16 Sept 2016

Klopp Admits: 'Brilliant' performance, but Liverpool must do 'better' in two massive areas

Job done! Liverpool's good form continued tonight with an excellent away victory at Chelsea, and although the players deserve credit for battling to win the three points. Reds boss Jurgen Klopp insists that his team still needs to improve in two key areas.

Speaking to Sky Sports* after the game, Klopp explained:

"It was a brilliant performance, but we need to learn how to handle the lead against big teams, and we need to learn to manage games better".

Under Klopp, Liverpool have a poor record of defending leads in big games, and the Europa League final is a prime example of that.

This season, the Reds failed to hold the lead against Spurs, and almost let a 3-goal advantage slip against Arsenal, so it's easy to see why - despite the victory - Klopp remains concerned about game management.

Going forward, one thing that might make the difference is defensive consistency. Over the last couple of seasons, Liverpool's defensive unit has constantly changed (injuries/loss of form etc) and a regularly changing back line is not conducive to achieving defensive consistency.

With any luck, Klopp will be able to stick with his preferred back-line for most Premier League games (including, most importantly, a stable central defensive partnership), and the resulting rhythm, rapport and understanding should (in theory) improve the team's ability to defend leads, and manage games effectively.

When Costa scored, I'm sure many fans thought 'here we go again!', and expected Liverpool to capitulate, but the team held on, and that will hopefully bode well for the future.

Still no clean sheets in the league, though. Maybe next week?

* Transcribed whilst watching live


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