After Joel Matip‘s late winner saw Liverpool get their Champions League campaign up and running against Ajax, in his post-match press conference, Jurgen Klopp discussed the Reds’ joy from set-pieces and an “interesting” new idea from Chelsea owner Todd Boehly.
Here are four key points from the manager’s press conference after a crucial win at Anfield:
Last two performances “not the same sport”
After a dreadful night in Napoli, Liverpool needed a reaction, and they got one.
Klopp was delighted with the team’s general performance against Ajax. A world away from the nightmare showing in Italy last week.
“I think if you put the two games, Napoli and tonight next to each other, you don’t recognise that it’s the same sport,” he said.
“It was all different. The start was different, the middle was different, the finish was different, the football we played, the way defended, everything was different. Much higher intensity, much more aggression, braver, more ready. Pretty much everything was better.
“It’s the first step, nothing else, not more, but everything was better.”
Should have scored from a set-piece sooner!
Liverpool’s deserved winner came when Joel Matip finally managed to head home one of several opportunities the Reds had from set-pieces.
Jurgen couldn’t quite believe his side didn’t manage to score from one sooner!
“We had these quick set-pieces, quick restarts with Thiago where we tried to take advantage in these moments,” he said.
“Sometimes you have to wait a bit longer, but I don’t think anyone was surprised that it was a set-piece, because our set-pieces tonight were really good and I have no idea why we didn’t score earlier from them, because pretty much each set-piece was a threat if I’m right.
“Then big celebrations, the face of Joel showed exactly how we all felt in this moment.”
Brilliant response to Chelsea owner’s ‘north vs south’ idea
This was trademark Klopp.
Jurgen’s response? Hilarious.
“He doesn’t hesitate, huh? He doesn’t wait long! Great! When he finds a date for that he can call me,” Klopp said.
“He forgets that in the big sports in America, these players have four-month breaks, so they’re quite happy that they can do a little bit of sport in these breaks.
“It’s completely different in football. Does he want to bring the Harlem globetrotters as well? To play against a football team?
“Did he really say it? Interesting!”
Relief the overriding emotion
You could see the relief in Jurgen’s face when Matip’s header went in.
Understandable, really, given the criticism his side have received in the last week or so. This was a massive win.
“Nobody gets carried away tonight,” he insisted.
“It’s not that the boys sit in the dressing room and cannot get their arms down. It’s more relief. We showed us and the outside world that we understood, we reacted. The boys really reacted, I liked that a lot.
“The reaction to show that we are still able to do these things, that was the most important thing tonight.”