“It was really a strong performance” – Every word of Jurgen Klopp’s post-UEFA Champions league press conference Inter Milan 0-2 Liverpool.
Klopp speaking on the impact of Liverpool’s substitutions;”The boys who came on had a proper impact, all three were really, really good. Bobby scored and from there we controlled the game and scored a really nice second one – again after a set-piece. It’s half-time, not more but not less as well.”
The reds boss Jurgen Klopp speaking on Diogo Jota’s injury, said; “No, I don’t know that. A twisted ankle, it’s swollen, that’s not obviously a good sign, but we have to see. We will check it as early as possible tomorrow, but we need further assessment.”
Klopp speaking when asked whether he was pleased with Liverpool’s defensive display;”Absolutely, absolutely. We defended really well, the way you have to defend we like to win the ball early but if that is not possible… and against them, it is really not possible because they make the pitch really big, the three center-backs, they pass a lot of back passes to them and then from there they go diagonal to either Dumfries or Perisic.
“That makes it really tricky, so you have to defend with passion; organisation helps as well with but with passion and I thought defensively it was a really strong performance, but it would be silly if we wouldn’t defend well because it means a lot to us this competition and these games, so we invested a lot and it’s good.”
On whether they had worked on the set-piece for the first goal, Jurgen Klopp added: “Yes. Pete Krawietz and our analysts are responsible for that. When we do the analysis, we obviously see how the opponent is defending everybody is doing that and we didn’t have a lot of time to train, but yes we trained set-pieces yesterday.
“That was the only proper thing we did in training; a bit of tactical stuff, but without intensity and set-pieces, you cannot train without intensity because one has to shoot and the other guys have to run. So, yes, it’s all credit to Pete and his boys.”
Jurgen Klopp speaking on Harvey Elliott’s performance; “It was absolutely OK, but Harvey can play much better, we know that. The reason Harvey played was because we knew which spaces we had to play and it’s usually naturally his area, these half-spaces around the midfield three, being very flexible, naturally offensive-minded, and all these kind of things. That’s why he played. He had really good moments but we all know he can play much better.
“He did the job, he was working incredibly hard and all these kind of things. When you are 18 years old and play against one of the most experienced teams in world football and they are Italian on top of that, for an offensive player it’s not a walk in the park. It was a very, very important game for him and very helpful for us as well.”
Klopp speaking on the balance of the UCL tie;”It is still dangerous. It is half-time and nothing else. That’s how it is in the knockout stages, you learn a lot about an opponent. Before you make the analysis without playing them and after that, you make the analysis with playing them.
“Both teams know much more about each other. We don’t feel like halfway through or whatever, we know it will be a tricky one and we have to be ready for that. I didn’t see that we played similar but they played good, they played differently to us.
“There were a lot of different things but they are good, really good, so that’s why half-time, 2-0 up. If it is a proper half-time like today and we are 2-0 up at half-time, I don’t tell the boys, ‘Job done, put your legs on the table’, it is a very tricky result so why should we think differently about it now?”
Jurgen Klopp speaking on whether he was ‘surprised’ by Inter’s quality:”What I saw tonight, the system was clear what they play. They are a very physical team, a very experienced team and I thought most of the time when they had chances was after we lost the ball in the wrong areas.
But that can happen because they are really good in the challenges, played from there, really smart balls, what we really struggled with – and we knew before the game it would happen, they have this deep last line, pass the ball back and from there they play the diagonal balls to Dumfries or Perisic so that’s difficult to defend.
“We are a pressing team but that’s how you outplay a press; we tried everything. In the beginning, we did really well with our high press, I think it was tricky for them to find a way out there, but we didn’t get anything from it.
“We invested a lot with this high, intense pressing, but we didn’t get anything for it – so no chance, no goal, and then it is difficult to keep that up. But in general, no I was not surprised, they are good, we know that now.”
Advantage Liverpool, as they host Inter Milan on Tuesday, March 8 at Anfield for the return Leg as they hope to qualify for the next round.