Jürgen Klopp press conference: Liverpool 2-0 Union SG

ReactionJürgen Klopp press conference: Liverpool 2-0 Union SG

By Joe Urquhart and James Carroll at Anfield


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Jürgen Klopp saw positives from his Liverpool team during their 2-0 Europa League win over Union SG at Anfield on Thursday night.

The Reds remain top of Group E following the victory, which was clinched thanks to a first Ryan Gravenberch goal for the club in the opening period and a Diogo Jota effort in stoppage time.

Klopp's men are ahead of second-placed Toulouse – who they face next in the competition on October 26 – with the Ligue 1 outfit having gathered four points from their opening two matches.

Read on for a summary of what the boss had to say in a post-match media briefing following the home tie with Union SG…

On what he liked about Liverpool's performance…

The start and the result and the goals and the chances we created. What I didn't like was that we lost rhythm after 25 minutes, I don't know exactly [the time], [I] didn't do it on the watch, but it's very difficult to keep the rhythm in a game like this. But it's as important; very important. It's clear we should've scored before, [we] should've been 2-0 up when we scored the goal. [We] scored late, that's fine. Made it vintage, whatever you want to call it, a mature, professional performance.

[We] got the result we wanted and know we can do better. But on top of that a lot of good individual things I saw; good performances. Trent back. Quansah first international game; really good. Kosti much improved. Ibou long, long, long really good. So, we could share with our situation now because for Sunday we have only from our fantastic five, [we] only three players left for the front line, so plenty of positives, but yes it could've been better as well. We should [be] better, play better, use our chances more often if you want to be successful in the competition, that's clear. But I'm not angry or concerned or whatever, it's just for today it was like that, and we know we have to do better, that's it.

On Gravenberch's first Reds goal and his overall quality…

Yeah, exactly that. I think it's really obvious how good he is, what a talent he is. He's enjoying the situation, enjoying himself, that's very important, [he] gets step by step all the confidence back, that's really cool to see. He's in the middle of the group, fits really well to the age group of the majority of the squad, so that's really good. That's only positive. We thought he might be able to play 90, we want to give him 90, but then we saw now he dropped a little bit and didn't want to go there [with] any risks so that's why we brought on Dom for a few minutes. [It's] good. Everything goes in the right direction, that's really helpful.

On how pleased he was for Jota to get on the scoresheet after a difficult week...

Very good. How should he deal with it? I knew that it would be difficult when yesterday I spoke about the other game. I knew and you proved to me again just how the world is. I think everybody who was here heard what I said but everybody understood something else; it's OK. But if I made the impression yesterday that I was still in the game against Tottenham, I was not at all. That's long ago. We are over that. That's fine and Diogo is that as well and Joel could've played tonight because he's over it as well. That's all fine. We are not children or whatever. We just had a few questions to answer and did that and that's it.

From a focus point of view, it was not a problem to focus on the game. I would say in the game it was a problem to keep being focused because that's how it looked a little bit. We got a bit sluggish and stuff like this. I didn't like that too much but that's obviously neither with Diogo nor with the team anything to do with the last game or the last week. It's just because that's the challenge of football anyway.

On the triple half-time change that saw Wataru Endo, Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah taken off...

Yes, all three subs were planned. If we could do it, that was the idea. If we could do it and nobody else had problems, then it was clear these three boys go off.

Ryan Gravenberch on Union SG win, first Liverpool goal and Anfield ovation

ReactionRyan Gravenberch on Union SG win, first Liverpool goal and Anfield ovationRyan Gravenberch detailed his determination to repay the support given to him by Liverpool fans after he scored his first goal for the club.

On Jarell Quansah's performance and dealing with the physicality of opponents...

That's part of the development; if you are not ready for that then it's difficult to play, to be honest, in adult football. But I was not in doubt about that, that he's ready for that. It's all because of him [that] it was not a difficult decision for us to line him up tonight. Still young, we have a really good football team together, [so] it means he will get minutes, he will play U21s as well and stuff like this, but it's nice to see. It's a joy to watch his development since he is properly with us. He's a really good footballer on the ball, he is outstanding in that. The chance of Mo in the first half, he would have got the assist – it was top defending, really quick thinking, stepping into it. Probably he feels rather good tonight, I would say. Rightly so.

On being able to make a large number of changes and still get results...

I wouldn't say I didn't see a drop-off. It is not because of different formations, it is now that the game is now not as steady. Development [is] in the right direction, but at Tottenham it was not perfect as well. It was just tough with 10 men, with nine men, is obviously not easy and you cannot really compare it with other games. I said before, but always when you speak about these kind of things a week later we miss five players [through injury].

This time, we spoke so many times and everybody told me five strikers plus the talents and stuff like this, fantastic. But for the [next] league game we have three and one is out for a while and the other one is, OK, then back again but that's how it is. That's what we need to have. How can we now stand here with not having an injury crisis – which we don't have in the moment and hopefully it stays like this – and not change your team? We need a specific amount of players for four competitions, that's what we have and I am really happy with that, absolutely. I think we changed nine times tonight; it would have been 10 if Caoimhin could have played. Good, important and necessary because we play in four competitions.



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