October 2, 2019 / 10:44 PM / 21 days ago

Klopp not angry as Liverpool escape after loss of focus

LIVERPOOL, England (Reuters) - Liverpool almost paid the price, in embarrassing fashion, for taking their foot off the gas as they let a three-goal lead slip against Salzburg at Anfield on Wednesday but manager Juergen Klopp said he felt no anger after this team’s 4-3 win.

Soccer Football - Champions League - Group E - Liverpool v FC Salzburg - Anfield, Liverpool, Britain - October 2, 2019 Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp gestures Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff

The European champions played sparkling football as they flew into a 3-0 lead after 36 minutes, but on the hour mark they were pegged back to 3-3 before Mohamed Salah saved their blushes.

“It’s better to learn the lessons during the game than talk about it after it,” said Klopp, who gave credit to Salzburg’s American manager Jesse Marsch for changing their tactics.

“I thought we were outstanding in the first 30 minutes. We did everything they don’t like at high speed, scored the three goals and could have scored more.

“Then the Salzburg system changed and we lost the ball so that caused us problems,” said the German.

“The momentum changed and it was really difficult to get a foot in the game. We changed for some reason the approach a little bit. Some (players) were in a controlling mode, some in an attacking mode. Some were too hectic,” he added.

Still, after losing their opening game at Napoli, Klopp was pleased his team found the resolve to get the three points,

“It was a very important lesson for us to learn. Now we won 4-3, learnt from it and so I am fine. I knew before we have to improve and now everyone knows. We made it more intense than necessary. Three points, game on and now recover,” he said.

“It was far away from being a perfect game but it was a typical Liverpool game — very exciting,” he said.

“I thought after the game I am angry but really I am not angry. I respect the performance of the opponent. We can do better. We will do better,” he said.

Salzburg’s Marsch was clearly pleased with the way his team had taken on the Premier League leaders, who had not lost at home in Europe or the domestic league since April, 2017.

“We spoke before the game that if we played well we had a chance. I think that the biggest learning point is we can play in these games, in these stadiums. If we play our game we always have a chance. We must learn and become better,” Marsch said.

“They have so much quality. It is a very new experience for our team and for me also. It is no simple but I think we have learned a lot for the next occasion”.

Reporting by Simon Evans, editing by Ed Osmond

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