‘We are LIVERPOOL, a top team’: Jürgen Klopp insists he has never doubted the quality of his side after they bounced back from recent setbacks to beat Napoli in form… as he argues for ‘consistency’ ahead of the duel with Tottenham this weekend
Jurgen Klopp has never doubted Liverpool’s quality and was pleased with the way his side recovered from their latest setback by beating Napoli into form in the Champions League.
Closer than any side in English football history to win an unprecedented fourfold, things have gone awry since last season narrowly fell short in the Premier League and Champions League.
Klopp’s Jekyll-and-Hyde side lost 2-1 to Leeds on Saturday night against Leeds, leading him to dismiss rumors that this Liverpool team had reached the end of its useful life.
Jurgen Klopp has maintained that he has never doubted the quality of his Liverpool team
The German team responded to that loss with a 2-0 win against Napoli on Tuesday, with late goals from Mohamed Salah and substitute Darwin Nunez sealing a 2-0 win as they qualified from Group A in second.
“The reaction I wanted to see,” said Klopp after the win at Anfield. “We all agreed that we need to react and we did that in a very difficult game against a very good opponent.
‘We have no doubts about the quality. I don’t think anyone doubts that quality, but that’s part of the problem. We don’t show it consistently.
“That’s why I mention the second goal against Leeds as an example of our situation. We’re chasing the game, even if it’s around our 18-yard box. You can see no one wants a throw-in for Leeds, then they can run out of time, and no one protects the box, pretty much because everyone thinks we have three players and we will win the ball.
Liverpool lacked consistency this season but managed to win against Napoli
“That’s kind of the situation we’re in. That’s where we have to take quite a step back and tonight we did.
“When we defended, tonight we defended with everything we have. We were very compact, we were very close to the challenges and in the challenges we showed the determination we need to show.
“Napoli are a real force at the moment and so it could have been extremely difficult for us tonight, but the boys played a really good game.
“Again, consistency, stability is what we need. We will take the good things out of this game and then start the next fight against Tottenham.”
Salah’s attempt in the 85th minute saw him equal club grandmaster Steven Gerrard’s Liverpool European goalscoring record of 41.
Klopp was happy with the impact substitute Darwin Nunez made against Napoli
The Egypt international headed home after Nunez’s first attempt was saved, before the substitute scored for a third consecutive European game with the last kick in stoppage time.
“Absolutely good,” Klopp said of Nunez’s impact.
“Obviously in these games it wasn’t a massive rotation game for us because of the situation, but a little bit we had to and that’s why we didn’t start all three (regular attackers) because we have to see how we get through a goal.
“Curtis (Jones) did very well in a position unknown to him. If you can attract a fresh player with Darwin’s quality, that is very useful.’
The only possible negative on Tuesday was James Milner’s injury early in the second half for the already exhausted Reds.
Asked about the seriousness of the problem, Klopp said: “Don’t know. He seemed fine now, but we should probably do further checks.’