Articles

Jurgen Klopp: I'm fine with 4-3, we just want to win games

Jurgen Klopp: I'm fine with 4-3, we just want to win games 

Liverpool once again cranked up the entertainment value against Crystal Palace Credit: Getty Images

Chris Brereton, at Anfield
20 January 2019 • 10:30pm


Jurgen Klopp, the Liverpool manager, says he has no problem with winning games in tumultuous fashion and implored his squad to continue to “fight” as they attempt to end a 29-year wait for the English top-flight title.
Saturday’s victory over Crystal Palace was thrilling for the neutrals who were watching but hard on the nerves for Liverpool fans as Klopp’s side relied on two outrageous slices of luck to overcome Roy Hodgson’s dogged outfit.
Yet Klopp is happy to take victories in whatever way they present themselves, no matter how maddening they look and feel.
“I don’t know how many ways there are to win a football game but we have had pretty much a few of them already,” he said.
“Maybe there’ll be a game when we score early, then a second goal and the opponent loses confidence and we can win 5-0 after 70 minutes.

“We only want to win games and I know we are a really good football team but that is not enough.
“It is really not enough to be a good or a fantastic or even a world-class football team because we are playing in a competition with a couple of world-class football teams and hundreds of fantastic football teams.

“We have to make sure that we just fight in each game like it’s the last game and the boys do that. I’m completely fine with 4-3.”

Klopp might be “completely fine” but behind closed doors he would surely prefer the calm assurance of Liverpool’s previous result, a 1-0 victory at Brighton and Hove Albion, especially as good fortune was a huge factor in beating Hodgson’s side.
Palace were the last team to beat Liverpool at Anfield in the Premier League, in April 2017, and a repeat of that feat looked possible when Andros Townsend swept home the impressive Wilfried Zaha’s pass after 34 minutes.
Yet, in a similar manner to last month’s astonishing fluke goal from Divock Origi that beat Everton late on in the Merseyside derby, Liverpool made the most of some bizarre luck within 60 seconds of the second half commencing.

A Virgil van Dijk effort that was heading for the back of the Kop took a huge deflection off James McArthur and lobbed perfectly to Mohamed Salah six yards out.
He volleyed past Julian Speroni – who was only playing because of injuries to Wayne Hennessey and Vicente Guaita – before Roberto Firmino curled into the far corner, via a slight deflection after 53 minutes, to give Liverpool the lead.

Palace were by no means done, though, and James Tomkins drew them level with 25 minutes remaining, heading past Alisson after Liverpool fell asleep at the back.
However, Egyptian striker Salah then registered his 50th Premier League goal as providence rather than planning again came to the fore for Liverpool.

Playing his first match in 13 months, 39-year-old Speroni – the Premier League’s oldest registered player – virtually threw an entirely harmless James Milner cross into his own net which required only the slightest of touches from Salah to help Liverpool regain the lead.

Palace kept providing a threat and were buoyed by Milner’s red card after picking up his second yellow card for a late challenge on Zaha with 60 seconds left.

A brilliantly composed Sadio Mane finish into the far corner then allowed Anfield to breathe out but, as in keeping with Klopp’s teams, the drama was not over as Palace’s Max Meyer swept the ball past Alisson to close the gap once more in the fifth minute of additional time.

Liverpool held on but Klopp had to give 18-year-old Rafael Camacho his Premier League debut in additional time following the dismissal of Milner, such is the dearth of defenders at Anfield.

Trent Alexander-Arnold’s knee injury in the warm-up against Brighton and Milner’s impending suspension mean, all of a sudden, that Liverpool have a looming crisis at right-back yet Klopp seems reluctant to enter the transfer market to solve that issue.

“We have to come through this situation,” he said. “Tell me a player who can play right-back and other positions as well better than our boys like Rafa can do?
“Crystal Palace, of course, had three goalkeepers and all is fine and then the next moment you stand there with one. Do you buy another goalkeeper? I’m not sure.

“We have to use the resources we have already and that is what we will try.”
Palace manager Hodgson endured an unhappy spell in charge at Anfield between July 2010 and January 2011. He is not remembered fondly on Merseyside and, after losing to serendipity as much as skill, it would be understandable if the feeling was mutual.

“I’m very proud of the team’s performance,” Hodgson said. “I thought it was excellent, both defensively and offensively.
“The work rate and our tactical discipline was second to none.

“On another occasion, I would have been standing here as I was after Manchester City, feeling not only good about the performance but the result too.

“Now all I have to feel good about is the performance.”

© Telegraph Media Group Limited 2019



Article links

Games

Archives

We've got all the results from official games, appearance stats, goal stats and basically every conceivable statistic from 1892 to the present, every single line-up and substitutions!