Press conferenceJürgen Klopp on Liverpool 4-0 United: 'A perfect night we don't take for granted'
Liverpool will not take the manner of their 4-0 victory over Manchester United for granted, Jürgen Klopp insisted as he hailed a ‘perfect night’ for his team.
Liverpool 4-0 Man Utd: Extended highlights
The Reds went top of the Premier League standings with the resounding win ahead of Manchester City’s home fixture with Brighton & Hove Albion on Wednesday.
Luis Diaz set them on their way at a raucous Anfield when he swept in from Mohamed Salah’s centre with just five minutes elapsed.
The No.11 then got himself in on the goalscoring act by finishing a stunning team move, before Sadio Mane furthered the hosts’ advantage after the break.
Salah added the finishing touches by chipping David de Gea from a Diogo Jota pass to put the seal on an outstanding night’s work for Liverpool, who moved two points in front of City.
Read on to see what Klopp had to tell reporters during his post-match press conference at Anfield.
On the level of performance from his side...
Top level, obviously, very important. We started the game well and finished the game extremely well off. In between we had a spell where we had to adjust to the different high-press system, line-up and organisation of the opponent. But it’s really difficult, we were 2-0 up. I saw so many football games when one team is clear better. We were clear better in the first half. Then keeping the concentration level is, obviously, very important but then we have a 15-minute break and we go out and the opponent is going for it, so the first situation was a little bit the reason where we [had] three, four passes around our six-yard box then end up with a corner, I think, from United. [It] gave them the feeling, ‘OK, that’s what we do from now on,’ and we didn’t find immediately the right solution, but I thought with the first ball we passed through the lines [and we] could turn in the centre again, from that moment on we were again completely in charge. So, yes, top-class performance, absolutely.
On his moment of the night during an impressive performance...
Pretty sure if you ask anybody about it, my moment of the game, even when it was very important and a great result, was the seventh minute when our people showed pure class. The whole stadium together showed pure class, in a moment where we obviously, everybody knew since yesterday, since I heard first time about it, so many things they are much more important in life than football. Obviously, we really feel for Cristiano and his family. That was my moment of the game, but other football moments were obviously absolutely outstanding.
Yes, Mo scored two, set up the first. Luis set up Sadio’s [goal] and got the ball from Mo [for his own], and all these kinds of things. Diogo came on, set Mo’s second up, all these kinds of things, [it] couldn’t have been better, to be honest. Yes, Thiago played a good game. That’s his quality. With quality obviously comes responsibility, so if you are good you better play good as well. That’s what he did tonight really, again. From a football point of view, really nothing to moan about. It was the perfect night for us, we don’t take these kind of things for granted.
I really thought in all situations when we didn’t press them like we usually did, you saw immediately there were offside situations, but even the ones that were probably not offside, when Rashford got behind our line and Robbo had to save us there, [it] was just clear if we were not as lively as we were in our pressing and if our counter-press wouldn’t have been as sensational as it was tonight, I really think United could have had a much better game. But because we were extremely good, it didn’t happen for them.
On whether there were any fitness concerns behind the substitution of Thiago Alcantara...
He ripped his pants! No, shorts... afterwards he told me. I didn’t get that. I thought it was something else, but obviously that was fine.
On scoring nine against United without reply in the two Premier League games this season...
I’m not here to humiliate opponents or whatever. That is absolutely not the reason. We did what we had to do and we won the games, that’s how it is. United is obviously in a difficult situation; look at the line-up tonight, they played without their centre-midfielders and I think McTominay was only here to show up, I don’t think he was ready probably. So, when you are already in a difficult situation, very often in life you get another knock - and that’s what United got already before the game, [then] in the game Paul [Pogba] has to go off. Then, come on, whether it is a derby or not it is not easy to play against us. That’s why the 9-0 I’m not interested [in]. That’s really something for the supporters; if they want to celebrate 9-0 then they can do that, but it’s not for me. We wanted three points and if it would have been 1-0 twice I would feel exactly the same - and I know it will not last forever. They will strike back, they will be there again, this club is too powerful, but in the moment - for tonight - we were too good, that’s the truth.
On how he rated Liverpool’s performance tonight overall...
I really thought - and people might say I’m obsessed with counter-press - but the counter-press was absolutely a completely different level. A completely different level. So, we lost balls, which is normal when you are in possession - I think we had 70-something per cent of possession, but then you lose balls. The counter-press we did was unbelievable and then the opponent cannot gain momentum or whatever. It makes it really tricky. Yes, first half and the second part of the second half, with the result already more or less in the pocket, it was absolutely outstanding. We were not easy to play against tonight, definitely not.
On whether he could enjoy the performance given what is at stake...
Did I enjoy 2-0 up at half-time? No. Yes, I enjoyed the moments but 2-0 is actually really not my favourite result. It is better than a lot of others, but it’s exactly what happened again - they come out and they are different because they take off [Phil] Jones and bring [on Jadon] Sancho and the pressing is different. You are just used to specific spaces from the first half and then all of a sudden, ‘OK, that doesn’t work anymore, what’s now exactly wrong?’ We didn’t start moving immediately again, we didn’t drop in the right [places] and all of a sudden you can’t pass the ball through. All of a sudden, we had four in the back, two marked in the centre and four high and nobody who we could really find. You cannot know at half-time they will do it, so preparing for it is difficult. You have to adapt to it and we did that - it took a while, but we did that. From that moment on, I loved the game again and with the difficulties we had, it then makes it a perfect game because you have to overcome these things. It’s not that I thought at 2-0 it was done and dusted, not at all. We opened the door a little bit for City a few days ago in the game, but it is nothing to do with that - it’s just you have to be serious, you have to be professional and mature and bring these kind of things over the line. We did that, a great night.
On whether he will watch Manchester City’s game with Brighton & Hove Albion on Wednesday night...
It’s really not likely - City we might play again, I don’t know, but Brighton I am pretty sure we don’t play anymore, so it’s not likely. Hopefully, I have something to do which makes more sense.