Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp believes his side can play much better than they showed against Crystal Palace despite emerging as 2-0 victors.
Liverpool may have continued their Premier League campaign in the same manner in which they started, beating Crystal Palace 2-0 on Monday night but manager Jürgen Klopp believes his side will be much better in games to come this season.
The Reds were made to work hard for their victory and it took a penalty from James Milner just before half time to give them their initial breakthrough, before Sadio Mané grabbed his third goal of the season in the final minute to seal the deal.
While the result impressed, Klopp was adamant that the performance will need to be improved upon next time around: “Defensively it was absolutely OK. I was not too happy with our offensive play,” he reflected post-match.
“The rhythm was not good, timing was not good, both full-backs need to be involved much more – open up their game a little bit so we really have different options. I don’t want them to be our No. 10s, but they (must be) an option. So that was not too cool.
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“But then we had, around the goal, I think three or four situations: good passes in small spaces, around the box, in the box, a bit unlucky and then there was the penalty situation.”
Klopp did, however, admit that the fact his side came away victorious – and with a clean sheet – despite not being at their fluent best was a refreshing change up from usual proceedings.
“It was not a brilliant football game from us,” Klopp admitted.
“We don’t have to make it bigger than it is. We won it because we scored in two very decisive moments. That’s good! For us it’s a big step. Those who watch us more often will know that when we are not brilliant we usually lose.
“Today we were not brilliant but we still won, that’s nice! Not a completely new but not often experienced situation for me.”
Quizzed about Mo Salah who was at the centre of controversy over the penalty decision, the German was nothing but supportive, preferring to focus on the team as a whole.
“I have nothing to say about individual performances. Mo Salah can play much better, that’s 100 percent,” he admitted.
“But he was really involved in both goals—decisively involved, so that’s two assists kind of, so I am completely fine with that and it’s all good.
“We have to play as a team. We can play as a team much better and that means immediately he is involved in that and that is all good. 2-0, all cool.”
Finally, when asked about new keeper Alisson Becker, Klopp was more than happy to gush over his shiny new signing and the partnership he is forming with defensive lynchpin Virgil van Dijk.
“The free-kick save was outstanding… it was quite impressive and the header from Benteke as well!” He exclaimed.
“Apart from that, around each set-piece, Crystal Palace blocks the goalkeeper and van Dijk and both were most decisive in these situations so both worked somehow through that forest of a lot of people and had the ball, so that was all good.”