Thursday 19 April 2018

Steven Gerrard offers Liverpool the ultimate praise - but Jurgen Klopp picks out one area of improvement

Mohamed opened the scoring for Liverpool against Man City by was taken off early in the second half. /AFP PHOTO /Anthony Devlin/AFP/Getty Images
Mohamed opened the scoring for Liverpool against Man City by was taken off early in the second half. /AFP PHOTO /Anthony Devlin/AFP/Getty Images
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Steven Gerrard hailed Liverpool’s performance against Manchester City as 'perfect' as he suggested manager Jurgen Klopp produced a tactical masterclass against Pep Guardiola after the Reds won the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final 3-0 at Anfield.

Premier League champions-elect City were blown away by Liverpool’s thrilling first half performance, as Mo Salah, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Sadio Mane gave Klopp’s side a commanding first leg advantage, with former Reds skipper Gerrard leading the acclaim.

"I think the word to use is perfect," declared BT Sport pundit Gerrard, who was the last Liverpool skipper to lift the European Cup back in 2005.

"There were two things that impressed me about Liverpool. I thought they carried out their gameplan as a whole really well.

"First half, it was typical Liverpool on the front foot. I thought (James) Milner and (Jordan) Henderson were excellent regaining the ball and showing what they are good at, which is counter-attacking at pace and scoring really good goals.

"The second half, you are always going to have a time against City when they are going to have possession and you need to work hard for each other and empty the tank, but defensively to a man I though the back four was stunning and the keeper (Loris Karius) is getting better and better.

"I think Jurgen Klopp will be delighted and he should be really happy and proud of himself because I thought his tactics were spot on."

Meanwhile, Klopp did his best to play down Liverpool’s big advantage heading to the Etihad Stadium next week, as he insisted his team still have a lot of work to do to seal a place in the semi-finals.

"The result is not what we expected but we needed to play more football in the second half," said the Liverpool boss. "They did not have a lot of chances but we didn't play much football ourselves. It is only half-time.... 3-0 up, good.

"First half was brilliant. It was how football should look. We knew about the quality of City but also about our quality as well. If we could control the game better against a team like Man City and not give the ball away we would be closer to them in the league.

"We defended the passes really good, but I wanted us to play more football. But I am not angry it is all good."

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