Premier League • England

Klopp appalled at Liverpool weakness that created ‘chaos’ against Nott’m Forest; Jota labels Reds ‘almost perfect’ at key aspect

Angry Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp

Jurgen Klopp highlighted one area Liverpool must improve after “chaos” resulted against Nottingham Forest, while Diogo Jota labelled the Reds “almost perfect” at one particular aspect of the game.

Liverpool made it back-to-back victories in the Premier League to keep their outside chances of securing a top four finish alive.

The Reds rounded out 3-2 victors over Nottingham Forest, though were made to work for all three points after being pegged back twice.

Diogo Jota’s first and second goals were cancelled out by Neco Williams and Morgan Gibbs-White respectively. However, there would be no reply to Mohamed Salah’s winner in the 70th minute.

The story of the game centred around set pieces with Liverpool near-unstoppable from the deal ball, though long throw-ins in particular caused them all manner of headaches.

The victory lifted Liverpool into sixth position and cut the gap to fourth-placed Newcastle to six points. However, the Magpies have played a game fewer, while Brighton – who sit just one point below Liverpool – have played two games fewer.

Speaking to Match of the Day after the clash, Klopp said: “It was a difficult game against a low block, super difficult first half, we didn’t create a lot, but didn’t give a lot away, which is important.

“You always need a positive start to the game and if you are positive you can control it. Diogo Jota had a massive chance from the set-piece, but then the throw-ins come into the game and that became really tricky. But all the goals came from set pieces which is strange.

“We deserve the three points which is the most important thing.”

On Jota’s return to form, Klopp added: “That’s what goals can do, they give you a boost and confidence.

“He did miss a sitter which was the easiest out of them all, but the second goal was very special.”

Liverpool must improve set piece defending… especially throw-ins – Klopp

On Liverpool refusing to cave in after twice conceding equalisers, the German said: “I liked that we stayed in the game and all this chaos around the throw-ins which you have to try to avoid.

“Too many situations, we couldn’t clear properly but apart from that I am really pleased with a lot of things.

“We gave away two goals too easy and in a game like this you have to control possession. You don’t have to force it and sometimes we forced it.”

When the prospect of Liverpool mounting a charge for top four was put to Klopp, the Reds boss insisted it’s far too early to get anyone’s hopes up.

“Honestly top four at the moment, we have nothing to do with it we will see about that in a few weeks,” said Klopp.

“The rest we have no influence. We take it game by game and we have West Ham next which is really tough and then we go from there but it will be tough again, but I am happy we got all three points again.”

Liverpool “almost perfect” from their own set pieces – Jota

Double goalscorer Jota also spoke to the press, saying: “I think it was really important to win and follow up the last win.

“It was a difficult game like we expected. We had to wait for that goal to arrive and they did come back twice which can happen, but it’s something we need to look back at.

“Set-pieces are very important and we know that they scored from them too. We need to improve defensively, but offensively we were almost perfect.”

Jota has now bagged braces in successive matches following his double against Leeds Utd in the 6-1 rout on Monday.

It’s been a welcome return to form for the Portuguese who hadn’t scored in the league this season prior to notching against Leeds.

“Really happy,” continued Jota when asked about being amongst the goals again. “The first one took a long time to arrive, but we know how it works.

“I’m just happy I can help the team with being on the scoresheet.”

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