Klopp assesses dogged Liverpool display in win over Ajax

Date published: Wednesday 21st October 2020 10:53

Jurgen Klopp Liverpool TEAMtalk

Jurgen Klopp admitted he was happy to have simply secured the three points after his Liverpool side battled to a 1-0 win over Ajax in the Champions League. 

Nicolas Tagliafico’s first half own goal proved to be enough for the Premier League champions in Amsterdam. It was their first win in three games having lost to Arsenal and Aston Villa and drawn to Everton recently.

The Reds were forced to reshuffle their line-up in the absence of Virgil van Dijk with Fabinho dropping back into central defence.

The changes seemed to disrupt their rhythm somewhat, however they were able to secure the victory to get their Champions League campaign off to a positive start.

And although he recognised that his team were not at their best, Klopp said he was “really fine” with what he saw.

Speaking to BT Sport he said: “Good enough, good enough to win the game. That’s what you need, but of course both teams can play better football.

“But, we need to score a goal and we did that. We didn’t use our [other] chances which is a bit of a shame. Ajax had a big one, they hit the post after half time and when you’re only 1-0 up these things can happen.

“But overall I’m really fine with the game because it was not our ‘sunshine, world class football day’, but especially in a tournament like the Champions League you still need the result and we got it.”

Klopp explains decision to replace front three

The Liverpool boss also revealed his thinking behind taking Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah off at the same time.

The formidable front three were replaced by Diogo Jota, Takumi Minamino and Xherdan Shaqiri with half an hour still to play of the game.

Television pictures showed Mane with an ice pack on his knee after being substituted, raising some concerns of an injury.

However, Klopp confirmed that the decision to bring them off was purely because he wants to manage the workload of his players, but also because he feels he has adequate back-up.

“Game management is one thing, the other is use the powers of the others,” he said.

You saw they were fresher, they were the hardest working [players]. It’s a shame Diogo didn’t score, Shaq was lively and Taki is a machine, he’s everywhere. He defends like a devil and offensively he’s really involved, nice one-twos with Diogo on the side when they came in the box.

“That helps obviously, when you can make five changes in midweek games. Most of the time we will have to do that.”

 

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