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Jurgen Klopp could do without Liverpool ‘toothache’ – but pleased with showing

Liverpool had Aston Villa where they wanted them for much of Saturday afternoon’s clash, but the only goal resulted in a “tooth pain” Jurgen Klopp could have done without.

The Reds dominated Steven Gerrard’s side on the ball and in terms of territory, not to mention 20 shots to Villa’s four.

Ultimately, a penalty decided the game off the boot of Mohamed Salah but Liverpool could have easily been out of sight, and they ought to have been.

It made for a needlessly nervy final 15 minutes for Liverpool with Alisson and Joel Matip having a close call as Villa turned on the pressure and turned off their time-wasting.

For Klopp, much of the game was “incredible” against a well-drilled opponent but the manager was not too fond of the “tooth pain” that came with the game opening up after taking the 1-0 lead.

“The first 75 minutes was incredible football. It’s difficult. The opponent defended compact,” Klopp explained to the BBC.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 11, 2021: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah scores the first goal from a penalty kick during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Aston Villa FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“It looked really good, we played in the spaces we wanted to play but we did not finish the situations which is tricky.

“We came out in the second half and knew we had to keep going – and improve in moments. We were not calm enough in the last pass. We kept going.

“We scored with the penalty then the relief was obviously too big and it was an unnecessary open game. Like tooth pain! Nobody needs that.

“There are areas to improve even when we win football games, which is good.”

It’s only the second 1-0 win this season for Liverpool with the last coming at the death at Wolves but as Klopp rightly said, it’s another valuable lesson while still taking home all three points.

And they’ll look to manage the game with greater efficiency, and no “tooth pain” next time out when Newcastle visit Anfield on Thursday.

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