Jur­gen un­im­pressed with big win


IT IS not of­ten you get agree­ment be­tween the man­ager and play­ers of a side who have just won 5-0 that they need to do bet­ter.

Yet those are the stan­dards Jur­gen Klopp has now set. Liver­pool did well enough as Swansea im­ploded in the sec­ond half, yet un­til then the game rarely felt warmer than a frozen turkey.

“You look at the score­line and think it must have been easy, that we did re­ally good, but we didn’t. It wasn’t per­fect, it wasn’t easy,” com­plained Klopp af­ter­wards.

“It wasn’t per­fect, not a very good first half and we had these few prob­lems. But we did bet­ter in the sec­ond and re­ally had to work hard for the vic­tory.”

Klopp was right to be un­im­pressed. Only a bril­liant Philippe Coutinho goal lit up the first half and Liver­pool could have been in real trou­ble had they not faced op­po­nents whose own tem­po­rary man­ager ad­mit­ted were sim­ply not pro­fes­sional enough.

“At a place like this you need a seven to eight out of 10 per­for­mance from every­one to get any sort of re­sult, but when you are mak­ing ba­sic mistakes that are at academy level, then they are go­ing to pun­ish you,” said care­taker Leon Brit­ton.

“We have all been in dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tions and you must re­main fo­cused, be pro­fes­sional. And I didn’t see that out there at times. Af­ter we con­ceded the sec­ond goal all be­lief and con­fi­dence drained from the play­ers.”

That mo­ment opened the flood­gates with two goals from Roberto Firmino and firsts for Trent Alexan­der-Arnold and Alex Oxlade-Cham­ber­lain.

The near im­pos­si­ble job fac­ing the next Swansea man­ager was summed up by the fifth goal, As Alexan­der-Arnold tried to work an open­ing on the right, three de­fend­ers stood and watched, then al­lowed OxladeCham­ber­lain to mus­cle his way on to the blocked ball and vol­ley it into the roof of the net.

There was no fight, just ac­cep­tance. It was a goal to give any po­ten­tial new boss a chill down the spine – and sec­ond thoughts. It took a sub­lime goal from the supreme Coutinho to break the first-half ice.

As Firmino stole the ball, Jor­dan Ayew went down far too eas­ily, to al­low the Brazil­ian to feed Salah, who fizzed a pass into Coutinho and a whipped, curl­ing shot did the rest.

Per­haps Liver­pool knew that was enough against a side who did not re­motely look like scor­ing, with the will­ing but in­ex­pe­ri­enced Oliver McBurnie an in­ef­fec­tive spear­head and Ayew a flit­ting in­flu­ence.

The sec­ond goal came on 52 min­utes when Firmino atoned for a bad miss just be­fore half­time by vol­ley­ing home a Coutinho free kick, with­out a de­fender in sight.

Each goal that fol­lowed was more painful. As An­drew Robert­son’s cross was headed out by Al­fie Maw­son, Alexan­der-Arnold started 15 yards be­hind Ayew, but got to the ball first and smashed it high into the net for his first Premier League goal.

Leroy Fer’s back-pass was even worse a minute later, as he gave the ball straight to Mo Salah, who un­selfishly squared for Firmino to tap in. Then came the col­lec­tive sham­bles that al­lowed Oxlade-Cham­ber­lain his first An­field goal.

Liver­pool’s Brazil­liant duo Coutinho and Firmino (left) were head and shoul­ders above any other player and warmed hearts on a chilly evening.

But Klopp’s men will have to be much bet­ter than this to win any­thing this sea­son, as he ad­mit­ted af­ter­wards.

FIVE-STAR SHOW Coutinho’s bril­liant drive made it 1-0, Firmino volleyed in for 2-0 and Alexan­der-Arnold blasted in first league goal REDS SO RAM­PANT Firmino con­verts a tap-in for 4-0 be­fore Alex OxladeCham­ber­lain com­pleted rout

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