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    Saturday, 24 October 2020

    Liverpool 2-1 Sheffield United: Jurgen Klopp's post-match conference

    Jurgen Klopp's reaction to his side's narrow win over Sheffield United at Anfield

    Liverpool 2-1 Sheffield: Jurgen Klopp's reaction.

    Liverpool came back from a consecutive two Premier League game setback to grab all three points at Anfield on Saturday.

    Thanks to Diogo Jota's winner when he glanced in from a pinpoint Mane centre.

    Before then Roberto Firmino have tapped in a parried Sadio Mane's close-range header by goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale after Sheffield were on a 1-0 lead.

    Mohamed Salah had an effort ruled out by a VAR review after the break but Jota helped the Reds see a breakthrough two minutes after.

    The result now moves the champions level on points with Everton at the top of the table – and afterwards, Klopp spoke to journalists during his post-match press conference.

    On his satisfaction with the result and his team’s response since the Merseyside derby

    Good, a tough week obviously – a lot of games, a lot of minutes, tough opponents, hard-fighting opponents. [We] won the two [matches] after the Merseyside derby, so really pleased with that obviously. That’s it.

    On his view of the penalty awarded to Sheffield United…

    "No foul. It’s now the sixth [Premier League] game of the season, in three of them we were on the wrong end of these kind of decisions. It’s not about we want to have any advantage – we just don’t want to have any disadvantage, how you can imagine. That’s the situation now today. We were really good in the start of the game [and] the penalty we conceded gave Sheffield a proper boost. Until then, they couldn’t really get us, to be honest. But with all the quality they have and the problems they caused us, it was good until then. Then we lost a bit of patience, did not exactly what we wanted to do. [We] scored anyway a goal in the best attack actually, when the formation was in the best place and all this stuff. Went in at half-time, adjusted a few things, started really well in the second half and scored a second goal; scored another one which was, I don’t know anymore offside or not. Mo had this incredible chance, super play of him. We didn’t score so the game stayed open and they had their moments, but we defended well with a big heart. And so I liked it."

    On Alisson Becker’s return to fitness…

    "Look, Adrian did really well again in that moment, but getting Ali back is of course a pretty, pretty big boost for all of us. It was nearly three weeks he was out, I think, and feels like we had 50 games between now and then! I was really happy when he gave the green light and said, ‘Yes, I am ready’ because it was his decision. I cannot make the decision for him and tell him, ‘Do you still feel pain or too much pain when you bounce on the ground or whatever?’ So it was his decision and he said thumbs-up and so we were happy."

    On the change of formation, whether it was a way to get Jota into the starting XI, and how he felt it worked…

    "Good in a lot of moments. It was not so much about getting Diogo on the pitch because he can play a lot of positions in our actual formation, our usual formation. It was like, ‘How can we start? How can we change? How can we do all the stuff which is important in a game? How can we cause them problems?’ Sheffield United has a big advantage obviously that they prepare a full week for our game. They can do 12 different set-pieces, to train them during the week; we have recovery sessions. So we thought with a slight change we could at least give them some problems as well, which we did actually. The very first ball was an incredible ball – and we didn’t play that ball anymore, unfortunately – when Sadio was through and Mo was nearly there. The idea was just not to change too much for us because it’s only moments. Of course, defending-wise it’s completely different. Offensively, it’s not that different. But it gives us an extra option. It brought Mo in a different position, where I have to say he played an incredible game. Mo and Sadio didn’t score but played outstanding. Sadio was in the one-on-one situations pretty much undefendable. Mo between the lines, sensational. Super chance. And the other two boys scored and played good as well, so that helps obviously."

    On Jota’s overall performance and goal… 

    "It is not too much about what he’s brought in the team. He is a good player, that’s why we signed him. I said it only a few minutes ago when I was speaking with my coaches that it is so easy – he is such a likeable person and so it is so easy to like him. That makes everything easier. Then the player he is: he is quick, he has the physicality, he is strong, he is good in the air, he is good on the ground... a lot of good things. He has exactly the quality we need, so that helps a lot. Tonight was a game where all four played up front together and you know how good Shaqiri was in Amsterdam and he is close. Taki is very close and so all these things help, of course. This is the area where we have in the moment options and long may it stay like this. In midfield, we had to make the decision: do we push the same midfield through again? How can we change then and all these kind of things. We thought it was better to change the system before the game and go back to the [usual] system in the game when we have to change. That’s why we decided for tonight [to change formation]. Yes, Diogo scored a super goal and was really involved in the game. He can be much better, 100 per cent, and that’s good news."

    On Jota’s adaptation into Liverpool’s style and system… 

    "He is still adapting. In the moment, a lot of things we do are not natural to him but that’s only because Wolves play different – but a lot of things he did for Wolves are exactly what we want him to do. Yes, that he is that close already is just a sign how good a player he is. As I said, if he stays fit, he’s 23 and the future is bright, let me say it like this. We will need his quality and I am really happy that he settled nicely so far."

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