Klopp urges Reds to keep fo­cus

The Herald (South Africa) - - SPORT -

JUR­GEN Klopp urged his Liver­pool play­ers not to suc­cumb to the hype gen­er­ated by their own scin­til­lat­ing per­for­mances af­ter they crushed Spar­tak Moscow to reach the Cham­pi­ons League knock­out rounds.

Liver­pool’s “Fab Four” shone in a 7-0 trounc­ing of Spar­tak on Wed­nes­day, with Philippe Coutinho scor­ing a hat-trick, Sa­dio Mane claim­ing a dou­ble and both Roberto Firmino and Mo­hamed Salah find­ing the net.

But hav­ing seen his team crash 4-1 at Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur af­ter thrash­ing Mari­bor 7-0 ear­lier in the group phase, Klopp is des­per­ate for his men not to ease up ahead of Sun­day’s derby clash with Ever­ton.

“We showed tonight that we learnt from the mistake we made in Seville,” Klopp said, re­fer­ring to Liver­pool’s 3-3 draw against Sevilla on their pre­vi­ous Group E out­ing, when they had squan­dered a 3-0 lead.

“Now we have to show that we learnt from the mistake we made af­ter Mari­bor when we faced Tot­ten­ham. We will be ready again on Sun­day and if the crowd are ready to help us, it would be nice again.”

A brace from Coutinho, the first a penalty, and an op­por­tunis­tic Firmino strike put Liver­pool 3-0 up in­side 18 min­utes and they turned the screws af­ter half time.

Mane and Coutinho struck in quick suc­ces­sion, the lat­ter com­plet­ing his first Liver­pool hat-trick, be­fore fur­ther neatly worked goals from Mane and Salah took the team’s goal tally to 32 in nine matches.

Klopp could not dis­guise the ex­tent to which he had en­joyed watch­ing his team, say­ing they had scored “fan­tas­tic goals, un­be­liev­ably nice goals”, but there was an ac­com­pa­ny­ing note of cau­tion.

“We should not think it will be like this from now on un­til the end of our en­tire lives,” he said.

Emre Can re­ceived a book­ing that rules him out of the first leg of Liver­pool’s last-16 tie and Klopp ad­mit­ted an in­jury that forced left-back Al­berto Moreno to limp off in tears had fur­ther damp­ened the mood.

“We come to the lit­tle shadow tonight that Al­berto Moreno needed to get sub­sti­tuted,” Klopp said.

“It was a strange sit­u­a­tion. He’s a tough guy and if he can­not con­tinue the game, then we should con­sider it could be some­thing se­ri­ous.”


FINE FORM: Liver­pool’s Philippe Coutinho, left, and Sa­dio Mane

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