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Jurgen Klopp admits Man United friendly came “a bit too early” for Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp believes Liverpool’s pre-season opener against Man United came “a bit too early” in their warmup schedule, after losing 4-0 in Bangkok.

The Reds had only trained for just over a week – and for many key players less than that – when they took on United at the Rajamangala Stadium on Tuesday.

Though pre-season results should never be analysed too critically, goals from Jadon Sancho, Fred, Anthony Martial and Facundo Pellistri handed United a convincing win.

Liverpool typically begin their summer preparations with a lower-profile friendly, but the late end to last season and logistics of their tour of the Far East saw them pencil in United as the opener.

As Klopp reflected in his post-match press conference, that may have been “a bit too early” for his side as they still work on their fitness.

“The game obviously came a bit too early for us, for a few of our players, you could see that as well,” he told reporters.

“Individual mistakes happen in football, but we did them in moments where they were not to sort anymore, pretty much, because we were then that open.

“It’s all to explain, it was pretty clear where we made the mistakes, but in the end you have to keep on playing.

“That’s what we did, we could have scored, I think, three or four in the last five minutes but didn’t. That’s our fault.

“So: atmosphere, great; welcome, fantastic; organisation, really, really good; and result, not. That’s the situation, pretty much.”

BANGKOK, THAILAND - Tuesday, July 12, 2022: Liverpool players line-up for a team group photograph before the Bangkok Century Cup pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and Manchester United FC at the Rajamangala National Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

For United, it was also the first game of pre-season, but came after a fortnight of training under new manager Erik ten Hag, who named close to his strongest possible lineup from the start.

Klopp was asked whether, in hindsight, he felt he should have fielded the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah from kickoff, but rejected that notion.

“We have to do what is right for us, we cannot look at what lineup the opponent chooses,” he said.

“I think United is a week longer in training with the core group, we played much longer [last season], these kinds of things.

“It’s all fine. We don’t want to take anything away from United in this moment, they did really well.

“But I think we saw, in the moments where we showed glimpses of our normal football, we were immediately dangerous.

“We could have finished them off, some situations were pretty freaky that we didn’t score from, like twice [hitting the] post.

“But that’s how it is. Football is a result game, we accepted it long ago and we accept it tonight.”

BANGKOK, THAILAND - Tuesday, July 12, 2022: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah during the Bangkok Century Cup pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and Manchester United FC at the Rajamangala National Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Over the course of 90 minutes, Klopp used a total of 32 players, with wholesale changes every half-hour bar the goalkeepers, as Alisson and Adrian played a half each.

“You could see the 30 minutes we gave the boys was enough,” Klopp continued.

“I think some would have been happy if we’d taken them off after 20.

“Nothing that you do in training in these few days prepares you for a football game. You just have to get used to all the different things again.

“It was a start. Not more, but not less.”

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