Liverpool 2-0 Manchester United: Jürgen Klopp’s reaction

Jürgen Klopp felt a combination of Liverpool’s impressive display and the Anfield atmosphere that ‘carried’ his players secured a deserved 2-0 victory over Manchester United on Sunday.

The Reds moved 16 points clear at the top of the Premier League with a game in hand thanks to the win over their arch-rivals. 

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Virgil van Dijk opened the scoring in the 14th minute with a towering header before Mohamed Salah wrapped up the three points deep into injury time after Alisson Becker’s fine assist. 

Read on for a full transcript of Klopp’s post-match press conference…

On his thoughts about the game…

Good game, really good game. One of the best derbies we played for sure so far. Very dominant in most periods of the game. I didn’t like too much in the first half the last five or seven minutes but nothing happened really, just we were not as dominant as before. We played outstandingly well, we dominated the opponent, we played exactly in the space we had to. When we saw the line-up it was pretty clear what they wanted to do. The boys used the spaces really well, so dropping a six, being there, high full-backs, being flexible and creating a lot of chances. We scored from the set-piece but had other situations obviously. And then the start of the second half was absolutely brutal – wow. We jumped in and had, I don’t know, three, four chances at least and didn’t score. How it always is and how it often enough was now in that season, the opponent has the chance to come back. That’s what happened. 

We had to defend them. The organisation was OK but it’s just about timing then, ‘When do you have the challenges, where do you have the challenges?’. We were a bit late in these moments and that’s why they came through, that’s why they could at least finish their situations off. But we defend then with a lot of passion and big heart and stuff like this. [We were] carried as well by the atmosphere, which was great. Then the last situation in the game, Alisson Becker, what an assist and then Mo Salah, what a goal. There was a sprint duel of two really quick boys and Mo used his massive experience. Big relief in that moment.

On whether he had any frustration the three points weren’t secured earlier…

Not really. How I said, we don’t take these things for granted. We take what we get. We score with these situations or we don’t score. Even if you miss a chance you can take a lot of positives from it because you know how you did it. For example, it doesn’t look like a chance but we that know Sadio scored in a similar situation against Chelsea in the European Super Cup. When he plays the pass to Bobby and Bobby [does] this cut-back, that’s from the training ground. That’s exceptional. He doesn’t hit the ball clear, so it’s not even a corner or whatever, but these situations are just outstanding. I’m not frustrated but I would prefer as well that we scored more often, of course, because it’s good for the nerves. At the end, we really believe in the fact that the result is the result of the performance. If you look at the performance over 90 minutes or 95 or 98, we are the clear deserved winner and that’s all what we want to be. So, all good. 

On the preparation of set-pieces for today’s game…

Look, what we do is analyse and what we see we try to use. Of course, the opponent can change things, so is there any space you can exploit or not? What can you exploit or not? Sometimes it is there, sometimes not, but the most important thing is we always have routines for the next game. That is all up to Pete Krawietz and the analysis boys, they put a lot of effort in that. This time, yes, we wanted to be in that first-post area with Virg, but if you watch it back Hendo would have been free as well in the second-post area. He was not involved because we scored at the first-post area, but Hendo was completely free. Things like this you train; sometimes it works out, sometimes not. It was not that Manchester [United] is doing exceptionally bad or whatever at set-pieces. They have the people in the right place, everybody tries to get a little advantage in these moments against us, so we have to try it as well and that’s what we do.

On the bond between the supporters and team at Anfield and its influence on results…

Explain it? Not really, I didn’t think for a long time about it – but I don’t take it for granted either. I think in the moment, I think it is like everybody, even in the living rooms in front of the television – and if we could get this energy as well, it would help – [feels] there is a lot of passion around the world based on Liverpool Football Club. We had to develop it, that’s clear. I think I said it, the people carried us through the difficult period. It’s exceptional, absolutely exceptional, the atmosphere here. Everybody knows that, but it doesn’t just happen – everybody has to be on their toes to create an atmosphere like this. The boys try everything to do it on the pitch, but if the crowd is not there then it is completely different. That’s why I really love that relationship between the atmosphere in the stands and the atmosphere on the pitch. It’s a massive help. If we did not play well, the atmosphere would not be like this – and if the atmosphere would not be like it is, we would not play that well. Easy.

On supporters dreaming…

They can sing whatever they want – apart from my name before the game is finished! I’m not here to dictate what they have to sing. If our fans would not be in a good mood now, that would be really strange. The only thing that I can tell you is that we are here to work. It’s as easy as that. Of course, it is a very positive atmosphere even in the interviews after the game, but I have to keep myself concentrated in the interviews because I know already we play on Thursday against Wolves. That’s the truth. To be honest, I am only interested in that game and nothing else. But of course they [the fans] are allowed to dream, to sing, whatever they want – as long as they do their job as well in the moment when we play, all fine. We will not be part of that party yet, but it is not a problem because we know our job.