is going on still. We will see. Everything will be clear in the next month,'' he added.

"I have said many times I am happy here and I am settled after everything that happened in the beginning, so I just want to improve here and show my quality and give my best for the club.''