Jürgen Klopp press conference: West Ham win, semi-final draw, Curtis Jones and more

Carabao CupJürgen Klopp press conference: West Ham win, semi-final draw, Curtis Jones and more

By James Carroll and Glenn Price at Anfield


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'A really good performance in all departments' was Jürgen Klopp's assessment of Liverpool's 5-1 victory over West Ham United in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals.

Well-taken goals from Dominik Szoboszlai, Curtis Jones (two), Cody Gakpo and Mohamed Salah at Anfield on Wednesday night clinched the Reds' spot in the last four of the competition.

The win set up a tie with Fulham over two legs next month, with a place in the Wembley final on the line.

Read on for a summary of Klopp's post-match press conference…

On the difference between tonight's performance and Sunday's draw with Manchester United...

Of course there was a difference – things clicked tonight. A couple of things didn't click on Sunday. I'm not sure I'm allowed to talk about what they did, to be honest, because everybody is really going for you and I am not sure I want to have that... it was just we played against a deep-defending opponent on Sunday. It's the most difficult thing in football. We shot 30-odd times on the goal anyway and didn't hit it because of some good goalie saves and sometimes because our decision-making was not great.

Tonight we scored in these moments. Sometimes the difference is sometimes the inch on the foot of a player, if the ball goes or not. That happened tonight with Dom's 1-0, but left and right of this goal the difference was not too big. We were dominant and didn't score in all the other moments. Then, second half we did it. I think 2-0 was Curtis through the legs, so cheeky but you need luck. Three-nil, Cody, wonderful goal but, again, similar situations in the game – this is a shot from Cody which is really special and I liked it a lot. Completely composed, no rush, just get into the position, finish it off and really difficult for the goalie. These are the differences. Besides that, it's a different game.

We had a lot of really good performances tonight, I have to say. Individually the performances were, in general, probably better than in the game on Sunday, where we didn't play exactly the same football but that's how it is. Tonight it was one of those nights where you really could enjoy the game from start to finish because it was just a really good performance in all departments. It was difficult for West Ham, obviously, and we won the game. Everything is good.

On Jones' performance...

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He did even better [than he has in recent months], to be honest, because he added in his game the acceleration with the ball, which is really important. You cannot do that against each opponent, but there are some opponents where you can do it, when you pass the first line then you have to go with the ball. His second goal is now a crazy goal because you go pretty much towards the penalty spot from where he scored, that's pretty rare, but it's an important thing for him to do. Yes, it was a really good game. He looked super-fresh, which is probably not surprising because he didn't now play thousands of minutes in recent weeks. In general, the performance was just good.

Harvey, thankfully, interpreted the role as the right-winger completely different to Mo, which is important because nobody should play it like Mo. If Mo is not there we have to play to our skillset and that's what Harvey did. It was top. Dom looked really, really good. Wataru looked really good. That's the engine room of the team in midfield and these boys are defensively and offensively cheeky. Then you have Cody, really good game, and Darwin is this threat for in behind. A bit unlucky again with the post but besides that a really good game and then the last line, that was a tricky game.

We all know because our pressing was pretty good and they have long balls as well and how we defended the first was maybe not that surprising with the boys we had there, but then the second ball was just really good. We were ready for these hectic moments, ball in the air, bring it down and then from there we can play. That was all good, what can I say? That was really good tonight, I am really happy about that. The boys we brought on made an impact, really good. We could change early, which is helpful as well. Now we recover and go again.

On Darwin Nunez starting out wide...

He can play there, there's no doubt. So for us it's just important that we have there different opportunities. When we start like this, like we start today, obviously if then two players who are probably a little bit more dropping in the 10 position but if you have then Dom on the other side and Joey who offers then these runs in behind, then it's all fine again. For Darwin, it's not important if he starts in the centre or left and stuff like this. I thought he did really well tonight. So he defended on that side, he was a real handful again, so I liked that.

I think in the moment we're second in the league, which is not that bad, but because we have to talk every day about us, you make stories up and all of a sudden from everything is fine after a 0-0 we start discussing who is not scoring and the frontline is not firing and stuff like this. If I would read all these things, I get told sometimes that it's a story and then I look at the headlines and just think, 'Oh my God. I really feel for you all that you have to make these stories up.'

We are just trying to be as good as we can with all our human weaknesses what we have. So far it was not that bad, tonight it was really good, but for Saturday we have to step up another 40, 50, 60 per cent. Arsenal is incredibly strong and [a] difficult opponent. We just try to make sure we are difficult as well.

On whether getting close to a final 'changes the feeling of a season'...

I would say we talk after the semi-finals about being close. So, the semi-finals are two games, it's not about that. But we know, we were at Wembley two years ago or so, we were there a lot of times, let me say it like that, and it's a great stadium, it's a wonderful place to be. So yes, we want to go there – I think everybody saw that tonight. But at the moment we don't even know who we play, it's in the moment not important because between now and then there are a lot of games to play, it's a tough period. I spoke before the game with David [Moyes] about it – for them as well. It's a really tough period and I'm really happy we could show a performance like we did tonight.

But I have to say, it's long ago that I said it, I thought it in the first half a little bit when the boys played really exceptional, I was not overly happy, I have to say it now, with the atmosphere behind me. I asked people, 'What do you want?' So, we changed a lot of things, we dominate West Ham like crazy, we missed chances. If I would be in the stand, I would be on my toes, 1,000 per cent. I don't know if the Man United game was that bad that we have to say, 'Oh sorry that we didn't smash them.' We need Anfield on Saturday.

Without Anfield, I would say... they didn't play this week. Just to make sure – I know, sorry – they didn't play. They prepared for this game and [those] who know a little bit about them, they will be prepared. So, we need Anfield on their toes from the first second – without me having an argument with the opposition coach, whatever. We need you from the first second. If you really want, if it's too much football in December, I don't know, sorry, we have to play it as well. But if you are not in the right shape, give your ticket to somebody else.

No, the negativity was around us and the stadium not. Just not the excitement I felt about the performance. I thought it's a performance you really can enjoy – so many good performances, so many good individual performances, so many challenges to celebrate, stuff like this. But we were only 1-0 up and had a game where we had a lot of shots and didn't score. But if it's warming up for Saturday, I'm happy.

On facing Fulham in the last four...

It looks like it will be two spectacular games – the last one was pretty spectacular. We spoke about that before the game with David as well, Fulham is extremely well set up, which we felt here, which then West Ham felt as well a few days later. They were really unlucky, I would say, against Newcastle. I saw that a little bit with the red card and stuff like this – we could have seen that differently, to be honest. I'm not sure I would have given that red card, to be honest, I know how it looks in the first moment but then you look again at it and I would probably not have given it. But they are really strong, to be honest, really good team and they want to go to Wembley as well, so we will feel that. We have a few weeks until we play them, right? Two, three weeks?



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This article has been automatically translated and, while all reasonable efforts have been made to ensure accuracy, some errors in translation are possible. Please refer to the original English-language version of the article for the official version.