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Analysts opening goal credit & Jota injury – 4 key things from Klopp’s post-Inter press conference

Jurgen Klopp knows it is still only half-time in the last 16 Champions League tie with Inter Milan, but he was more than content with the 2-0 win on Wednesday night.

Here are four key points from the manager after the win at the San Siro:

 

A goal from the analysts

MILAN, ITALY - Tuesday, February 15, 2022: Liverpool's Roberto Firmino scores the first goal with a header during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 1st Leg game between FC Internazionale Milano and Liverpool FC at the Stadio San Siro. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It took 75 minutes to open the scoring, with Roberto Firmino‘s perfectly directed header from Andy Robertson‘s corner delivery.

The run and the ball were brilliantly executed, and it was born out of Liverpool’s analysis of Inter from assistant manager Peter Krawietz and his team – which received due praise.

“Pete Krawietz and our analysts are responsible for that. We didn’t have a lot of time to train but we trained set pieces,” Klopp explained.

“It was the only proper thing we did in training. A bit of tactical stuff but without intensity, but set pieces you cannot train without intensity because one has to shoot and one has to run.

“All credit to Pete and his boys!”

 

Wait and see on Jota

MILAN, ITALY - Tuesday, February 15, 2022: Liverpool's Diogo Jota is tackled by Inter Milan's Denzel Dumfries during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 1st Leg game between FC Internazionale Milano and Liverpool FC at the Stadio San Siro. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

After boasting a fully fit squad for the last two games, Diogo Jota served up a worry with an ankle injury from the first half.

It’s a ‘time will tell’ injury with his ankle swelling up not the best of signs for the Reds.

“Twisted ankle, swollen,” Klopp explained. “That’s obviously not a good sign but we will check it out as early as possible tomorrow [Thursday], but we need further assessment.”

 

More to come from Elliott

MILAN, ITALY - Tuesday, February 15, 2022: Liverpool's Harvey Elliott during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 1st Leg game between FC Internazionale Milano and Liverpool FC at the Stadio San Siro. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It was a Champions League debut for Harvey Elliott as he started at the San Siro, his first time in the XI since his injury back in September.

He would play 59 minutes before being withdrawn and while Klopp knows the 18-year-old will have better days, it was an invaluable experience.

“Harvey can play so much better, we know that. The reason Harvey played was because we knew which spaces we had to play in.

“It’s usually naturally his area, these half-spaces around the midfield three, being offensive-minded – that’s why he played.

“Really good moments but we all know he can play much better. Worked incredibly hard and when you are 18 playing against one of the most experienced teams in world football, it’s not a walk in the park.”

 

A clear message

MILAN, ITALY - Tuesday, February 15, 2022: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp celebrates after the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 1st Leg game between FC Internazionale Milano and Liverpool FC at the Stadio San Siro. Liverpool won 2-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Firmino and Mohamed Salah may have ensured Liverpool return to Anfield with a two-goal advantage but Klopp has been around enough to know that no result can be taken for granted.

“If it’s a proper halftime, like today if we are 2-0 up at halftime I don’t tell my boys, ‘oh my god, job done, Put your legs on the table!’

“It’s a very tricky result and why should we think differently about it now?”

It’s back to Anfield on March 8 for the second leg, but there are still five games across the League Cup, FA Cup and Premier League before then!

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