Jurgen Klopp has his own defensive woes to worry about despite Liverpool’s epic 5-4 Premier League win at Norwich City
06:45 25 January 2016
©Focus Images Limited www.focus-images.co.uk +447814 482222
Alex Neil was not the only manager bemoaning the lack of defending at Carrow Road after a fraught afternoon for Jurgen Klopp in Liverpool’s 5-4 Premier League win.
Adam Lallana’s 95th half-volley sealed the points, and sparked wild celebrations on the pitch with Klopp, but the German was irked by a Norwich side who exposed vulnerability in his Reds’ backline from set pieces and second phases.
“It’s really frustrating, it’s not something I like to make jokes about, our defence,” he said. “We know how it works. I was an under-average player myself, but if I was good at something it was defending set-plays. It’s not that difficult.
“Now you saw it’s like a self-fulfilling prophecy. Everybody’s talking about it, we’re thinking about it. You see it in a situation like a cross comes into our box and then it’s, ‘Okay, second ball, second ball, oh my God.’ That’s the situation we are finding hard at the moment.
“We know how to defend, we have to do it now. In all cases of life and football, it’s very important to show we can strike back. We were really angry with ourselves at half-time. I had to say to them, ‘Come on, do you want to lose? Go and do what you can and if they get another two, then that is it, but try everything anyway.’”
Klopp forged his reputation at the highest level with Borussia Dortmund but the experienced manager admitted his first trip to Carrow Road would live long in the memory.
“I’m not sure we would’ve scored five, if we didn’t concede four. It’s football, spectacular,” he said. “A minute, 10 minutes, half-an-hour after the game, where you can sit there as a fan and say, ‘Come on, great afternoon.’ I felt like I was in the stadium without buying a ticket. It was really great. I don’t have to analyse it, because we saw it in the game (what was wrong), now we have to change it.
“We played with Dortmund in a similar game, we were down 3-1, 4-3 for us, last minute 4-4 and no chance to go one more time in the other direction, so this feels much better. It feels really good. It’s great, it’s perfect, it’s deserved. We could’ve lost of course, they made goals and we played not always good.
“But 70, 80pc of the game we played football and that’s what you have to do. So, happy for the lads, now let’s prepare for Tuesday and Stoke.”