Saturday, June 24, 2017

Klopp unfazed by defensive opponents

SoccerNews in English Premier League 26 Jan 2017

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists his team can deal with deep-sitting opponents, saying only their finishing was a problem against Southampton.

Klopp’s side suffered a 1-0 loss in the EFL Cup semi-final second leg at Anfield on Wednesday, as Shane Long scored on the counter-attack for the visitors.

Southampton sat deep, carrying a 1-0 lead from the first leg, before punishing Liverpool on the break.

Breaking down teams opting to sit back has proven to be a challenge for Klopp’s men, who have won just one of their past seven matches in all competitions, but the German believes it would be different if they took their chances.

“For me as a coach it’s not that difficult because we have other situations – you can win the ball back and different things. We are not the only team in the world that has to do this,” Klopp said.

“Not every team is playing like this [against Liverpool] but quite a lot, we spoke about it – 70, 80 per cent of the games are like this, we knew it before so it’s not a problem. But we still adapt to it, 100 per cent. We did it.

“You have to score in this or that situation then the game changes a little bit, not against each team, but a few teams are happy with only being 1-0 down or whatever.

“We don’t have to think about this, it’s the most difficult thing in football but we are not the only team who has to accept this.”

Liverpool’s dip in form has seen them slip to fourth in the Premier League, having also been beaten at home to Swansea City at the weekend.

Klopp said he was pleased with his side’s creativity against Southampton, despite their failure to score.

“We are a good football-playing side. Southampton usually play completely differently,” he said.

“If they always played like this they would probably have a few points more because their counter-attacking was really good, and defending with a little bit of luck.

“Creating chances against a team like this, that’s really not easy but we did it so that’s good, and then you have to score. That’s all. It didn’t happen, but that’s not a problem in general, it’s only a problem for tonight.”

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