Jurgen Klopp was left perplexed by a journalist’s suggestion that Ibrahima Konate was man-marking Benfica star Everton in Liverpool’s 3-1 on Tuesday.
Konate had a mixed evening for the Reds, opening the scoring, but also being caught out playing too tight to the Benfica forwards on a couple of occasions.
But Klopp was bemused by the assertion that the centre-back was following Everton around the pitch, insisting it “was not part of the game plan”.
“You saw us man-marking? Then we played really bad. It’s only a possibility if Everton is always around Konate because we defend the space,” Klopp said.
“I have to watch the game back, if it (he) did it then I have to make sure it doesn’t happen again because we play against the ball not Everton or the other boys.
“It was not part of the game plan, not at all. I will watch the game back and if we man-marked him I will tell you before the second game. It’s not the plan, no.”
Klopp admitted the game was more open than he wanted it to be.
“Coming here and winning an away game in the Champions League is tough,” Klopp said.
“Benfica fought for their lives, we gave them a little bit too much but they deserved the goal as well, even though we could have defended better – they had counter attacks, it is not easy to keep the ball all the time and the more risk you take, they have really good players.
“It was a tough game, what I expected, the crowd was there, we knew 2-0 is nothing, nice but not more. They score the goal and it was much more open than we wanted but the goalie was probably the best player and made a couple of really good saves – we are two goals up, half-time, let’s keep going.
“We usually score more [in those situations] but we didn’t, mainly because the goalie, credit to him, and that is pretty much the story. We could have scored in the last minute, 4-1 would be nice but we are not in dreamland here.
“We know much more about our opponent, they won at Ajax, we are aware of the quality and have a nice game in between but then we will be ready again.”