LIVERPOOL, England (Reuters) - Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp praised his team for their stunning first-half display in their 3-0 win over Manchester City at Anfield but warned that the two-legged tie was only at halftime.
“First half was brilliant. It was how football should look,” said Klopp after his team blitzed City with three goals inside 31 minutes.
“We knew about the quality of City but also about our quality as well. We were very active in all parts of the game, perfect in the spaces, very lively closing the gaps,” he said, before praising his defence.
“This kind of defence: dominant, not too deep, being in the right area of the pitch so if we win the ball there is a big opportunity for us to use the space they have to leave open,” he said.
“We used that really well, scored three fantastic goals. Second half, we defended very deep, gave them no shot on target, very concentrated, but when we have the ball we have to play more football. That was clear and we can do that,” he said.
The German was particularly pleased that City did not produce a shot on target in the entire game.
“They had no shot on target, I don’t know how we did that. You can’t even plan that. That would be completely crazy, but they didn’t. That is pretty rare. They are a fantastic football side. They didn’t play bad, they only didn’t create,” he said.
While the margin of victory was emphatic, Klopp said he had been in the game too long to think the contest was over.
“Being 3-0 up is better than 3-0 down. We go to Manchester City and they want to strike back. They didn’t play bad. They didn’t create the usual number of chances because we defended in a lot of moments outstandingly good.
“Trent (Alexander-Arnold) had an outstanding game, Robbo (Andy Robertson) on the other side, both centre-halves very good game, our three midfielders were absolutely brilliant, our three offensive guys were in the right spaces and supported them.
“That is the only way to get anything against Man City and we did it and at the end 3-0 because of our quality, instead of 1-0. It is halftime, no more.”
“We know it is not decided. We try to go to the next round. City will try it again and they still have a chance,” he said.
Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Toby Davis