Press conferenceJürgen Klopp explains changes that won the derby for Liverpool
Jürgen Klopp explained the improvements Liverpool had to make in the second half to earn their 2-0 victory over Everton on Sunday.
Liverpool 2-0 Everton: Extended highlights
After a scrappy opening 45 minutes at Anfield, the Reds clinched three more Premier League points thanks to headers from Andy Robertson and substitute Divock Origi.
During his post-match press conference, the manager detailed the tweaks he and his staff deployed at the interval and then from the bench to turn the goalless score into another crucial win.
Read what Klopp told the media below…
On today’s substitutions making a massive difference…
Yes! That is what substitutions should do and we are really happy with the impact this season, to be honest, when the boys come on. That is all about the right mindset, being ready. Hendo came on late but how he showed up was absolutely exceptional and then obviously Luis [Diaz] and Divock were involved in the goals – that helps most, obviously, in a football game, especially when you play against such a low block. We were not really good in the first half, I can admit that easily because it was obvious and we do these kind of things in public so probably everyone saw it. That is not good and good in the same moment because then if at half-time it’s 0-0 you have a good chance to improve with simple messages and that’s what we did. Then we won, all good.
On his appreciation for Origi…
He’s a legend on and off the pitch, I have to say. That’s how it is. He is a fantastic footballer, for me, and I know that sounds ridiculous because I don’t line him up often. He is a world-class striker, he is our best finisher, definitely; he always was and everybody would say the same. When you see him doing these kinds of things in training and then he is not in the squad because of the quality of the other players, that is really hard. I can imagine today again, other players were not in the squad, they are in a really good shape, they are really hard decisions to make because the boys all want to contribute and all are responsible for the situation we are in. Div, everybody loves Div and rightly so. He was again very decisive and I’m very, very happy for him.
On what those ‘simple messages’ at half-time were…
There’s one area where you should wish, where you score the goals, is behind the last line. I don’t think we showed up there at all in the first half, to be honest. Played around the formation. It’s really difficult. We had 82 per cent possession. It’s really difficult, especially with the counter-attacking threat they have because if they have one thing then it’s real speed up front. Anthony Gordon obviously is a real talent and is really quick and we had our problems there.
So we showed actually one situation and stopped it eight times and showed what we could have done differently in the specific moments – so, accelerations, playing the half-spaces, getting in behind the line, even chipping balls in behind the line. Because what we did, we played around and then we played in the centre, and in the centre they had more legs than us because it’s not such a cool thing – but it’s normal as well, it can happen – that against a deep formation you have too many players behind the ball obviously. So, you have a lot of passers but not a lot of receivers. The receivers only really move when they see they will get the ball, but you need these movements without getting the ball to destruct the formation a little bit. And we didn’t do that often enough obviously in the first half.
In football there’s always an explanation for the things you don’t do well – that’s the good thing about it. We improved and then we thought with the changes we made, now we can give them another task to deal with: having a second striker in the centre. We didn’t need another build-up player really in these moments, we had enough players with the ball in possession.
But if Div and Mo [Salah] don’t see the situation, pass the ball, follow the situation, chip it to the second post, and Robbo probably the first time in the game shows up at the second post and scores from there, then we still sit here and talk about a 0-0 maybe. So, you need these moments, that’s up to the boys. Credit to them that they found a way. How I said, all good.
On being ‘brave’ with those tactical changes and the reasons for it…
The situation in the table is clear for us, so no news. But to win the game you have to change things, that’s true. I’m not sure it was brave. We tried to adapt as well in the protection because obviously Anthony was on his bike a couple of times and we cannot leave then Joel [Matip] constantly there alone. We told Trent [Alexander-Arnold] to play from a little bit deeper and we wanted Fab that side as well, so we knew where the threat is coming from but still could not always defend it in the first place. That’s how it is. If you don’t take risks you cannot win a football game, that’s how it is. It was obviously easy to improve today from the first half and we did. That’s why it’s all good.