For once, Jurgen Klopp had a positive performance to reflect on after Liverpool beat Leeds 6-1, with Trent Alexander-Arnold coming in for deserved praise.
Here are five key points from the manager’s post-match press conference…
The “best game” this season
While Liverpool have struggled for the majority of this campaign, there have still been some top performances and big wins scattered throughout the season.
In fact Liverpool have the biggest Premier League home win, away win and Champions League win this season.
Klopp, though, said that this was the “best game” of the year “from a counter-pressing point of view,” and “probably” also while in possession.
Based on the second half, it would be hard to argue with him, but scoring nine past Bournemouth can’t have been far off!
His attacking selections
Eyebrows were raised when news emerged that Darwin Nunez would once again be on the bench.
Instead, Diogo Jota started in his place and had a shocking first half hour.
However, the Portuguese international repaid the manager’s faith after that with two goals, and Klopp clarified his selection process.
“We could have had a completely different front three but because of the way they defended tonight, that was the important part of it [picking them],” the German explained.
Praise for Alexander-Arnold
Alexander-Arnold continued in his slightly altered position, playing in midfield while Liverpool had the ball, and was influential throughout.
Klopp complimented the right-back, saying: “Wherever Trent is, he can be decisive with his passes. Tonight was a good game for him, you could see that he enjoyed it.”
He was certainly decisive when his crowning moment of the match came, as he lofted an accurate pass over the Leeds backline for Darwin Nunez to chest down and finish.
On Diaz’s reintegration
Luis Diaz came on for his first appearance for Liverpool since October 9, due to injury.
It is important not to rush the Colombian back but Klopp is pleased with his progress. “He is lacking rhythm and a bit of sharpness but that’s normal,” said the manager
“We now try to just help him get step by step back really into the team, giving him minutes. It’s just nice to see him play to be honest.”
Liverpool still lie nine points behind Newcastle in fourth, with just eight games to play.
It would be a tall order to qualify for the Champions League now, but Klopp insists he’s not thinking about it.
The boss said: “I don’t know what it [beating Leeds] will lead to. It’s super important what’s happening because it will give us information [for the summer and next season].
“I just want to play top football and win games then we will see where we end up.”
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