Kabak admits to lingering Liverpool uncertainty but delivers firm promise

Ozan Kabak, Christopher Nkunku RB Leipzig v Liverpool February 2021

Liverpool centre-back Ozan Kabak says that he still needs time to “adapt” to his fairly new surroundings but promised to deliver more solid performances.

The 20-year-old, on loan from Schalke until the end of the season, earned the Man of the Match award in Tuesday’s win over RB Leipzig.

The defender enjoyed a steady evening as the Reds built up a strong Champions League first-leg lead. Indeed, a sliding challenge which earned him a yellow card proved one of few questionable moments.

However, the clean sheet and 2-0 win will be remembered as the most important aspects of the match; Jurgen Klopp‘s men will travel to the second leg of the last 16 tie with a strong advantage.

“It was so special for me because this was my first clean sheet and my first win in this jersey,” Kabak told liverpoolfc.com.

“I’m a new player, I’m a young player and there’s a lot of stars here. I need a little time to adapt here and with time I will be better I think.

“I think we played very well and we gave everything on the pitch. We won all challenges in midfield and I think we deserved to win and I’m so happy.”

In a game which featured several chances for both sides, Liverpool pouncing on Leipzig mistakes proved the difference in Budapest.

Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane showed ruthless streaks to put the Reds in front in the second half.

Jurgen Klopp hails Liverpool game plan against RB Leipzig

Jurgen Klopp was delighted his Liverpool players were able to force RB Leipzig into mistakes and ‘put it all together’ for their first victory in four matches in all competitions.

“Leipzig are a really good team and second in the Bundesliga table but I think we controlled the game very well,” Kabak added.

“First half we had a lot of good opportunities and second half we scored because of their mistakes – but we already had it under control.

“I think it was a really impressive game from us.”

Kabak earned the Man of the Match award, as voted for by fans on Liverpool’s Twitter account.

But the centre-back’s display proved more significant given that he was at the centre of a defensive mix-up on his debut last Saturday, when Liverpool lost 3-1 to Leicester.

Kabak points to signs of improvement

Hwang Hee-Chan, Ozan Kabak RB Leipzig v Liverpool February 2021

“The last three games we lost in the Premier League but we played very well I think. That’s football – sometimes you can play good but lose,” Kabak said.

“I hope if we continue to play like this tonight we will win our next Premier League game.”

Liverpool return to action on Saturday to face Everton at Anfield in the Merseyside derby. The match is a crucial one for the top four chase, with both teams eyeing a move up the table.

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