Klopp discusses ‘strange’ quirk of Liverpool’s season

Date published: Friday 20th September 2019 1:31

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admits they have to improve the defensive side of their game but says a lack of clean sheets is not down to a more attacking approach.

In five matches this season they have scored 15 goals and conceded five in the Premier League, with just one clean sheet – at Burnley last month – in eight matches in all competitions this season.

At the same stage last season the Reds had scored 11 and conceded just two, having opened the league campaign with three successive clean sheets.

They are, however, better off as they currently have a five-point lead, the biggest the Premier League has seen at this early point of the season, having been second to Manchester City on goal difference this time last year.

What cost them the title in their neck-and-neck race with Pep Guardiola’s side was the number of draws (seven compared to City’s two) but Klopp insists they have not sought to rectify that this time around with a more adventurous approach.

“There is no difference. We didn’t focus more on defensive or offensive things,” he said.

“The goals have been strange. There would have been a second clean sheet at Southampton if we didn’t concede that goal (down to an error by second-choice goalkeeper Adrian) would have been a clean sheet, there could have been clean sheets in other games.

“It’s not exactly as we want but we don’t collect clean sheets, we want to win football games.

“It is still early in the season, we have to improve and develop. But it’s not because we have a different approach to last year.”

Part of the reason for a lack of clean sheets could be attributed to the absence of Alisson Becker.

The first-choice goalkeeper won the golden glove last season for 21 clean sheets but the Brazil international has been absent since sustaining a calf injury 39 minutes into their opening league match.

But Klopp has had some encouraging news on his fitness and that of midfielder Naby Keita.

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