Klopp ‘liked’ Liverpool display, explains why defence ‘struggled’

Date published: Saturday 12th September 2020 9:11

Jurgen Klopp was satisfied with Liverpool’s performance in the thrilling victory over Leeds despite the concession of three goals.

The champions began their title defence by sharing seven goals with Marcelo Bielsa’s visitors, with Mo Salah netting a hat-trick.

Salah opened the scoring with a fifth-minute penalty but Leeds hit back through a maiden Premier League goal from Jack Harrison. Virgil Van Dijk then traded goals with Patrick Bamford and Salah saw his 33rd-minute half-volley cancelled out by Mateusz Klich’s second-half effort, making it 3-3.

A foul on Fabinho by Leeds’ club-record signing Rodrigo saw Salah hold his nerve with only minutes remaining to get the Reds over the line.

“I said before the game we would struggle against them because the way they play is uncomfortable and it is different to all the other teams,” he said.

“If you don’t respect the opponent they kill you in a football way and I liked a lot the attitude of my team today. I have to say they just don’t stop, I like it.

“I didn’t see us struggling defensively but the way they play you cannot defend 100 per cent of the time.

Read: F365’s early loser: Defending champs Liverpool fail to firm up

“For the first goal both full-backs were deeper than the centre-halves and that should never happen in football. The second goal was a misunderstanding between Virgil and Ali (Alisson Becker) and I don’t think we will see these situations very often.

“The third one we changed Hendo (Jordan Henderson) not long before and our formation was moving and we didn’t close one gap.

“The back line (of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez, Van Dijk and Andy Robertson) played for England, Holland and Scotland four days ago – all top teams but different ways of defending.

“And if things are not settled early in pre-season defending is not riding a bike – so there is space for improvement.”

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