Jürgen Klopp on 6-0 win, title race and Joel Matip's goal

Press conferenceJürgen Klopp on 6-0 win, title race and Joel Matip's goal

Published 23rd February 2022
By James Carroll and Chris Shaw at Anfield

Jürgen Klopp was very happy with a performance that saw Liverpool learn from the opening 15 minutes to power to a 6-0 win over Leeds United.

Liverpool 6-0 Leeds: Extended highlights

The Reds moved to within three points of Manchester City at the Premier League summit on Wednesday night as they clicked through the gears at Anfield.

A pair of Mohamed Salah penalties sandwiched an outstanding Joel Matip goal during the first half and, in the closing stages, Sadio Mane struck twice and Virgil van Dijk wrapped up the scoring.

Read Klopp’s post-match assessment at his press conference below…

On whether Liverpool’s performance had the intensity and focus he wanted…

Yeah, absolutely. The challenge we obviously face every week, but this week was especially difficult because Leeds play so different to all other teams, [is] when you then have only one proper session to prepare it. You saw in the game that we needed the first 15 minutes at least to get used to it properly. So, it was a hectic starting phase, a lot of pressing balls here, pressing balls when we could have calmed the game down, we didn’t. But then we found our feet pretty much and then we really calmed the game down, then really our passing, our timing, everything was better. Positioning was better, movements were better and then we scored the goals. Forced the penalties obviously, but scored the goals.

So, absolutely OK first half. But Leeds are famous for big comebacks, like at Aston Villa or wherever. They had their moments again in the beginning of the second half but we closed the game pretty well, I have to say, and then played really good football. I thought the longer the game went, the better we used the size of the pitch and then with the way Leeds defend, it’s then obviously really tricky to win all these one-on-one battles, all these kind of things. Then we scored really nice goals and could have scored even more. So, yes, very happy about the performance.

On his post-match celebrations in front of the Kop…

I’m not so sure – if I’d been there 10 seconds later I wouldn’t have done it. But in that moment I got a little bit carried away, obviously it doesn’t happen too often anymore to me but in this moment it happened and absolutely fine for the moment. I really loved how the whole stadium responded to the game tonight and how we were really in the game as a unit. I couldn’t be more thankful for the support of the people because so many things happen only because of them. I’m really happy that from time to time – it will not happen a lot – but we can give them a performance and a scoreline like tonight. That’s it, pretty much.

Related

On the Premier League title race with Manchester City...

Honestly, we don’t chase City; we try to win our football games. The thing is now we have obviously the cup final at the weekend and City play, I don’t know exactly who, but they might probably win this game then it is six points again before we play the next Premier League game. I am not sure then if we play the next game after them or before them, [but] it might be nine points all of a sudden, so we don’t have to count these kind of things. We just have to win our football games. Do we do that front-footed? Yes, but as much as I love the goals we scored tonight, I loved the clean sheet because everything we do is based on a top-organised defensive performance. Without that we are just a good football team, but with that we can be a successful football team.

I like the determination we showed again tonight for defending, the commitment of the boys. It is an interesting period, definitely – an interesting period of the season coming up. Now we play the final, then FA Cup, then West Ham, so nobody should count the points before we play them because we lost the game there, so there is obviously, as we say, an open bill. We have to clarify something, but that is in 10 days or so and so many things can happen until then. We just have to stay really focused on: go for it with all we have.

On Matip’s goal...

You might remember the goal we scored, it was Mo’s goal after Trent’s cross at Leeds. It was a very similar situation. The way Leeds defend, it gives, especially Joel on that right side, the chance and it is a duty then to step in, to make yards. There will always be the block and you have to find a way to keep the game going and he did that this time with a pass to the outside and then followed through, which is absolutely great. Then he finished it off. It’s not possible in all games – and not needed in all games – but against Leeds it’s possible and against Leeds it’s needed as well. He did that very well and got the full reward for it. I am really happy for him.

Published 23rd February 2022