Jürgen Klopp declared himself highly satisfied with Liverpool’s performance after the superb 3-0 win against Middlesbrough on Wednesday night.
Adam Lallana’s brace with goals either side of Origi’s 5th goal in as many games ensured it was a positive reply after the dissappointing games against Bournemouth and West Ham. Taking three points back to Anfield on a night where everyone else in contention also picked up maximum points.
Klopp addressed journalists at his post-match press conference, where he answered questions on his side’s emphatic performance and his decision to start Simon Mignolet over Loris Karius, and also offered an update on Origi, who appeared to pick up a knock towards the end of the game.
Here is a summary taken from LFC.com on Klopp’s reaction to Liverpool’s performance and victory…
“Am I thrilled? Yes, with the result for sure – and the performance was, of course, really good. The nice thing is when you even have something to improve in a good game – and we had things to do better in the second half. You could really see how the boys took the information and did it.
The first half was already good, but we had this moment when it was a little bit too intense for us to be always in possession, to have the ball all of the time – one player needed a break, one wanted a break, one wasn’t concentrated, we were still passing in the wrong spaces, so that was when Middlesbrough had their moments, especially with Traore when we had to defend with three, four and five players. It was intense – more intense than it should have been – but in the second half we did it much better.
We could have finished more often; I don’t think we should have scored more often. 3-0 is the result, a deserved result I would say, but we could have finished more often. It was a really good performance. I’m happy.”
Lallana and goalkeeping situation
On whether Lallana is the best English player in the Premier League on current form…
“In my opinion, we have the best English players – all of them. I am fine with them, but I am not long enough here and didn’t see too much about the other teams. It’s not too simple in England to watch football; it was easier in Germany to watch English football than here. But all good, we are happy when he is fit and can perform like this.”
On his decision to start Mignolet ahead of Karius…
“The situation is LFC is a long-term project. We really want to improve the club. We know we have to be successful as soon as possible, but on the other hand we all feel comfortable in the situation with each other – the goalkeepers included. I know how strong Loris Karius is, but unfortunately he couldn’t show it in the last one, two, three games – I’m not sure, that’s not too important. I am absolutely not interested in public pressure, but I am interested in the boy and there is no reason to push him through this situation. In the end, everything is one little mistake – which can happen to each goalkeeper in the world.
So after one little mistake, should I say ‘OK, that’s it, final judgement – I don’t want to see him anymore’? There’s absolutely no reason, especially when you have a goalkeeper like Simon Mignolet in training, on the bench, in character… a great footballer, a really, really good goalkeeper. He played really well at the beginning of the season, so there is no reason to push Loris through, that’s why we made this change quite early and that’s all, nothing else. We are fine and good.”
On Karius’ reaction to the decision…
“It’s not that he immediately wanted a hug! It’s a normal decision and in football it is like this. When you are at the right club and you are not in the best moment, you step aside for a moment, train hard, improve, get back to your best shape and then we will see what happens. It is absolutely all OK, but of course for a player in the first moment it was not the best moment in life.”
On giving Karius a timeframe for a possible return…
“No, that’s not how football works. I didn’t tell him. Now it is Simon’s chance. I am really happy with our goalkeeper situation. We have these two really, really good goalkeepers; a very experienced Alex Manninger, who is a wonderful person; three outstanding really young goalkeepers. The goalkeeping situation at Liverpool is really good so that’s why I said there is no reason to push one through, we want to develop the players. We are fine with our boys. Loris is still very young, he is a big, big goalkeeping talent and everything will be good in the end but there is no timeframe for when he will be back.”
Boro’s biggest threat
On Adama Traore being Boro’s biggest threat…
“He was, wasn’t he? He is quite quick, actually! That’s difficult and it changed the whole game. We closed the spaces really well, made the passes into his space as difficult as possible, that was the plan. But in the end when the ball is there we cannot leave Millie alone. Unfortunately, we had three or four versus one and in the end it was a free-kick – that makes not too much sense.
But obviously his quality is so high that you need four players to take him out of the game. There were not a lot of chances that Middlesbrough could create and that’s a big, big compliment for my team. In a game like this, with a big number of possession that we had today, there is always counter-attacking with a player like Traore and it’s nearly impossible to always defend but today it worked quite well and so I’m happy.”
Goals and Origi
On the passing for the second and third goals…
“It was not the first time this season that we had this; we had nearly the same situation in the last game, unfortunately we didn’t score. We spoke afterwards about the situation that we had no proection, that’s true, but today we had this situation with a good formation behind and protection. The rhythm, the balance today, was much better. The boys are capable of doing things like this, I think everybody who saw us a few times knows this. It’s really, really good. The third goal, the passing, Sadio’s way, Divock’s run, Adam’s positioning – it’s perfect. It looks, in the end, simple – but it isn’t. You need to be there and you need to find the direction, it was a good game tonight. I wouldn’t have expected it like this but the reaction was great.”
On Origi’s late withdrawal…
“I don’t think [he is injured], no. A little knock and a little bit of pain. We wanted to change Sadio but then Divock was on the floor.”
Packed festive schedule
“The good thing is we are not the only team! We knew it before, it’s not so nice. I am not sure what you think about it but the [two games in three days against Manchester City and Sunderland] is not the best idea in the world but all the rest is quite OK. To play on December 19 and then 27 now, that’s a big gap. From now to Everton is normal and then there’s a big gap, that’s all OK. The [later gap] is a funny idea but we have to be there and we will be there. To be really successful we needed a little bit of luck with injuries and until now we have not [been] the luckiest guys in the league. It’s not a lot but it is enough but we have still a good team, so we will go through however.”