Paul Spillane provides you with his favourite performances under Jurgen Klopp.
Last Saturday marked the one-year anniversary of Jürgen Klopp as manager of Liverpool. I think fans will all be in agreement that it has been a whirlwind 12 months for the man in the Anfield hot seat.
Klopp’s unique high-tempo attacking game was evident from the off. Despite only picking up a point in his opening game at Spurs, signs were evident that the players were buying into the German’s way of thinking.
Since then, we have witnessed some incredible moments on the pitch from the Redmen, and to mark the occasion, I thought I’d take a look back at my favourite performances under Klopp.
Liverpool 4-3 Borussia Dortmund (Europa League QF 2nd Leg)
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I don’t think there is any question of doubt about this match not being on the list. A European night at Anfield when the odds were against us? This will live on long in the memory. I cannot express enough how fortunate I was to be at this game, and I knew from soaking up the atmosphere prior to kick-off, that this was going to be special.
The atmosphere was, and remains like nothing else I have ever experienced. True footballing theatre. The mood may have soured after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had given Dortmund a two-goal lead inside the first 10 minutes, however, once Origi had pulled one back, the noise returned to Anfield. Reus may have put the visitors even further ahead, but the fans didn’t lose faith in the team. Coutinho, Sakho and then that magical moment from Lovren sent the whole place into rapture.
I cannot recall how many times I have re-watched the match or listened to the radio commentary. Only Liverpool is capable of such miraculous results in Europe, and long may it continue.
Chelsea 1-3 Liverpool (Premier League – Away)
This game stands out as Klopp’s first win as Liverpool manager, and the timing was just perfect with it being my birthday on the day as well. The pressure Mourinho was under was ever increasing, and despite Ramires giving the hosts the perfect start, they folded into submission.
Chelsea’s negative tactics, coupled with a dominant display from our lads was only going to result in one outcome really. I felt that it was only a matter of time until our good performances would be rewarded. Inspired by Coutinho, and thanks to a lovely Benteke goal, we condemned Mourinho and the blues to a miserable Saturday afternoon.
Man City 1-4 Liverpool (Premier League – Away)
Little beats a dominant Liverpool performance, battering Man City in the process. City just had no answer to a blistering start, which saw us score three goals in the first half. A Mangala own-goal, a sweet finish from Coutinho and Firmino bagging his first Liverpool goal after some wonderful build-up play put us firmly in control.
The dazzling link up play between our Brazilian duo was captivating at times. Aguero may have pulled one back but it was mere consolation. Skrtel thumping one in past Hart confirmed our superiority and was the perfect way to cap off a wonderful team performance.
Furthermore, a certain Martin Tyler and Gary Neville seemed so distraught from the tone of their voices when we rolled over the hosts so easily. The sheer lack of enthusiasm from the commentary team, and hearing Neville in particular attempt to praise his former rivals, just seemed to make the victory that much sweeter.
This was Klopp’s second away win, the perfect way to follow the victory at Stamford Bridge, and another step in showing the league just what his side are capable of.
Southampton 1-6 Liverpool (Capital One Cup QF – Away)
To say that we would end up winning this one 6-1 after conceding in the very first minute goes to show the never say die attitude Klopp has instilled into the players.
Klopp was confident in this one, as shown by his decision to field Conor Randall in the starting XI. Sadio Mane gave us fans a taste of what he would soon bring to the Reds, but what followed was the complete demolition of the Saints’ cup hopes.
Two fine goals from Sturridge, an Origi hat-trick (though the first was perhaps Moreno’s) and a rocket from Jordon Ibe made sure it was a miserable night for the hosts.
After the game, when interviewed, Klopp stated that “we do not have magic ideas. It’s about working hard”. A prime example of Klopp not getting carried away and staying level-headed despite such an emphatic win. This game once again showed increasing signs that his ethos was being engraved into the players.
Norwich 4-5 Liverpool (Premier League – Away)
Those at Carrow Road had little idea of what was about to happen in this game. The fans, in my opinion, bore witness to one of the most breathtaking games of the season. A game in which we began to see the character and belief of Klopp echoed by the players on the pitch.
To tell no tale of a lie, we were shocking defensively. Any team would be when conceding four goals to Norwich, but our blistering attack and conviction on the pitch saw us through. From 3-1 down, we showed our character to find a way back into the game. Henderson, Firmino and Milner each finding the target gave the travelling Kop belief we could grab all three points.
Norwich seemed to have rescued a point until Lallana was given the time to volley a last-gasp winner for the reds. The celebrations will live long in the memory, with the whole team, and Klopp jumping for joy on the touchline. The boss got so carried away even he managed to break his glasses! It was a hard fought victory for Liverpool and one that echoed Klopp’s belief that the game isn’t over until it’s over.
Jurgen Klopp has achieved relative success in his tenure so far as manager of Liverpool. As we know success will ultimately be judged on silverware, but from what I have seen this past year, we’re heading in the right direction.
Right now, we are arguably the most exciting team to watch in the league. Our pulsating attacking prowess and sheer determination to press the opposition throughout the 90 minutes have boosted belief in the fans that we are building something special here at Anfield.
Whatever this season may bring in terms of success on the pitch, Klopp has made us believe again, and having him at the helm gives us fans huge optimism going into the years ahead.
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