Monday 25 March 2019

Jurgen Klopp warns of Man City 'thunderstorm' as Liverpool boss ponders starting Mo Salah

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp

Chris Bascombe

Jurgen Klopp has warned his players to prepare for a Manchester "thunderstorm" as Liverpool pursue another major European scalp against Premier League rivals.

Klopp struck a cautious tone when assessing the balance of power ahead of the Champions League quarter-final, second leg.

There has been a notable absence of triumphalism, regardless of the 3-0 first-leg lead. Klopp knows from experience how quickly momentum can shift. The opening goal can set the tone.

"I saw the game of City v United at the weekend. It was one of the best first halves I ever saw. It was like a thunderstorm," said Klopp.

"Then, in the second half, they change the game. After the first goal, one team gains rhythm, another team loses rhythm. The game changes. We can go through all scenarios: they score early, we score early and all that stuff. It is not to plan like this. I cannot tell the boys, 'Boys, score early'. Well, I can, but I am not sure that it really helps. It is all clear.

"We have to think about football, what we have to do, where we have to do it. The boys knew after the (first) game. This is half-time. The game is not over. We are in the lead, nothing else. Being in the lead is not winning. We need a little bit more from this game."

Liverpool have a painful recent history with regards squandering three-goal leads. It happened against Sevilla in the Champions League in November.

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On a more positive point, they also have experience in Europe of protecting a first-leg lead in Manchester, as they did in the Europa League against United two years ago.

"I don't want to be negative about United that day but it is a different situation, different quality," said Klopp.

"But, yes, we had an outstanding game at home as well, we should have won by more with a better result. Then we come here and Old Trafford was at its best when the game starts. They scored and, somehow, with the goal we scored, it looks like it is done.

"It is different here. United was not a team that you expected to score six or seven goals. We have done it a few times, City can do it. It is all about winning the game again. That is the plan. That is the idea when you play a football game and it hasn't changed."

Klopp said he would wait until Tuesday before deciding if Mo Salah is fit to start the second leg. Salah trained at Melwood on Monday.

"There is no secret. He felt something, whatever it was. It was five days ago," said Klopp.

"The boys deserve a lot of respect for their performance from the first game. Now let us play and enjoy and we will see what happens in the second game."

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