Tuesday 23 July 2019

Revealed: What Jurgen Klopp told Liverpool at half-time to turn things around against Manchester City

Liverpool rallied in the second-half to qualify for the last four (Getty)
Liverpool rallied in the second-half to qualify for the last four (Getty)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Jurgen Klopp gave Liverpool the half-time hairdryer treatment to inspire them to beat Manchester City in the quarter-final second leg, it has been revealed.

The Reds have one foot in their first Champions League final for a decade as they take a 5-2 first-leg lead to Roma's Stadio Olimpico.

But it could all have been very different had Klopp not intervened a month ago.

Gabriel Jesus' early goal had Liverpool rocking but a second-half rally saw the Reds emerge victorious to seal their place in the last four.

“I think we were too impressed by the way they were playing,” Georginio Wijnaldum said when reflecting on that second-leg. “We (were) lucky the game has two halves to play, as we could recover after the first half and play a good second half.

“We were surprised, I think, with their unbelievable attacking speed. We weren’t really ready for what was to come. I think there was a warning for us for the way we played against City.

“The manager said we didn’t need to be scared, we just have to play our own game. If we played football we would create chances, as there was so much space in behind.

“He said to play a little bit more instead of playing the direct ball. I think he showed us on the screen, (because) we were dropping too deep. I think maybe because we were impressed and maybe a little bit too scared.”

Liverpool's front three of former Roma winger Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane have provided 88 goals this season and there is an expectation they will add to that as Liverpool have not failed to score in a European away match this season.

However, with Roma yet to concede at home in the Champions League, they may have to prepare themselves for a gritty, resilient performance to avoid a repeat of Barcelona's exit on away goals in the last round despite taking a 4-1 lead to the Italian capital.

"I saw videos of it. I think it is a warning," added Wijnaldum, who has been exchanging WhatsApp messages with Roma midfielder and international team-mate Kevin Strootman.

"I think there was also a warning for us for the way we played against City; first half (of the second leg) was difficult but second half I thought we played a good game.

"We didn't play the game to not concede, to not lose the game, we played to win and that is why we won and that is what we are going to do on Wednesday as well.

"We can create chances if we play our game."

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