Jürgen Klopp insists that Liverpool must continue to “strike back” if they are to salvage something from this “bumpy season”.
The Reds had to fight for a come-from-behind victory against Aston Villa at Anfield on Saturday in the Premier League. The win brought an end to a six-game losing streak for Klopp’s side at their home ground.
Ollie Watkins put Aston Villa ahead, making it four goals in two games against Liverpool for the young striker. Liverpool thought they had equalised just before half-time. However, Diogo Jota was adjudged to be just offside at the start of the attack in a VAR review and the goal was disallowed. Thankfully, Mohamed Salah pounced on a rebound from an Andy Robertson shot to make it 1-1 in the 57th minute. Trent Alexander-Arnold then popped up with a fantastic shot from just outside the box to take the three points in injury time.
Speaking at his post-match press conference, when Klopp was asked if he felt his team had ‘turned a corner’ with three league wins in a row, he discussed Liverpool’s need to continue battling for everything they can this season.
“That’s what you hope for! But obviously the Arsenal game, you are right, was really, really good and today it was some of a little bit the same old story: we played well, but we make one mistake – which is not the biggest mistake in the world, but big enough to give them the opportunity to score and they do. Next minute we score the ‘equaliser’, which was a great goal: a great pass, great play [and] all these kind of things and then you get the information that it is offside and not by much. So you go in at half-time and it is a little bit like the same story again, but we decided long ago that we accepted that this is kind of a bumpy season for us but we have to strike back again and again and again – and the boys did. It took a while until we scored, but we created chances before that and then we scored a really nice goal – forced it, if you want, with Mo’s header. And then in our situation, it’s a little bit like that, we had to increase the risk. We took a centre-half off, brought on Shaq and then scored this wonderful 2-1. It was the best goal for ages emotional-wise and so we are really happy about the three points.”
Klopp was also asked if the late win against Villa could help Liverpool overcome a two-goal deficit against Real Madrid in the Champions League on Wednesday:
“Whatever we can do, we will take. That’s clear. We need a perfect performance on Wednesday if we want to have a chance only – just for a chance. I really think the way we played and the way Real Madrid played there, it doesn’t look very promising but the good thing is we can play better. That would change the game already, but we have to. We don’t have to make it now too big already… Real Madrid doesn’t come here and think they are already through and these kind of things. It will be a tough one, but we will give it a try I can promise – and that’s the only thing we can say. This today helps, of course. When you are in a moment when you win every game and stuff like this, you don’t feel the intensity, you feel nothing – you want to play the next game. You could play the next game the next day. Obviously, for us in the moment it is not that easy and we have to work really hard, we need to have five chances to score a goal or 10 to score a goal and these kind of things. You have to go through that, you cannot change that just because you want to – if you want it to be different, you have to work for it and we did that today against a strong opponent. A very important three points and whatever it will give us for Wednesday, we will use.”
Liverpool play Real Madrid at Anfield this Wednesday at 8pm. The Reds are 3-1 down from the first leg of this Champions League quarter-final clash.
Following that, it’s a return to Premier League action with a visit to Leeds United on Monday night for Klopp and his men.
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