Jurgen Klopp has explained his reasoning for shouting at Roberto Firmino and Emre Can during a comfortable victory over Manchester City.
Liverpool secured an excellent 4-1 win over City on Saturday, but Klopp was seen shouting at his players at various points despite such a seemingly comfortable win.
The manager discussed exactly why he had shouted at Firmino to American channel NBC, saying: “Before the game, I told him he’s a striker who can sometimes be a midfielder – not the midfielder who is sometimes a striker.
“We need him as a target and he came very deep. So I said: ‘what are we doing here? We can’t play the ball in that direction when we have no one to play it to, please stay there.’
“I have never told a player to stay there!”
Klopp then turned his attentions to his countryman Can, adding: “Emre is a young lad, he’s full of emotion and everything but when you are tired in a game, then if you cannot make the way back, please don’t make the way forward.
“He opened space sometimes but it’s no problem, that’s my work, I try to help, it’s not so easy from outside but when you win 4-1, everything is okay.”
Klopp discussed his game plan against City, having employed a successful tactical change in order to beat a side who had started the weekend top of the Premier League table.
“What we had to do was disturb their build up play, because if you let them play how they want, you have no chance,” Klopp said. “That’s what we tried to do. This was the first step in this game. It’s really not easy because we didn’t defend perfectly, we had some problems at the wing, in the centre we didn’t move enough on the ball side.
“But when we got the ball, our counter attack was not too bad, it was really good.
“We made these three wonderful goals and then you let them play a little bit, and they’re back in the game because the goal of Aguero was not even a chance. Simon Mignolet had no chance. That’s what happens when you let them play.”
Klopp on Aguero goal
On Aguero’s goal, Klopp added: “They decided a second too late and Mignolet has the ball, and he should have the solution for us, but that’s not okay because he can only shoot the long ball. He wants to play football, because he’s able to play football, but then he shoots a sh*t ball and everyone thinks he’s responsible. No, no, no. The rest are responsible because we think too late.”
Firmino was used in a central striking role despite the presence of Christian Benteke and Daniel Sturridge on the bench, and Klopp explained his decision to start the Brazilian.
“The Chelsea game had no bearing, they’re completely different, you cannot compare,” Klopp said. “Christian, when he came in, was brilliant. Defended well, faster on his legs, so important for us.
“To have Sturridge on the bench, and you don’t have to bring him in, because four days in training is nothing. It was more ‘come on Studge, feel it, you are with us’ and now he can make the next step, four more days training against Bordeaux, then another two. To bring him in the shape so he’s robust enough for the long season.”