19 Oct 2016

Anfield Warning: Klopp admits Man Utd were 'better than Liverpool' in one specific area

Jurgen Klopp has admitted that Man Utd were superior to Liverpool last night in one specific area.

In a frank admission after the game, Klopp told Sky Sports:

"The physical strength they [Man United] have is a bit better than we are, and that put us in situations where we lost the ball".

It's obvious from re-watching the game that Klopp is right about this:

* United had tall, strong, physically imposing players in their side like Fellaini, Ibrahimovic, Smalling, Pogba et al. Liverpool had Can, and Hendo, but outside that, the likes of Coutino, Firmino, Sturridge, Mane, Lallana et al aren't really renowned for their physical attributes.

* United's physical superiority is evident from their defensive stats. Mourinho's team trounced Liverpool in every defensive department (Tackles, Interceptions, blocks, Aerial duels, clearances etc).

It's interesting that Klopp draws a link between physicality and ball retention. United tried to match Liverpool's pressing game, and to an extent, it was successful in that it forced the Reds into errors on the ball.

Pressing Liverpool is a surefire way to disrupt the team's rhythm, and it'll be interesting to see West Brom's strategy on Saturday. The question is, what happens when every team figures out how to defeat the Reds' counter-pressing strategy? Does Klopp have a plan B? On last night's evidence, the answer appears to be no.


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