Jürgen Klopp press conference: Newcastle win, Salah, 'special' Jones and more

ReactionJürgen Klopp press conference: Newcastle win, Salah, 'special' Jones and more

By Chris Shaw at Anfield


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“I loved it,” declared Jürgen Klopp after Liverpool brought in the New Year with an exhilarating 4-2 win over Newcastle United at Anfield.

The Reds consolidated their spot at the top of the Premier League with a victory to kick off 2024, courtesy of Mohamed Salah’s double and efforts from Curtis Jones and Cody Gakpo during the second half.

Klopp was delighted by the display from his team as he assessed a thrilling occasion under the lights in L4. Read his post-match press conference verdict below…

On Salah’s second-half performance after earlier missing a penalty…

Yeah, nobody should be now really surprised that Mo can change a game, can improve in a game and all these kinds of things, because he did it just hundreds of times. But it’s just a really good example; the more goals you have, the more you are used to missing chances, even when it’s a penalty. And the more you just understand what you have to do: keep going and if necessary – which is very often the case – keep improving, using situations better. And that’s what Mo did.

Because I got asked that question now plenty of times and when we talk about Mo and again two goals, and Darwin [Nunez] didn’t score – but, to be honest, the situation that brought the game in the right direction was the first goal of Mo, when Darwin squares that ball. I would say everybody in the stadium would have tried to hammer that ball through the goalie just to make it happen. He squares that ball – incredible.

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Super game, from start to finish, with 10 minutes in the first half, I would say, after 35 minutes – disallowed goal, missed a pen, super-high intensity, level dropped slightly. Got into the second half and started pretty much there where we finished after 35 minutes.

Scored the first, relief too big, 1-1. Scored a second, scored the third, relief too big, 3-2. And I said now a couple of times, I like it really – Pep [Lijnders] came to me and said, ‘We need to bring Macca [Alexis Mac Allister].’ I think it was before the 3-2, I’m not sure when Macca came. ‘We need his passes.’ Then Macca came and passed the ball to Diogo [Jota].

Obviously again a really good game from start to finish and again if you have these options to bring on, that’s obviously pretty helpful. I loved the game, I loved the atmosphere, everything was perfect besides the goals obviously conceded; we could see that on Ali [Alisson Becker]’s face especially, he didn’t like that fact. But we take that for tonight and keep going.

On Jones’ display on the night…

Special game. Special game from Curtis, to be honest: his high press, his counter-press. We all know how good a player Curtis is, he is technically incredibly skilled, but he finds more and more direction in his dribbling, he gets better out of situations and his pressing and counter-pressing is meanwhile... he sets the level actually, how it should look. Really happy with that. He keeps every player in the game.

How I said, the counter-pressing we played today was absolutely exceptional, absolutely. It was a school video, you have to show it if you want to do it. A lot of times people tell me my behaviour is not great and it’s not good for grassroots football. OK, maybe the grassroots team want to play counter-press, then watch the video of that game, that is really helpful.

So many good performances, cannot actually remember really a bad one, to be honest, they were all really good. But we had to be, because in the situations when we were not at 100 per cent you could immediately see then Newcastle were there. But we made it really tricky for them tonight and it was a fully deserved three points.

On Liverpool recording 7.27 expected goals, 34 shots and 15 shots on target in the game…

I didn’t have to look at the stats because I saw it [in the game], it was really special. It was [Martin] Dubravka but it was ourselves as well. There were moments where we forced it, when the technique was not great, but then there were moments when Dubravka had a top save as well. We scored twice [where] we squared the ball and put it in the empty goal. We didn’t stop, that’s the most important thing.

I said here a few weeks ago, I spoke about the atmosphere – tonight the atmosphere was absolutely exceptional and how we all took together these missed chances, that’s how an atmosphere is. It was not like, ‘Oh my God, what are they doing?’ And I would understand that in moments, but everybody was just really on fire: we go again, we go again, we go again. And we did, we scored four goals, which is already an outstanding number. All good.



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