Klopp praises Liverpool’s bravery but warns Ajax win ‘first step’ | Champions League

Jurgen Klopp praised Liverpool’s display of character against Ajax but admitted the late win was only “the first step” towards reviving their Champions League campaign.

The Liverpool manager claimed his side’s performance was unrecognizable from last week’s heartbreaking defeat by Napoli, although it took an 89th-minute header from Joël Matip to finally beat the Dutch champions at Anfield.

Mohamed Salah’s first goal in eight Champions League games gave Liverpool an early lead before Mohamed Quds equalized for Ajax with a superb finish.

Asked what improvement he saw at Anfield, Klopp said: “A lot. I think if you put the two games, Napoli and tonight, side by side you wouldn’t recognize it as the same sport. Everything was different. The beginning was different. The middle was different. The finish was different. The way we played, the way we defended, everything was different. Much more intensity, much more aggression, braver, more ready, everything was better. It’s the first step, nothing else, nothing more.”

Klopp admitted that Kudus’ goal, from Ajax’s first real chance of the game, was typical of his side’s failures this season, but the reaction showed their strength of character.

“It’s the most important thing,” he added. “No one is getting carried away tonight. It’s not like the boys are sitting in the dressing room and can’t put their hands down. It’s a bigger relief. We showed ourselves and the outside world that we understood. The boys really responded and I really like it, it was a super intense game. That’s how it is in life, when you have a problem and you want to fix it, you want to fix it right away, make a bigger change and work harder again and you get it all right back. But it’s not like that. The whole story of the game is a real help. I don’t think we need it given that we have a two and a half week break until we play again, which is strange. But it didn’t surprise me when they scored, not because we defended badly, but because it’s very possible in situations like this.

“The opponent doesn’t need much (to score) and the goal he scored was unbelievable. Almost any other shot Ali would have saved, but this was one you couldn’t save. The reaction to show that we’re still capable of showing things like that was the most important thing tonight.”

Klopp laughs at the idea of ​​the All-Star game

Klopp was less than impressed by Chelsea’s new American owner Todd Boehly’s suggestion earlier in the day that the Premier League should introduce an American All-Star game between teams in the north and south of England.

“He doesn’t wait long. When he finds a date for it, he can call me,” he added. “In American sports these players have four months off. Does he want to bring the Harlem Globetrotters too?

“Maybe he can explain it. I’m not sure people want to see that – United players, Liverpool players, City players, Everton players all together. It is not a national team. Did he really say that?’ PA Media

Leave a Comment