I think the scoreline was harsh
Jürgen Klopp, for the third time in succession, left Turf Moor with all three points after Liverpool’s 3-0 win, and he was delighted with his team’s performance.
Having seen his side score a quick double in the first half and add a third ten minutes from the end, he said: “I said it before, it was pretty much the best second-ball game we’ve played since I have been together with the boys. We were really there, we won pretty much all of the first balls, which is difficult enough against Barnes and Wood because they do really well there.
“Against a 4-4-2 system, it is really difficult if you are not quick, if your passes have no real direction, then you play their cards pretty much because the formation is good, the full-back is under pressure from the winger, the No.6 can close the gap and stuff like this. Immediately, you have no real situation which can create kind of a momentum. In the first half, we were completely in a kind of fluent [way], as much as you can without creating massively.
“We had our moments of course, scored then a bit of a lucky goal but I think we still deserved that we were 1-0 up. The second goal, brilliant. Just brilliant. Winning the ball, really quick decision making and then a super pass from Bobby and a super finish from Sadio. The third goal, brilliant. We controlled the game as much as you can because each set-piece is a massive threat, massive. Each ball without pressure when Pope, Mee, Tarkowski and any midfielder can play them, or when the two wingers can cross, it is just difficult. It was only in the last 10 minutes when I thought it was really different to all the other games we had here; before that I never felt like it was done already. The boys did the job, so brilliant. Really good.”
Although praising the quality of this Liverpool team, Sean Dyche did feel the scoreline was somewhat unjust on the Clarets. “I think the scoreline was harsh because there wasn’t that much in the game at 0-0,” Dyche said.
“It’s tough against these top sides, but the energy and the organisation was good. The game plan was that they play a really high line and we felt we could affect that by getting in behind, which we did a few times. We kept the chances down and created a few ourselves and at that stage, I was thinking if we can get the game to half time we can assess things. But all of a sudden you are 2-0 down and scratching your head.
““The deflected goal was hard to take. It completely wrong foots Popey as he’s coming for the cross, then soon after we make a mistake and they are clinical on turnover. I felt that was harsh on us, but that was the biggest difference in the game overall, I felt. When the turnovers came in the game they were clinical. My only gripe is that we gave it away too cheaply, too many times.
“It’s a strange one because I don’t think Popey has had too much to do, but we stuck at it and tried to ask questions and probe. They dealt with it all well and they have improved as a back unit. They now have a player in Van Dijk who has made a massive difference to the back five.
“He has rubbed off on others and made them better. They have pace and strength at the back, mainly because of Van Dijk and the whole unit is good. That is their continued improvement, and once they were 2-0 up they contained the game well.”
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