“Why wouldn’t I miss Salah and Mane?”: 3 talking points from Klopp’s post-Arsenal press conference.
Jurgen Klopp insisted that he liked what he saw in the first few exchanges, as Liverpool were “up front”, “lively” and “direct at the right times”.
“We started the game the way we wanted to start,” Klopp explained.
But the red card for Granit Xhaka only saw Arsenal deploy a low block and “it seemed like we suddenly felt under pressure. Which doesn’t make sense.
As the performances go on, it’s one we’ll all want to quickly forget, but it’s still only halftime in the tie.
Life without Salah, Mane and Keita;
The absence of Mo Salah and Sadio Mane, in particular, was crystal clear on Thursday with Liverpool lacking creativity and resilience in attack.
And while Klopp agreed with the sentiment, he remained steadfast in his belief that the team he fielded can get the job done.
“Tell me a team that wouldn’t miss Sadio Mane, Mo Salah and Naby Keita,” he said.
“We have known for years that it could happen. Could we have been better prepared for it? I do not think so.
“What we had tonight was a football problem and this team that we fielded tonight can solve that football problem. Definitely.”
Half time, but now for Brentford:
While the tie is set for the trip to the Emirates in a week, Liverpool are first tasked with defeating Brentford.
They will head to Anfield in less than three days and Klopp’s “mind is already in Brentford on Sunday”.
Klopp knows that “we can play better and we know we have to play better, and we will work on that”.