Europa League, time wasting & “not good enough” – 5 key things from Klopp’s post-Villa press conference

Jurgen Klopp reacted to Liverpool’s draw at Anfield and commented on the opposition’s underhand tactics.

Here are five key points from the manager’s post-match press conference…

“It was super intense, we could create our moments.”

Liverpool’s busiest periods of pressure were at the ends of both halves.

Klopp explained: “It was clear in the second half, we had to calm down but increase the pressure.

“It was super intense, we could create our moments.”

There just weren’t enough of them, unfortunately.

Trent Alexander-Arnold, Harvey Elliott and Mo Salah all had shots but none could find the net.

Time-wasting “problem is obvious”

Of course, Liverpool have had more than one problem this season but today, especially, the opposition’s underhand tactics were a thorn in the Reds’ side.

Aston Villa had five players booked, including goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, and Klopp noted that time-wasting has been a recurring theme this season.

“I think the whole season we saw it too often,” Klopp remarked.

“Today it was obvious.”

It wasn’t a good day for referee but, to be fair to the officiating team, enough extra time was added.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, May 20, 2023: Liverpool's Luis Díaz during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Aston Villa FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

A poor first half

The Reds struggled to get going in the first half.

Aston Villa played out from the back better than Liverpool did and they won more balls in midfield.

John McGinn, in particular, was making it for difficult for Liverpool to play their own game.

Klopp noticed this and reflected, saying: “First half, not great I would say. We were too much in a rush.

“In both departments; with the ball and without the ball, our pressing was not good.”

“Not good enough” this season

Liverpool will now almost certainly play in the Europa League next season, as they need Man United to lose both of their remaining matches.

Klopp admitted that “for too long” this season, Liverpool were “not good enough” but thought the recent run of form has helped the mood.

“I think we made it pretty exciting. I didn’t think that was possible seven weeks ago, the boys did really well in that period,” said Klopp.

“I think our people enjoyed it as well, you could see today they are not angry with us, they are looking forward to a new Premier League season and Europa League season.”

2R2MWWX Liverpool, UK. 20th May, 2023. Roberto Firmino of Liverpool celebrates scoring the equaliser late in the game during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. Picture credit should read: Gary Oakley/Sportimage Credit: Sportimage Ltd/Alamy Live News

It was “emotional”

The full-time whistle had barely been blown when James Milner and Roberto Firmino‘s tears began to leak.

They were both at the club when Klopp arrived and are the two players with the most appearances under the manager in his career, with 322 and 354 apps respectively while playing for the German.

Reports suggested he didn’t want to see them go and the players even made the decision of their own volition.

After the match, Klopp said the day was “definitely” emotional.

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