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Jurgen Klopp: ‘If you want to be a striker for Liverpool, work your f***ing socks off’

Jurgen Klopp praised his variety in attack after Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino scored against Arsenal, but insisted “you have to work your f***ing socks off” too.

The midweek trip to the Emirates saw Klopp field a trio of Jota, Sadio Mane and Luis Diaz together for the first time, with Mohamed Salah only fit enough for the bench.

It took the Reds almost an hour to break the deadlock in north London, but immediately after Jota beat Aaron Ramsdale at his near post, the manager introduced Firmino in his place.

Firmino made his first appearance in a month after a hamstring injury, with Klopp having rotated his forward line in recent weeks as he navigates an increasingly busy fixture list.

Salah, Mane, Jota, Diaz and Firmino have now all found the back of the net in March, but in his post-match press conference, Klopp praised their work rate, too.

“We need our boys in different ways as well, it’s not just that you can be a striker who scores goals,” he explained.

“If you want to be a striker for Liverpool, you have to work your f***ing socks off in each game.

“You have to defend the width, you have to defend whatever. That is important.

“That’s why we change. Not because they didn’t score, because they scored and we still change.

“But it’s about how much can they help us in all the situations, and for that you need fresh legs.”

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Wednesday, February 9, 2022: Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne (C) celebrates after scoring the second goal during the FA Premier League match between Manchester City FC and Brentford FC at the Etihad Stadium. Manchester City won 2-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It had been suggested by Sky Sports’ Gary Neville, following the 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace that saw Man City allow Liverpool to reduce the gap to just one point, that the Reds could have an advantage in the title race due to their attacking options.

City have spent most of the campaign without a recognised striker after the departures of Sergio Aguero and Ferran Torres to Barcelona, but have still only scored seven goals less than Liverpool in the Premier League.

Klopp refuted the claim that City were at a disadvantage, insisting that adding a striker into the side does not immediately solve problems in the final third.

“I don’t like these discussions at all, to be honest,” he added.

“Talking about City – as if they would miss a striker, that’s a joke.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, October 3, 2021: Manchester City's manager Josep 'Pep' Guardiola shakes hands with Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City FC at Anfield. The game ended in a 2-2 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“The way they play, against Crystal Palace they had like five or six clear-cut chances. Nothing to do with not having a striker.

“You tell me De Bruyne hit the crossbar because they was no striker?

“You cannot open discussions like you want, one day they’re the best team in the world and the next day they miss a striker.

“Football is not that easy, just put a striker there and all of a sudden he finishes the situations off.”

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