Jurgen Klopp has revealed how work on the training ground, and the role of Peter Krawietz, helped Liverpool to their 2-0 win over Man United.
In the buildup to United’s visit to Anfield, much of the focus was on how rarely the Reds had been able to succeed against their northwest rivals.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team were the only side to take points from Liverpool prior to their 22nd game in the league, and the Reds had only won two of their last 13 meetings.
But with Klopp harnessing a different beast this term, they were able to produce a dominant performance that brought 16 shots on goal, with Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah making the difference.
Such was Liverpool’s control over the game—for the majority of proceedings—that Klopp was asked afterwards if he felt a measure of frustration at the lack of a clinical edge, but he disagreed.
Instead, he pointed to the execution of training ground routines as a clear positive, highlighting how Sadio Mane‘s flick down to Roberto Firmino in the second half nearly led to a replica of the No. 10’s goal from the UEFA Super Cup.
“We don’t take these things for granted, we take what we get. We score from these situations or we don’t score,” Klopp told reporters.
‘You can, even if you miss a chance, take a lot of positives from it. Because we know how we did it.
“For example, it doesn’t look like a chance but we know that Sadio scored in a similar situation against Chelsea in the Super Cup.
“So when he plays the pass to Bobby, and Bobby plays his cutback, that’s from the training ground. That’s exceptional.
“He doesn’t hit the ball clear, so it’s not even a corner or whatever, but these situations are just outstanding.”
More effective was the corner routine that saw Van Dijk head home Trent Alexander-Arnold‘s cross in the 15th minute, towering over Brandon Williams and Harry Maguire to make it 1-0.
The effort looked relatively simple, but Klopp outlined the work of Krawietz and his analysis staff, as even if the ball had evaded Van Dijk, Jordan Henderson was also on hand to finish.
“What we do is analyse, and what we see we try to use, but of course the opponent can change things,” he continued.
“So is there any space where you can exploit or not? Sometimes it’s there, sometimes not.
“But the most important thing is we always have different routines for the next game. That’s all up to Pete Krawietz and the analysis boys, they put a lot of effort into that.
“And this time we wanted to be in that first-post area with Virg, but if you watch it back, Hendo would have been free as well in the second-post area.
“He was not involved, because we scored in the first-post area, but Hendo was completely free because he was the sixth man.
“So things like this you train, sometimes it works out and sometimes not.
“But it was not that Manchester is doing exceptionally bad at set-pieces, they have the people in the right places.
“Everybody tries to get a little advantage in these moments against us, so we have to try it as well, and that’s what we do.”