Jürgen Klopp on Liverpool's defending against Arsenal
Jürgen Klopp felt Liverpool's preparations paid off in the way they defended against a dangerous Arsenal attack in Saturday's 3-1 win.
The Reds had to balance their trademark front-foot approach at Anfield with keeping at bay the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicolas Pepe in the Premier League contest.
They did so to victorious effect, with Joel Matip’s header late in the first half followed by a Mohamed Salah double after the break that clinched three points.
Lucas Torreira bagged a consolation for the Gunners five minutes from time but that did not influence Klopp’s satisfaction with his side’s overall defending.
“It was all around a really good performance and Joel, for sure it was his best game of the season,” the Reds boss told Liverpoolfc.com post-match.
“People spoke about our defending. We work on our defending but not in the way people probably expected. It’s not about the last line; it’s a common thing, defending in the Premier League doesn’t work if you talk to [each individual player] and tell him, ‘We have to do this and that differently.’
“We worked really hard now on that, of course, like we always do but this week we had the time to do it. From a defending point of view, it was for sure the best game, against an incredible threat.
“One chip in behind, like the chance [for Pepe in the first half] was pretty much – it was not even a good pass, Hendo missed the ball – then they had the big chance and we needed Adrian to save us, very good again.
“But apart from that, we really defended really well. The goal happened when everybody was in the box, that’s nothing to do with defending. As we say in Germany, it was ‘I have him, you can take him’ but at the end nobody has the guy.
“I’m really overly happy.”
Liverpool will again utilise a week-long gap between fixtures as they next turn their focus to a Premier League trip to Burnley on Saturday.
And Klopp is eager to maximise the opportunity of extensive training before the match, given it is likely to be a while before such a scenario is repeated.
“[It’s] pretty much the last time for… ages!” he said. “We will use that. I’m looking forward to the week again.
“Burnley, we all know how tricky this place is. They are in a good moment. They play their style, they just continue doing it. I have the biggest respect for Sean Dyche and what he is doing there. It is always so tough to go.
“We need to prepare that, we will do that, and then the boys fly all over the world going for their national teams. Hopefully they will come back healthy and then the rest of the season starts pretty much.”