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Tricky triangle, Trent sub & putting it right – 3 key points from Klopp’s press conference

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Jurgen Klopp accepted his side “need to play better football” to prevent more defeats like Sunday’s 3-1 at Arsenal, but welcomed the next chance to prove that.

Here are three key points from Klopp’s post-match press conference…

“Right side” fails to gel

Asked about his lineup for the day, Klopp suggested Dominik Szoboszlai‘s injury setback harmed Liverpool’s fluidity on the right-hand side.

Arsenal started better, we didn’t play enough football, we needed to get used to each other a little bit,” he said.

“The right side triangle was a bit tricky, to start. Always Macca and Curtis could turn, get out of the man-marking situation, we could have found Trent perhaps more often. That would have caused them even more problems.”

Ryan Gravenberch was the midfielder hooked as Liverpool looked to grow into the game in the second half. But Klopp suggested the second Arsenal goal and Ibrahima Konate‘s red card changed things.

“Trent, was never planned that he plays 90. It was clear that we had to take him off a bit early,” he continued.

“So brought on Harvey and Darwin and it could have worked, but obviously at 2-1, momentum changed again. Still kind of an open game, not a lot from us. Then the red card made it really tricky to come back.

“But Arsenal deserved the three points, no doubt about that. They scored three times and we had one shot on target. That’s the stat that probably shows the most.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 4, 2024: Liverpool's captain Virgil van Dijk reacts as Arsenal score the second goal during the FA Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at the Emirates Stadium. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Human beings

That second goal came from an uncharacteristic mix-up from Virgil van Dijk and Alisson, The manager confirmed it had already been discussed in the dressing room after the game.

“We spoke in the dressing room with all the people involved. Just unlucky,” he explained.

“Can you head the ball directly? Yes, but it flies strange. Should we expect that Martinelli brings the body a little bit? Yes, but we didn’t.

“Then all of a sudden, the ball bounced a little bit and it’s an easy goal. That didn’t happen very often, but it happened before, it can happen. It made the job obviously a bit more tricky.”

Klopp later acknowledged just how rare it is to see the pair make such a costly error, and chose to laud their usual high standards rather than pile on the blame:

“Two of our main guys have a misunderstanding. It goes to show they’re human beings. And that makes the things that they normally do even more special.

“They are not happy, we are not happy, but that’s it now. You can play super here and still lose. I would have liked that to happen today, but it didn’t. Take it, deal with it, go from here.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 4, 2024: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp consoles Harvey Elliott after the FA Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at the Emirates Stadium. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Not thinking about City

The inevitable follow-up question came, with Man City now five points behind with two games in hand. However, the boss was emphatic.

“Since the final whistle I didn’t think for a second about how many games of Manchester City, who they will play, how they will play, not for a second,” he insisted.

“We have to play to our potential. We have to deal with difficulties in the games, around the games, and play our soul on the pitch. Then we’ll see where it ends up.”

Attention instead turned to Liverpool’s first chance to put things right – the visit of Burnley to Anfield on Saturday:

“We have now a longer week, we play on Saturday, so we’ll use it for a rest, we’ll use it for training, we’ll be prepared properly for the next game.

“Nobody expects that we just will fly over Burnley or whatever, not in our dressing room. They’re a really talented group, they fight for their targets, they’ve been unlucky in moments.

“It’s a home game and we could turn things around, that’s the first step. Then we will see.

“For today, nobody celebrates the championship and nobody is relegated, as far as I know. So we have all the chance to create our own destiny. Let’s see what happens.”


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