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The penalty & Gerrard – 4 key things from Klopp’s post-Villa press conference

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Aside from allowing an open finish to the game, Jurgen Klopp was pleased with what he saw from his Liverpool side in the 1-0 win over Aston Villa.

Here are four key points from the manager’s post-match press conference:

 

“The better team”

2HA89X6 Liverpool, England, 11th December 2021. Mohamed Salah of Liverpool celebrates scoring from the penalty spot for the first goal during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. Picture credit should read: Darren Staples / Sportimage

Liverpool were dominant on the ball and in the territory battle, only giving Villa a look in late and due to not finishing off the game.

It leaves plenty to improve but Klopp was more than content with what he saw.

“We were the better team for 75 minutes, for sure. We opened up the game in the last 15 minutes because we lost rhythm and all of a sudden there were half-chances.

“My job was to cause Villa a lot of problems and I think we did that over 75 minutes with the way we played. We could have been better with the last pass, one or two more bodies in the box.”

 

On Gerrard…

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 11, 2021: Aston Villa's manager Steven Gerrard (R) shakes hands with Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Aston Villa FC at Anfield. l' won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Much of the pre-match discourse centred around Steven Gerrard’s return to Anfield as a member of the opposition, with Klopp speaking highly of his counterpart.

And that continued after the 90 minutes as the boss insisted that “Nothing will come between [Stevie] and me.”

“Around the games, we are both pretty focused and that’s the idea that you can be the best friend with somebody and when you play against each other you want to beat him anyway.

“I had this situation with David Wagner, for example, in the past.”

 

“Incredible” performance from…

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 11, 2021: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp reacts during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Aston Villa FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The fourth official.

There was plenty of “talks” between Klopp and the officials after a questionable display from Stuart Atwell and the boss was very complimentary for Graham Scott after the game interestingly enough.

“Not discussions, talks,” Klopp stressed. “I have to say it was an incredible performance of the fourth official.

“He cannot make any decisions, he will not whistle or whatever, but we had conversations. No arguments.”

 

Defending a priority

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 11, 2021: Liverpool's goalkeeper Alisson Becker during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Aston Villa FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It was another clean sheet for Liverpool and Klopp stressed it is something the entire squad has to be committed to as scoring a handful of goals in every game is far from guaranteed.

“If this squad, this team defends on the highest level we always have a chance to score a goal and if we don’t do that then we need to score two, three, four or whatever and that makes no sense because that’s not always possible.

“We really opened the door for the game, but the 75 before were absolutely outstanding so I’m really happy about the performance.”

Now, time to add another against Newcastle.

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