Jürgen Klopp's verdict on Liverpool 0-1 Inter

Press conferenceJürgen Klopp's verdict on Liverpool 0-1 Inter

By James Carroll and Chris Shaw at Anfield


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Jürgen Klopp felt Liverpool deserved to progress to the Champions League last eight as they held off Internazionale with a 2-1 victory on aggregate.

Liverpool 0-1 Inter: Highlights

Simone Inzaghi’s Inter were 1-0 winners at Anfield on Tuesday night courtesy of Lautaro Martinez’s brilliant blast, but the Reds’ success by a two-goal margin in Italy last month carried them through to the next stage.

Klopp’s side hit the woodwork three times during the second leg, while the visitors’ hopes of completing a comeback were hindered by the dismissal of Alexis Sanchez shortly after their goal.

Read a summary of Klopp’s post-match press conference at Anfield below…

Champions League quarter-final draw details

NewsChampions League quarter-final draw detailsLiverpool will discover their Champions League quarter-final opponents on Friday March 18.

On his thoughts about the game and whether the defeat can be used as a positive for the remainder of the season…

Pete Krawietz always says the art of football is to lose the right games. I still hate it but if there was any kind of game we could have afforded to lose, it was tonight because the main target obviously of this competition is to get through. But it’s not that I’m here like over the moon. I’m really happy that we went through because obviously when we saw the draw in the first place it was like, ‘OK, that’s a tough one.’ So we went through and I think over the two legs we deserved it. That’s fine. That we had some problems in the game tonight was [for] different reasons, one is the quality of the opponent – they are a really good football team. And their set-up – we know that in the league a little bit from Leeds under Bielsa – just with much more quality and that makes it really tricky to play against them. But we still had our chances and didn’t score.

When I think about the game, I didn’t like our counter-press, I don’t think we won any kind of ball back in the first 20 minutes. You have to be kind of expansive when you open up, when you are in possession, but when you lose the ball – and we lost the ball obviously in strange moments – then you have to chase the situation. And that was not exactly how I wanted it. But in the end, we have to respect the quality of the opponent. We do that. How I said, it’s a big if – we didn’t score – but if we would have used our chances from set-pieces, from other situations, it was then a bit slapstick how we missed the chances in the end, we still could have won the game. That’s the only thing I’m interested in, that it’s fair that we are through, against a really strong opponent. Now let’s carry on.

On the decision to send off Sanchez in the second half…

I don’t understand why we have to discuss that. If you played football, if you can win the ball only, if you bring yourself in a position that you endanger the opponent then you don’t win the ball. That’s it. If Fab goes in with the same intention, with a long leg, then both players get injured. Fab is there because he judged the ball that if he is not flying in, then I will get it. But because Sanchez is flying in and yeah, he touched the ball – that’s possible – but in the end he cannot stop and hit Fab in a really bad way, to be honest. I think he was quite lucky that he didn’t get a different colour [card] in the first half for a foul on Thiago, leg that high against the knee, similar situation. Passion is good, absolutely good, but if it leads to these kind of things it just doesn’t help.

On his thoughts on both AC Milan and Inter, having faced both teams this season...

Really good, really good. Both teams [are] really good. [They have] different set-up[s]. I think I said after the games against [AC] Milan, I really like the project there, this kind of mix with young players and all these kind of things. I like how they approach the games, the way they play. Inter is probably more experienced and obviously has a different set-up, with man-marking which is really tough to play against. I can imagine when the opponent sits deep then it might be more difficult for them, but in general the quality both teams have is really exceptional. If anybody talks about the quality of Italian football, nobody talks about the top four or five. We faced Atalanta and they gave us a proper game here at Anfield as well, it was really difficult. Juve, we don’t have to talk about [their quality] and then Napoli, we played quite a lot against Napoli, to be honest. So we are Italian experts and let me say it like this, if you get an Italian team in the draw it is not that you start a party immediately. You think, ‘Oh, God – that’s hard work’ – and it was hard work.

On whether there is anything that will give him cause for concern from tonight...

Parts, not everything. So, the first 20 minutes I didn’t like our counter-press too much and that is something that is nothing to do with the opponent, that is only about us. The goal we conceded, we shouldn’t have conceded, even when the finish was really brilliant, but we could have done [things] different before. It is not that I’m the type of guy who now puts the finger in it and tells the boys that it was completely out of range or whatever. Things like this can happen, so again, you have to make sure you know about it and then you don’t do it again – or you just do it better next time.

As I said, we could have played better, not too much better, to be honest, because the opponent is just really good. It is not that I think we should have dominated them for whatever or however. It is really difficult, but we all know if the first header goes in and all these kind of things – I know it’s a big if – but if we use one or two chances, the game is a completely different story. Because we didn’t use them, Inter stayed in the game and that they could score the goal then it was more exciting than we wanted, not for too long because of the red card and then we could control it completely. I think we are deserved in the quarter-final and that’s actually all I’m interested in.



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