Jürgen Klopp's post-match verdict on Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool
Jürgen Klopp reflected on a ‘very intense’ game after Liverpool were held to a 1-1 draw by Arsenal at Emirates Stadium.
James Milner’s excellent finish put the Reds a goal to the good after an hour of a closely-fought, engrossing contest, before Alexandre Lacazette equalised for the home team with eight minutes remaining.
Sadio Mane had a goal disallowed for offside in the first half - as did Lacazette - while Virgil van Dijk hit the post and had two efforts saved by Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno.
Watch: Extended highlights from the Emirates
The Reds remain unbeaten in the Premier League after 11 matches, however, and sit a point clear at the top of the table ahead of Manchester City and Chelsea’s games on Sunday.
Read on for a summary of Klopp’s post-match press conference from the Emirates…
On his thoughts on the game…
It was intense, very intense. It is clear Arsenal are in a very good moment. We made life a bit too easy for them in the first half, formation-wise I was not happy at how compact we were and stuff like that. When we had the ball it was good, we were a threat, we were in behind. The start was like ‘Wow, Arsenal are there’ but then the first attack we had, everyone knew ‘OK, they are not too bad as well!’ It was then a pretty open game. That’s OK. Our set-pieces were outstanding and we should have scored from them; Virgil said immediately after the game he should have had a hat-trick, but he had not even one [goal]. That’s a shame. Second half we changed formation a bit and it helped us today. We scored a really nice goal, had super counter-attacks, played good football in a lot of moments, but – as they have done a few times already this year – Arsenal brought pretty much all of their strikers [on]… I was actually waiting for Van Persie and Bergkamp! Because first half we were not compact enough, the three in midfield had to do too much and then the one time we don’t close the half-space, they play the ball through and could score the goal. It’s not nice, but of course a point at Arsenal will always be an absolutely good result so we take it. Now let’s carry on.
Milner: We could've been more ruthless>>
On Mane’s disallowed goal…
I think it was a goal. Do I feel aggrieved? I’m not sure. I only think it should have been a goal, but that’s how it is – it’s a football situation. I said it already 20 times [in other interviews], it’s football. When I was a player the offside rule was different, so if someone was in the area where the ball went it was immediately the referee’s whistle. Now, we all know when we watch a game and the ball is going and the player is offside, nobody whistles so he goes to the ball and then the ref whistles. This was different. It was actually a brilliant attack. It’s what you do in the training ground – you bring one player and you keep one player between the centre-halves, slightly offside and then the other player takes the ball. It’s a pity it didn’t count, but we made a few more mistakes than the ref, to be honest. In the moment, it would have been nice if this goal would have counted.
On whether the game proved how tough the Premier League is this season…
I am not surprised about that, to be honest. It was always difficult against Arsenal. I’m not sure if the game last year was better, it was only that [both teams] scored more, that’s it. We used our chances better and it was 3-3, very spectacular. Today for me it was not less spectacular, only less goals. I knew before the game it would be difficult. If we did a bit better in the first half it would have been more difficult for Arsenal, even more difficult, but we scored, we created chances, we had the biggest chances in the game. We had empty goals and didn’t use it – that’s not too cool! If you want to win at Arsenal you should use these kinds of chances. I know they had chances as well of course, but I think we had the bigger ones.