Jürgen Klopp on Thiago's goal, team selection and Porto victory

Press conferenceJürgen Klopp on Thiago's goal, team selection and Porto victory

Published 24th November 2021


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Jürgen Klopp declared himself satisfied with Liverpool's performance after they defeated FC Porto 2-0 in the Champions League on Wednesday night.

The Reds made it five wins from five in Group B after second-half goals from Thiago Alcantara and Mohamed Salah at Anfield.

Thiago opened the scoring in the contest with a sublime half-volley after 52 minutes, before Salah netted his 17th goal of the season to wrap up the three points for Klopp's men.

Extended highlights | Liverpool 2-0 FC Porto

Read on for a summary of the boss' post-match press conference...

On Thiago's incredible goal…

Not much [more I can say]! Let me say, we had bigger chances than that in the game, but we scored with that situation because it was just an incredible goal, obviously. Whoever sees Thiago in training knows he has the technique to do it, but even with this technique it doesn't happen constantly that he can fire such a thunderball. It was good timing, to be honest. Great goal. The whole game, we needed in some moments some luck because of a few new things we did today. They came through and had big chances, especially counter-attacking on the left side and were very tricky to defend. They had their moments, but they didn't score – we scored twice and controlled the game in the second half much better. So, I'm really pleased about the performance.

On whether the team selection was to give players rhythm…

Absolutely, that was the plan. We had a lot of things to think about: who came from injury, who played a lot of games, who needed to get rested and all these kind of things. For this game, nobody felt like he needed a rest because we had Saturday-Wednesday, the boys are really used to that and they are all completely fine. It is just then the amount of games coming up, we need them all really in kind of a rhythm and that's why the line-up really made sense tonight. It worked out really well because nobody got injured and stuff like this, so everything is good.

On the thinking behind moving Takumi Minamino to the right towards the end of the second half...

I was completely happy with the way Taki played. We just had to see the game out with bringing on players and then we have to move it a bit around, and Taki then ended up on the right wing. But that's only a position where you defend. In our system, you are not there as a right winger. You play in the half-space, you drop, you do a lot of stuff and you are never a right winger, like Mo is not a right winger when he's playing there – he's in moments a right winger but in other moments he's a striker, in other moments he's a centre forward, all these kind of things. I was very happy with Taki.

On Liverpool being 'really difficult to play against'...

We could have lost this game tonight. We gave chances away where they could have scored and that would have made the game obviously really difficult, so we should not make too much of it. We were lucky in moments. But yes, we have our moments where we are really not cool to play against, that's true. And I didn't expect that tonight really because we changed decisive things, to be honest, and you don't expect then the boys immediately get like a ruthless pressing machine or whatever. You just know we have to grow into the game and that's what happened actually – that's what I'm happy about.

But there's so many games coming up and it's always you judge one game – that's the game today – but actually I think we have to play even better on Saturday against Southampton because they are a proper pressing machine and they go really for it. We have to make sure that we are ready for that. This game tonight helped obviously because we could rest players, we could give rhythm to other players, we could bring players back after injury, all these kind of things. So, a lot of good things happened tonight but I'm not sure we should make the mistake now to say we are this or that again. What we are or what we were, we will know after the season. But in the moment we are in a good moment and we should try everything to keep that going.

Published 24th November 2021


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