Jurgen Klopp promises to not celebrate early again after Liverpool nearly throw away 4-1 lead
Jurgen Klopp promised he will not be caught celebrating too early again after Liverpool almost threw away a 4-1 lead against Arsenal.
Having fallen behind to a Theo Walcott goal, Liverpool stormed into a commanding lead at the Emirates through Philippe Coutinho, who netted a brace, Adam Lallana and Sadio Mane.
Mane’s stunning strike on his Liverpool debut was the pick of the visitors' goals and manager Klopp celebrated by carrying his £34 million signing from Southampton on his back.
With 27 minutes still remaining, Arsenal hit back through substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Calum Chambers to set up a tense finish but Liverpool held on to win 4-3.
“Scoring four is wonderful, conceding three is the opposite,” said Klopp. “We didn’t start the game well, but we came out and scored wonderful goals in the second half.
“I made a big mistake, as I was involved in the celebrations and that will happen I hope one or two times in my life but not so early in the game.
“It was the wrong sign for all of us, it felt in this moment ‘that’s it’ and you look on the watch and there was still half an hour to go.That’s not too good. If you celebrate too early, life always gives you a knock. Arsenal fought back and showed character and we defended not so good.”
Despite inflicting a defeat on one of their rivals for a top-four place, Klopp dismissed the long-term significance of Liverpool’s victory and insisted Mane can still improve.
“Nobody should be thinking about what’s happening at end of the season,” said Klopp. “We made mistakes together and scored some wonderful, wonderful goals. It gives us the confidence and knowledge that we can score goals, but we have to defend better together, 4-3 is a spectacular result, but we don’t want to have it too often.”
On debutant Mane, Klopp added: “Mane was very good, but can do better. He can defend better, but in certain moments he’s unbelievably strong. He’s technically very good.”
Klopp has signed four players so far this summer, three of whom – Mane, Georginio Wijnaldum and Ragner Klavan – played against Arsenal, but he has not ruled out more arrivals.
“Until the 31st August why should I decide anything?” said Klopp. “We have time. Improvement in my eyes is working on the training ground. We were far away today from showing our whole quality.”