Liver­pool scrapes out vic­tory a er hor­rid first half

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

LIVER­POOL man­ager Ju­r­gen Klopp said he was in­fu­ri­ated by his team’s first-half per­for­mance af­ter they came from be­hind to win 2-1 at Swansea City. The Ger­man lost both Eng­land mid­fielder Adam Lal­lana and Ser­bia de­fender De­jan Lovren to in­jury dur­ing the Oc­to­ber 1 game, rul­ing both play­ers out of in­ter­na­tional duty.

But it was his side’s slop­pi­ness that con­cerned him most of all, de­spite a win that saw Liver­pool close to within two points of Premier League pace­set­ters Manch­ester City.

“I was very an­gry,” Klopp told re­porters at his post-match press con­fer­ence. “I am 49 years old and I have lost a lot of games and un­for­tu­nately will lose a lot more, but to­day made no sense.

“It was not a day when we should have lost be­cause we could have done so much bet­ter in the first half.

“We were all an­gry at half-time, but at our­selves, so I told them we had to show we are bet­ter and show why we were here.

“It looked like we were here to be in a foot­ball game, but I wanted them to show we are here be­cause we want to win a foot­ball game.”

Liver­pool were left fac­ing a shock de­feat when Leroy Fer cap­i­talised on weak de­fend­ing to put strug­gling Swansea ahead in the eighth minute.

But Roberto Firmino equalised in the 54th minute be­fore win­ning the penalty that James Mil­ner con­verted to se­cure all three points at the Lib­erty Sta­dium.

“It was a bad start,” Klopp said. “We were not ready for this game and it is my re­spon­si­bil­ity to make sure we are ready.

“Swansea did well, but we were re­ally too static. There was no move­ment. We knew what they were go­ing to do in train­ing, which would be sim­i­lar to what they did against [Manch­ester] City, but it was dif­fi­cult.

“We were never com­pact enough for counter-press­ing sit­u­a­tions. Af­ter the goal it didn’t im­me­di­ately be­come bet­ter, but it did even­tu­ally.”

Klopp went on to ex­tol the virtues of what for­mer Amer­i­can ten­nis player Brad Gil­bert would term “win­ning ugly”.

“It is al­ways very im­por­tant that even when it is not a bril­liant per­for­mance, you are still able to win,” he said.

“I have enough fin­gers to count the bril­liant games in the sea­son. That’s how it is. Ten is a big num­ber and we’ve al­ready had a few. That’s why the re­ac­tion in the sec­ond half was so im­por­tant.

“I didn’t think this would be a game where we would be that bad be­cause there was no sign in train­ing that we should be this bad. That shows we are still learn­ing.”

Klopp said Lal­lana and Lovren would miss their re­spec­tive coun­tries’ forth­com­ing World Cup qual­i­fiers with groin in­juries.

“At this mo­ment they have no chance for their na­tional teams,” he said.

“Hope­fully I have 15 or 16 days to get them back on the pitch again for the next game. It was wet here, but there was no sign that things like this might hap­pen dur­ing the mid­dle of the week. It is not too nice.”

Swansea man­ager Francesco Guidolin re­fused to be drawn on me­dia spec­u­la­tion that he is set to be re­placed by ei­ther Ryan Giggs or for­mer United States coach Bob Bradley.

“I am not wor­ried about my fu­ture, but I am wor­ried about our po­si­tion in the table,” said the Ital­ian, whose side are one place above the rel­e­ga­tion zone. “That is all that con­cerns me.

“I am very dis­ap­pointed for the team. We have played against very strong teams in this pe­riod, but I am con­fi­dent be­cause I saw my team play for 95 min­utes with char­ac­ter and also with qual­ity in the first half.

“If we play this way, I think we can turn our sit­u­a­tion around soon. My team is a good team. I am sure we have the qual­i­ties to have a good fu­ture.” –

Photo: AFP

Liver­pool’s Ger­man man­ager Ju­r­gen Klopp shouts from the touch­line dur­ing the English Premier League foot­ball match be­tween Swansea City and Liver­pool at the Lib­erty Sta­dium in Swansea, south Wales, on Oc­to­ber 1.

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