Monday, October 18, 2021

Klopp sees Porto progress from Liverpool as Man City clash comes into view

SoccerNews in English Premier League 28 Sep 2021

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Jurgen Klopp was pleased to see Liverpool iron out a few issues on the pitch as they thrashed Porto, but insisted they will need to be better when they take on Manchester City next.

Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino both scored twice on Tuesday as the Reds cut loose against their Portuguese opponents in the Champions League, easing to a 5-1 triumph on the road.

Liverpool capitalised on Porto goalkeeper Diogo Costa’s struggles to make it two wins from two in Group B, though Klopp admitted there were early moments of concern as their opponents appeared keen to follow Brentford’s lead.

The German coach saw his team twice pegged back by the Bees in the second half as a pulsating Premier League game finished 3-3 on Saturday. However, there were no such issues in European action.

“The game started and we could see that Porto watched our last game against Brentford obviously, as they started off going direct,” Klopp told BT Sport.

“We had our struggles again, but that’s very important. The boys are human beings, that’s one of the reasons I didn’t change today. I wanted to get it sorted on the pitch – and that’s what we did, step by step, during the game. 

“We maybe didn’t score the most wonderful goals in the first half, but really important ones. In the second half we controlled the game, obviously. 

“Porto had massive problems – they had one centre-back out because of the red card in the previous game, then Pepe couldn’t play. I don’t think their partnership had ever played before together, so that gives you a lot before the game.”

Sadio Mane scored for a fifth time in five appearances against Porto, his goal late in the first half sandwiched in between Salah’s brace. Klopp took both players off with the City game in mind, as well as James Milner, who seems set to continue at right-back if Trent Alexander-Arnold remains sidelined.

Mehdi Taremi pulled a goal back for Porto to make it 3-1, but Klopp was not overly worried about conceding.

“Defensively we played a super game today. Goals happen, I’m not concerned,” he said.

“I’m not that type of guy who points a finger at this situation and forgets all the rest, so there were a lot of good things. We can improve so much, but for today it was for sure good enough.” 

While Liverpool were convincing winners, their next opponents slipped to a 2-0 defeat away at Paris Saint-Germain. Klopp expects a response from City, even though his side will have home advantage.

Asked if momentum could be crucial for Liverpool, the former Borussia Dortmund boss replied: “It always helps, but against City it doesn’t help a lot.

“Against them, we need many more things than just momentum. We need to play better than we did tonight, but it will be a completely different game.  

“I only just heard the result from the PSG game, so City will want to strike back for sure. We are at home, finally, after a few games without our crowd, so let’s give it a go.”

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