Interview with Kuyt from the official site
How good was it to win at the home of one of your biggest rivals last weekend?
It's always nice to win the derby. Everyone knows what happened last year and we really wanted something different this time. I'm really glad we beat them and I think we deserved to win. It was two penalties but if you look at the chances we had enough to score more.
Was that your best moment in a red shirt?
I think so. It was really important to score in the last minute and it was definitely one of the best feelings I've had so far.
Was it planned that you'd take any penalties on the day?
I was on the list together with Andriy Voronin and we decided between us that I would take them. I had the confidence that I'd score. I felt strong, I said this to Andriy and he said: 'Okay, you can take it then.'
Were you feeling the pressure as you stepped up to take that second penalty?
There is always pressure on a penalty, especially in really important games like this. The second one particularly was very strange and difficult as well. I knew the goalkeeper would be thinking about which way I'd go with the second penalty. The first one was good, so I went the same, though it could have been a little better. I was very pleased to see it go in.
It must have been a relief to get your first league goals of the season as well?
It's always important for a striker to score goals, especially in the league. Like you said, I hadn't scored so it's nice to be off the mark. I have to keep that going now.
Are you going to take all the penalties now?
We have lots of people who can take good penalties, like Xabi and Stevie, so you'll see other people taking them as well. I'd like to hog them all but the most important thing is to score, and if you always have the same taker it's easier for the goalkeepers.
Looking at your challenge on Phil Neville – were you surprised at the reaction afterwards?
When I saw it on TV I knew it was a bad challenge. By the time I was in the air it was too late to pull out but I never had an intention to touch him, you could see that on TV. It looks really bad but I never intended to touch him – if I had wanted to I could have.
Did you speak to him afterwards?
No, I was too busy celebrating!
You must have taken a lot of confidence into the Besiktas game – what went wrong over there?
I think we were really unlucky. We played quite well. The goal against us was unlucky but we had enough chances to maybe win 3-1 or 4-1. We controlled the game, maybe not for 90 minutes, but we controlled it. That was our best Champions League performance so far. The only thing we can do now is try to forget about the result before the next game against Arsenal because that's really big for us.
Liverpool had 28 chances on the night. As a striker do you look at that and feel disappointed?
Of course we feel disappointed but I think you have to say the goalkeeper did a good job. He made a couple of magnificent saves from Steven Gerrard. Sometimes you get the luck, sometimes you don't – that's football. But it's not good to keep looking back. We have to look forward because we are still in with a shout of reaching the second round of the Champions League. We have a good squad and have the confidence and belief that we can progress.
How do you rate your chances of getting out of a group in which you're currently bottom?
It will be really difficult but we have three games to go – we can still get 10 points and if we do that I believe we will go through.
No thoughts about the UEFA Cup just yet, then?
No. You still have to believe in the Champions League. They are difficult games but we are at home so it should be possible to do it against Besiktas and Porto. Then we have to see what happens in Marseille.
How big a blow would it be if we didn't progress, considering expectations at the start of the campaign?
It would be a big blow for all the players because we work really hard and we not only want to win the Premier League, we also want the Champions League. We all know what happened last year in the final and we never want that to happen again. We have to believe.
How easy will it be to forget that result when Arsenal come to Anfield on Sunday?
We just have to keep going on, but I don't think we played as bad as some people have said on Wednesday. We have the belief we can beat Arsenal, especially with the crowd behind us.
How vital is it you do win on Sunday if you're to mount a serious title challenge?
It is really important. It's still a long season but this game could take us to within three points of the leaders.
Arsenal are playing some terrific football right now – how do you go about stopping them?
I think we have to look at how they can stop us. Okay, they have a really good team with young, talented players. It will be really difficult but we also have a strong team and I'm sure they're not happy about having to come to Anfield. I think we showed against Everton that we're on the way back. The quality in the team will start to show.
There's been a lot of talk about Cesc Fabregas but who else do you need to look out for?
Van Persie is a dangerman but unfortunately for him he's injured. He's really dangerous for them, like Fabregas, but they have a lot of good players.
Van Persie is a friend of yours, have you spoken to him about the game?
Not yet because he's injured and feeling disappointed. Maybe I will ring him, see how he's going and see what he thinks about the game. Maybe he can tell me a few secrets about Arsenal!
Will you rub it in afterwards if we win?
We'll have to see, but I have the confidence we will win.
It was 4-1 last time they came to Anfield. Will that give you confidence going into this one?
We played well and I think we always tend to play well against Arsenal at home, but it's a different year.
You're still unbeaten in the league – how desperate are the players to keep that going?
As a professional and a Liverpool player you never want to lose – it is always painful. We have to keep winning and hopefully we can give them their first defeat on Sunday.
How do you assess our title chances from what you've seen so far?
Arsenal are doing a good job and also Man Utd are really strong this year, so there are several teams who can win it. We just have to win each of our games but I'm confident we can be really close. Everyone believes we can do it, you can see that in training every day. Everyone is working really hard to make sure we're there at the end of the season. The players have confidence - we believe we have the quality to do it.
Top bloke is Dirk. Always positive and loved the bit about being too busy celebrating to speak to Phil 'Keeper' Neville.