‘Absolutely fine’ – Jurgen Klopp satisfied with Liverpool situation after Old Trafford madness

News Desk
Jurgen Klopp reacts on the touchline during Manchester United v Liverpool
Jurgen Klopp reacts at Old Trafford

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp saw Manchester United throw a spanner in the works of their bid to equal their arch-rivals’ record of 20 league titles but he does not expect Erik ten Hag’s side to do them any favours when Arsenal come calling.

Klopp said he was “absolutely fine” with their situation after two dropped points in the title race after the 2-2 draw kept Arsenal top of the table on goal difference.

The Gunners are due at Old Trafford on the penultimate weekend of the season, but the Liverpool boss does not hold out much hope of a helping hand.

“Probably if we are still around then it would be great but Arsenal is a good football team and if they (United) play like they did today Arsenal will win that game, I’m 100 per cent sure,” said Klopp, whose side took just two points off United this season.

“I’m really sorry to say it, but we should have won both games and didn’t. That’s our fault.”

Mohamed Salah rescued a point with an 84th-minute penalty after the visitors failed to capitalise on their first-half dominance which brought only Luis Diaz’s opener.

A mistake by young centre-back Jarell Quansah allowed Bruno Fernandes to equalise with a lob over goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher from the centre-circle before Kobbie Mainoo put the home side ahead.

“The feelings are obviously mixed. I’m happy with a lot of parts of the game, being 1-0 up at Old Trafford and having a 15-0 shooting stat (in the first half) is incredible. We should and could have been calmer and clearer in moments,” added Klopp, who was left to rue failing to capitalise on their first-half dominance.

“It (league position) matters after 38 matchdays. People and our supporters as well will tell us now we need to better our goal difference and go for that – that would be the dumbest thing we could do.

“We are who we are and we are how we are and that’s why we are in the race. I’m absolutely fine with that.

“We are fine with our situation. I wish we had more points, but I’m absolutely fine and over the moon actually that these boys brought us into that situation.

“The same boys who missed today a few chances are the boys who brought us 71 points.”

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag was equally happy with how his side responded after being outplayed for large parts of the game.

“First half we lost the duels and our decision-making in the half spaces, we weren’t quick enough,” he said.

“We encouraged the team at half-time to win those duels. We didn’t take advantage in the first half and the second half we did.

“We needed a moment in the game to punish a mistake of Liverpool, but that got us back in the game.

“It (their second goal) was a very good team goal, a goal from out of the game plan, so I’m very proud the team could transfer this in the way we did to get the ball to the far-side half-space and then switch and then that finish was brilliant.”

Ten Hag also had praise for 19-year-old centre-back Willy Kambwala on only his second Premier League start.

“The decision? Old soldiers die and new have to come in. Already a long time he has been training with us and his progress is amazing during training, we didn’t have any doubt,” he added.

“We were convinced he could do the job, I’m very pleased he could do the performance. It’s another signal and message for Manchester United has high potential.

“If you have more players available, especially in the backline where we have had 27 combinations over the course of the season, the future will be very good.”

However, Ten Hag was not happy his side capitulated late on for the third successive game.

“It’s very disappointing when you put yourselves three times in the week in a winning position just before the end of the game, but then drop points,” he said.

“We have all seen some poor decisions. All three games had poor decisions and not every time the same players.

“We have to improve. The sooner the better.”