Friday, March 22, 2019

Mo knows he can play better – Klopp defends Salah after Old Trafford display

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 24 Feb 2019

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Jurgen Klopp insisted he was not disappointed by Mohamed Salah’s performance against Manchester United, but acknowledged Liverpool’s leading scorer was not at his best. 

Liverpool returned to the top of the Premier League table but were held to a 0-0 draw by a United side beset by injury problems. 

Chances were limited for both sides at Old Trafford, with United losing Ander Herrera, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard to muscle issues in the first half, while Roberto Firmino succumbed to an ankle injury before the interval.

With Liverpool lacking rhythm in attack, Salah could not make an impact on proceedings before he was substituted in the 79th minute, though Klopp was not concerned by the forward’s display.

“I am not here to be disappointed, I am here to help the players to play their best football,” he said in his post-match press conference. 

“I’m not sitting here when we win the games saying I’m the best and when we lose or draw then all the boys are guilty or whatever. 

“I know them pretty well, they want to perform, 100 per cent, but sometimes it doesn’t happen. 

“Mo knows he can play better than he did today, we know he can. 

“Two weeks ago, when we played against Bournemouth, that was amazing. Against Bayern he was up against [David] Alaba, a world-class player himself, they are not blind. 

“It’s about how we use him, how we play him, how we move and all that stuff. Today obviously, [Victor] Lindelof and [Luke] Shaw together did a pretty good job. 

“I have to talk here about the game, but I am not too much interested in that game anymore because I am thinking about what I do so that we are really spot on on Wednesday night.  

“We are all human beings. But in the best case you learn from it, and we will learn from it.”

The draw – a third in four league games – sees Liverpool move a point above Manchester City, with Klopp adamant Sunday’s result does not have to represent a decisive blow to the Reds’ title bid.

“Nothing really serious happened today; we came here, we wanted to win that game with all the talks around and stuff like that about United being in a fantastic moment,” he said.

“The situation for us, of course, is a top team plays really defensive [against us]. That’s not nice to play against.

“People can say Man City are doing better but we don’t compare ourselves with that because we have to get the points our own way.

“There are different ways to be successful and so far we were successful. I get there has been a few too many draws in the last couple of games but, still, we are where we are so let’s go on.”

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