Manchester City 2-2 Liverpool: Jürgen Klopp's reaction

Press conferenceManchester City 2-2 Liverpool: Jürgen Klopp's reaction

By James Carroll and Sam Williams at Etihad Stadium


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Jürgen Klopp reflected on a ‘massive game’ and explained why little has changed in the title race after Liverpool’s dramatic 2-2 draw with Manchester City.

Extended highlights: Man City 2-2 Liverpool

The Reds twice came from behind to claim a point from a relentless contest between the Premier League’s top two at Etihad Stadium, with Diogo Jota and Sadio Mane equalising goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus.

The draw leaves the title race finely balanced as City remain one point ahead of Liverpool with seven matches left to play.

Read a transcript of Klopp’s post-match press conference below…

On his interaction with the Liverpool supporters after the final whistle...

I was searching for my missus, to be honest! She was there somewhere in between and I wanted to make sure she was still fine. Come on, it [was] not to celebrate something, it is just to show appreciation, to say thank you. I think the support was, again, simply incredible. We could calm down the City crowd slightly with the football we played in moments, but there were other moments really on their toes. I liked the game, atmosphere-wise as well. Nothing changed, really. You play 95 minutes of incredibly intense football and you are as smart as before, but that is actually pretty good news. If we won today, which would have been possible but it would have been possible that we lost, we would have been two points up but it would have changed nothing. We have to be nearly perfect to beat this team in a game and over a season as well. Let’s see. No, I didn’t find her, but she was there, so all good.

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On whether he was unhappy at half-time with Liverpool’s first-half performance...

Not unhappy, but I knew we could improve. It is not that I went in and said, ‘How can we do that?’ I know how intense it is. The concentration level in these games is incredible, to be honest. I have said now a couple of times, it is like two boxers, two heavyweights, and in the moment you put your arms down you get such a knock in the middle of your face and then you have to get up again, to try to get control again, and that’s what happened. What we said at half-time - and what we said before the game already - was [about] the way we have to defend because we had to be there [and] more braver in these moments. Hendo did exceptionally well stepping up in these situations.

When we didn’t have that and we couldn’t put pressure on the ball then we were too high, but not too high like staying too high, [it was] the timing of their runs was outstanding and that’s why it was really tricky. But I liked a lot and that was actually the main message at half-time that when we controlled the game we caused them more problems than ever before in games. That’s really good; we improved in this department and it is good, good news for us, but of course I would have loved it if we would have done it more often. The football situation around the first goal and when we scored the second goal, both were just top awareness, go there, top finish and all these kind of things. Then we had 15 minutes where we were clear, kind of in control but then they got momentum back. You could see both teams wanted for a minute or two [to] take a deep breath and then go again. A massive game.

On City’s tactical approach to the game and whether it was similar to Liverpool’s own style...

Welcome, we don’t own the style, so it’s fine. It’s just smart. Who cares, City are allowed to play balls behind the line. When you have the runs they have, I couldn’t respect it more. Kevin De Bruyne… it is easy to play the pass, but the timing for their runs was not bad, to be honest. I liked that. We could have done it as well, but we were in the playing mood. It’s fine, really. How I said, we improved and it’s about winning football games and not about showing up, which style you want to push through. Yes, there were moments that were not how they are usually, but I thought it was a good idea.

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On Liverpool being in a ‘playing mood’…

We played much less long balls than we usually do, so we wanted to play between the lines, through the lines, these kind of things because we control it. The last line of City defends balls behind really well, they are really together, physically they are all quick, all these kind of things, so we want to mix it up. The plan was to play, how we did. Look, the first goal we scored… we have scored similar goals against City. I’m pretty sure there was one goal, it was an away game here as well and we lost 2-1, when Bobby Firmino scored after Trent crossed and Robbo heads the ball square. We had the ball before that I think [for] 25 or 30 passes - it was not that often today but it was a similar goal, so that’s what we want to do, that’s what we have to do. No team in the world is perfect: we are not, City is probably the closest but it’s not perfect as well so we have to force them to make a few little mistakes.

On whether he believes the Reds and City will need to win all of their remaining games to win the title…

Yeah, I think that’s probably right. How I said, nothing changed for us. We knew it in January; we knew in January if we wanted to win it we have to win 18 games and if there is one we can draw it was today. We drew and now let’s see. We have now two massive games for us: we have Benfica on Wednesday and City again Saturday and then after that it really starts, we have to be ready for our derbies. Yeah, but it’s actually cool, it’s good, we are where we want to be, we are close to an incredible side.

My boys showed today that we are really, really good as well and I’ve said now a couple of times, if you don’t have luck in life then you are screwed. That’s how it is. We have the situation and we had the situation three years ago; one point behind but that was not a point, it was actually millimetres [that decided the title] here and at Burnley. That’s the situation and we have no influence on that. We all know that in situations you need, I don’t think luck with ref decisions, but at least the right decisions, all these kind of things. That’s something that we cannot influence, what we have to be, we have to be pretty much as close to perfection as possible to win seven Premier League games, which is absolutely insane. But that’s obviously the only way to beat this team if it’s enough, because if they win them as well it is different.

On whether he can appreciate and enjoy matches like this or not because of the intensity…

It’s not that the main mood is joy but yes, I enjoy moments, absolutely. I respect a lot what they are doing so I even can enjoy moments like that, especially when they don’t score. But when I see the pass and see the run I think ‘wow’ because it’s important - could we have done something differently in that moment or not? Yes, I can enjoy moments, but it’s not the general mood, it’s work.



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