Jürgen Klopp on Leicester win, Jota's limit and Salah's return

Press conferenceJürgen Klopp on Leicester win, Jota's limit and Salah's return

Published 10th February 2022
By James Carroll and Chris Shaw at Anfield

Jürgen Klopp was ultimately 'really happy' with Liverpool's night's work as they beat Leicester City 2-0 at Anfield on Thursday.

Liverpool 2-0 Leicester: Extended highlights

The Reds reduced the gap to Premier League leaders Manchester City to nine points, with a game in hand, as Diogo Jota struck twice to defeat the Foxes.

Klopp felt there were elements of his side’s performance that could have been better but was satisfied to reflect on a contest in which Luis Diaz made his first start for the club, Mohamed Salah returned off the bench on the hour, and three important points were secured.

Read a transcript of the manager’s post-match press conference below…

On how pleased he is with the performance…

I am because winning 2-0, I will never – and it’s not allowed to – take something like that for granted. I saw a lot of good football tonight but there were moments when I wished we would have controlled the game a little bit more, when we gave Leicester at least a bit too much possession. It didn’t lead to anything properly, that they had massive chances or things like that, but it costs you kind of energy and we could have invested that in the other direction. But anyhow, it was two wonderful goals, could have scored more and we are the deserved winner. So, I’m really happy about that.

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On Diaz ‘looking at home in a Liverpool shirt already’…

That’s exactly the impression he made in training and that’s why we thought, ‘Come on, let’s give it a try.’ There were a lot of things when we saw him playing for Porto where we thought, ‘Yes, that’s exactly what we want him to do as well.’ On top of that, he seems to be a really smart football boy, has obviously watched Liverpool quite a lot. We didn’t overload new players with information in the first week and tell them everything we want them to do, we just have a look. And when we looked at it, it looked like a Liverpool player, that’s true. The last few minutes when he came on against Cardiff already, and now the situation was just made for it because Sadio came home only last night and is probably still in bed. And Mo after four times 120 minutes, it was clear he will not start as well. So, just the situation was there and he obviously enjoyed the game.

On trying to chase down Man City…

I’m not sure we are in a position to get them on their toes, to be honest. But it’s not important in the moment, to be honest. Actually, if we had no chance to catch them, would that mean we shall not try to play the best possible season for us? I can’t see that. First and foremost we have to win our football games. This football club is massive and since I’m here I can’t remember a game we lost and everybody said, ‘Yeah, you can lose that game.’ It’s always the same situation: there’s a game, we put on the shirts and then we have to win it. It doesn’t work out all the time but thank God, it happened a couple of times. That’s the situation we are in. It was really important for us tonight to win, because there’s not only Man City to catch or whatever, there are a lot of teams in behind us who want to get closer – and that’s a very important task as well.

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On Jota’s knack of breaking the deadlock in games and making decisive contributions…

Absolutely true. I love 1-0s, to be honest… I love 2-0s and 3-0s as well! Yes, I know what you mean. He is obviously in a really [good] goalscoring moment, which is incredibly helpful. It is always helpful, but it was now in the absence of Mo and Sadio extremely helpful. We knew he is good, [but] we had no idea how good – or where – his limit is or where he can go and I am not sure he is already there, he is just improving. If you speak to him you will realise he is a really smart person, so he will judge all that right and then will use that for the next steps.

On Salah’s impact off the bench…

What a quality he has. I think the first situation was incredible, the counter. The first move was genius; the defender slipped and he walked away. Unfortunately, Kasper Schmeichel is not a bad goalie, so he made an incredible save and the player from behind… OK, we won 2-0, [but] that was a tackle for sure, I am not sure 100 per cent how you will judge that from a ref point of view. Then the crossbar or the edge of the goal, an incredible situation, and the other one I forgot but that’s just Mo. He had 35 minutes roundabout, it was the idea to bring him early, that we really can use him then. We played a lot of football in the first 55 minutes, so that’s tiring for the opponent as well, and that Mo can then come on gives your game a different dimension and we nearly used that.

Published 10th February 2022