Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has backtracked on his claims that Everton play like Stoke, admitting he went too far with his comments.
The England midfielder spoke immediately after Sunday's controversial 2-2 draw at Goodison Park, where Luis Suarez had an added-time goal wrongly ruled out for offside.
Emotions were running high in the aftermath and Gerrard accepts he overstepped the mark with his opinion.
"Just to clarify I've watched the game again, and I've seen some of Everton's matches this season, and what I said in relation to their style of play went too far," he told the Liverpool Echo.
"I was frustrated by the disallowed goal from Luis when I spoke and also some of the things (diving allegations) that have been said about Luis in recent weeks which haven't been fair in my opinion.
"As captain I have a duty to stand up for our players when I feel they are unfairly singled out.
"But it wasn't my intention to disrespect Everton or Stoke for that matter and I certainly didn't intend any disrespect to their manager or players.
"I have the utmost respect for David Moyes and Tony Pulis and the job they have done at their respective clubs.
"My main issue was with the goal that wasn't given and that Liverpool did not get the three points I felt we deserved in what was a fantastic derby match."