Klopp gives spiky answers to reporter Geoff Shreeves’ questioning: “If you want to lead the story in the direction that we were not focused on that game, then do it.”
Last Updated: 03/07/20 6:56am
A spiky Jurgen Klopp defended the attitude of his Liverpool players after their 4-0 defeat to Manchester City.
The Premier League champions were brought back down to earth as City dominated at the Etihad Stadium.
But despite the 4-0 defeat, Klopp defended his players afterwards, quickly downplaying any notion that they may have not been fully focused after celebrating their title win over the weekend.
Klopp told Sky Sports: “I saw a brilliant attitude. I saw fight. We didn’t behave like somebody who became champions a week ago – that was all good. We lacked fluidity, that’s for sure. And in some 50-50 situations they were quicker than us in mind.
“They used their chances and we didn’t. City were 100 per cent deserving, of course, but a 5-3 would have been possible as well. But it’s 4-0 and we have to take that.”
Klopp – clearly frustrated – then reiterated his point when not understanding a question from Sky Sports reporter Geoff Shreeves on whether the result should be put into perspective.
The Liverpool boss responded: “If you want to lead the story in the direction that we were not focused on that game, then do it. I like my team how they set up. I said that and I thought that was clear. I think we proved that point. And City proved they are an unbelievably good team. Isn’t it nice that another team can be champions even when City is around and plays this kind of football?
“City are incredible. I’ve seen their games – they haven’t played a bad game all season. Even when they lost they still played really good football. But in the end the situation is like it is.
“We had moments. You watched the game completely calm, why do you ask me if we had decent chances? It makes no sense this question.
“We had decent chances, so ask me about them. We had chances, we got into situations. We didn’t use them, that’s true. Maybe we wasn’t clear enough but we had moments where we could have score and we didn’t. In football if you don’t score it’s difficult to mention chances as everyone forgets them immediately – even I forget them, but that’s the situation.
“All is OK. It’s not nice, it’s not what we wanted. I wanted to see we had the right attitude and we did, so I’m fine. And the result we have to take.”
Keane: I loved Klopp’s interview!
Sky Sports’ Roy Keane was asked for his reaction to Klopp’s interview – and he felt the Liverpool boss’ frustration stemmed from his team’s performance rather than the questioning, something Keane thought was a good sign for the future.
“The reason Liverpool are champions and why they’ll be competing for the next few years is because of that interview. I love to see that,” said Keane.
“He’s fuming. It was nothing to do with the questions he was being asked, he was fuming because his team got beaten. He’s going to defend his team but no top manager likes to get beaten 4-0. The effort was there, their attitude was fine. But it was human nature they were going to slack off.
“It’s human nature, you’re going to be slacking off. I was fortunate enough to play in some teams that won the league with a few games to go and you do switch off. You end up in the pub for a week or two and you try and get back into the swing of things.”
‘All over the place at the back’
Klopp’s side had only conceded 21 goals all season coming into this clash but were run ragged at the back by City. Joe Gomez was at fault for the first two goals, conceding a penalty when Raheem Sterling got them better of him before Sterling then cut inside the Liverpool defender for the second goal.
Andrew Robertson was also below his usually standards. Gary Neville said on co-commentary he was “playing tonight as if he has had a week on the lash” after allowing Phil Foden to play a one-two around him for the third goal.
Sky Sports‘ Jamie Carragher disagreed with Neville about potentially the celebrations of the title win having an impact but couldn’t defend Liverpool’s overall defensive play.
“It wasn’t a physical thing due to alcohol or anything like that,” he said.
“You can see Klopp was disappointed, he picked his best team. It wasn’t a case of ‘the league is won so let’s give everyone a game’. He wanted to come here and win.
“There was no problem with effort, a lot of their play was good. Liverpool are all about pressing from the front and winning the ball and they won the ball back seven or eight times tonight but they just weren’t clinical enough in terms of finishing. Liverpool were all over the place defensively but you can accept that when they’ve been so good all season.”