ReactionJürgen Klopp on Community Shield win, Nunez, squad confidence and more
Jürgen Klopp was pleased by Liverpool's competitive levels after his squad claimed the FA Community Shield on Saturday evening.
WATCH: Liverpool 3-1 Man City highlights
The Reds earned a hard-fought 3-1 victory over Manchester City in what was the curtain-raiser for the 2022-23 campaign at King Power Stadium.
Trent Alexander-Arnold broke the deadlock in the first half before VAR intervention helped aid a flurry of activity after the break.
City substitute Julian Alvarez levelled after a lengthy delay having seen his strike initially ruled out for offside, before Mohamed Salah converted a penalty inside the final 10 minutes.
Darwin Nunez rounded off proceedings in added time to record a debut goal and his manager was delighted by the victory and overall performance at full-time.
Read on for Klopp's full post-match reaction below…
On Nunez's impact...
It was good, it was really good. It is clear it will get better with time. We live in a world where everybody gets judged on first sight and that's not helpful for nobody, but it happens constantly. We were today - both teams - not at 100 per cent of their physical, usual situation, if you want. But in the first few games [of pre-season] we were not even close to the fitness level of today. Then when he came on, we passed each ball for him to chase it and after the third ball he was completely killed and then everybody judged his first touches and these kind of things. It's just a joke, but we have to live with that, he will deal with it brilliantly, we are patient, and we know he can do good stuff. I liked his impact today; I liked the impact.
Probably one of the highlights of the game, as good as we were, was the impact from the bench - [it] was really exceptional. Everybody who came on was immediately in the game - very, very, very helpful. A top sign. It was a good game, a good start from us, then City took over [for a] while, which cost us really because we really had to run a lot. Then we could come back into the game; we had then possession and City had to run a lot and then we could finish the game with nice goals. I think it was a good watch, the whole game. Both teams used what was available today; that's what we could have expected and that's what happened.
On how encouraged he is by the substitutes' performances...
That's the job, that's the job to do, but it is not a job for four weeks' pre-season - it is a job for obviously a longer period. This team is always open arms for everybody who comes in and that's very helpful and that's why it goes a little bit quicker, maybe. I liked, how I said, the first line-up I liked a lot; how we started, I liked a lot. It was really good football, we used decisive spaces and kept City away from our goal. In the moment when they started controlling the game then it is even harder work and that's why you should try to avoid that. So, there were ups and downs in the game, but in the end both teams fought really hard and we could make the decision in the last minute or so. Really cool.
On how pleasing the finish to the game was...
Everything, I liked the whole game. We are that early [in the season], I like the problems we have in a game, especially when you win. I really like the problems because you have to work on that. I know we have to work. We said it before, we have to extend our pre-season at least for two more weeks. There's no other chance. We cannot just now go in the normal rhythm, play games at the weekend that we are not prepared for. Then three games a week which we will have from, I don't know exactly, from three or four weeks. So, it was for me a really nice watch. It is the most difficult opponent you could get. They don't get worse, or whatever, they just strengthen and improve and develop and you see the squad, the boys they could bring on.
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It is very experienced [and] proven quality and we have space to improve the quality from the bench, but I'm really excited about it, [about] what is coming there. I love Harvey's impact, [it] probably came a bit late, only because of set-pieces, we were not sure [with] how to deal with it... Millie is, I am not sure which level he can reach this year to be honest, it looks very promising with Millie. Curt [and] Naby... wow when Naby came on. It's just good and the boys who were sitting out today are in good shape as well, so that was the impression of the pre-season, but then you need a game, a real game, to show how far you are and tonight we were absolutely OK.
On the confidence Nunez can take from his goal...
Definitely, we all know they are a special species, strikers. The other thing everybody needs [are] little positives. That means goals, or goal involvements. I think Darwin would have been fine even without scoring the third one because the penalty was Millie's cross and his header. The chance he had before he did really well, but Ederson reacted brilliantly. The goal was obviously the icing on the cake, so really pleased for him. You could see in his face, you could see in the face of all his teammates how happy the boys are for him and that's a really good sign after that short period of time that he is with us.