Argyle became only the third team this season to leave Liverpool’s iconic home turf with anything other than a beating following Sunday’s goal-less Emirates FA Cup third-round draw.
Indeed, Liverpool’s fellow Barclay’s Premier League giants Manchester United are the only side to prevent Jurgen Klopp’s men from scoring at home since the campaign began in August.
Argyle’s shape, discipline and work-rate was beyond admirable as Liverpool foundered in front of goal despite possession stats which, at one point reached 87%.
Derek said: “They could have had 90%, if they wanted – the game-plan was to not allow them to score and that’s what we did. There are only three teams come to Anfield and draw in recent times and Plymouth Argyle are one of them.
“We worked extremely hard. It was about negating the space and we didn’t allow [Liverpool] to have space. We allowed them time, at times, to be on the ball and move it, but they didn’t open us up. We doubled up down the side; we were very good, defensively.
“It would be naive as a manager or as a coach to think you can come to Anfield and go at top-class players. From my point of view, we worked on it and the players did really well.
“We are League Two club; they are a Premier League club; they have got multi-million pound players; they have got players who played at international level – they had enough on the pitch to beat Plymouth today.
“But sometimes you come up against an opposition that are stubborn, who have a good work-ethic; who have good legs and who can take the ball in at times.
“The result will tell you that we coped well because we limited them to not many opportunities in the game. They had a lot of possession in the game but did they have many shots on target? The answer to me is ‘no – I didn’t see many’ and that’s credit to our players.
“This was about a team performance. We had 13 players playing today that all deserve a huge amount of credit because this is not an easy place to come.”