The Guardian

Liverpool were on fire against Leicester, says delighted Jürgen Klopp

The Guardian logo The Guardian 23/11/2020 00:11:26 Paul Wilson
Photograph: Laurence Griffiths/PA © Provided by The GuardianPhotograph: Laurence Griffiths/PA

Jürgen Klopp was full of praise for his Liverpool side as they set a record of 64 league games unbeaten at Anfield, even though they were missing most of their regular defence.

"The boys were on fire, football-wise," the Liverpool manager said after a 3-0 victory over Leicester. "We played an incredible game against top, top opponents. We defended really well and we could have scored even more goals."

Roberto Firmino scored the last goal from a corner but the Brazilian was unlucky not to get off the mark earlier, hitting a post then being denied by Kasper Schmeichel and seeing a goalbound effort cleared off the line. James Milner, who supplied the corner for Firmino's header, said he was pleased to see his teammate answer his critics. "Bobby deserved his goal, he was brilliant in the game," Liverpool's emergency right-back said. "He looked like the unluckiest man on earth for 80 minutes but then he turned up in the right place."

a group of football players on a field: Jürgen Klopp congratulates Roberto Firmino after the final whistle. © Photograph: Laurence Griffiths/PAJürgen Klopp congratulates Roberto Firmino after the final whistle.

Klopp too was delighted to see Firmino score, after his relative lack of impact compared with Diogo Jota this season had led to questions about whether he might lose his place. "What people have said about Bobby is ridiculous," Klopp said. "He was outstanding again tonight, and just like the team he has a new record.

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"No one has ever come closer to scoring a goal [one centimetre was the goalline technology verdict by which Firmino was denied] without it being allowed to stand. You cannot get any closer to a goal than that, but then he scored one that counted and we are all very pleased. You could see when that last goal went in that everyone thought it was exactly the right scorer."

On the subject of records, Klopp confessed he was too busy concentrating on matters in hand to reflect on the significance of setting an unbeaten mark that surpasses anything his illustrious predecessors were able to manage.

"My problem is that I have too much on at the moment to think about anything else," he explained. "I'm sure there will be a moment in the future, perhaps when I am retired, to think about stuff like this, but for now I can only concentrate on this game and the next one. I do know something about Liverpool's history though, and I can see that a new record is pretty important because our fathers and grandfathers were obviously pretty good. All I can say is that we enjoy playing here, Anfield is our home, even when the people are not present."

Klopp was able to confirm that Mohamed Salah's latest Covid-19 test had yielded a negative result and the forward was able to resume training, though another test will be necessary before he can resume playing. Naby Keïta left the field early with a hamstring injury, another blow to Liverpool's depleted squad, and the manager rather testily stated he did not know the extent of the problem or how long the midfielder will be out.

For all their absentees, Liverpool were always comfortably in charge against Leicester, a fact accepted by Brendan Rodgers. "It wasn't our night, we weren't at our best and we were beaten by a better team," the Leicester manager said. "We were not aggressive enough, either when going forward or when defending, and conceding two goals from set pieces was disappointing, even if the first one was a bit of a fluke. We know we can do better than that but we can put it behind us. Liverpool are a top-class side."

23. marraskuuta 2020 2:11:26 Categories: The Guardian

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