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Thursday 13 December 2018

Jurgen Klopp: None of my Liverpool players 'were dancing in the dressing room' after Manchester City win

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp shakes hands with Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola after the match. Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp shakes hands with Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola after the match. Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine

Miguel Delaney

Jurgen Klopp said that none of Liverpool’s players “were dancing in the dressing room” after their sensational 3-0 Champions League win over Manchester City, and that he didn’t want to talk up the victory too much to give Pep Guardiola motivation as it is still “only half-time” in the tie. The German also warned that his side will still have to “work like hell” against “the best team in the world”.

More cheerily and more typically, finally revealing his happiness at such a performance, Klopp said: "You must celebrate a party when the party starts. Not four weeks before.”

In other words, nothing is settled yet, and that was Klopp’s general theme. “I am too long in the business,” the Liverpool manager said. “I know it is not decided. Sure, 3-0 is better than 1-0, better than 2-0. It is better than 3-1. But it’s only half-time. No one was in the dressing room dancing around after the half-time result.”

Asked where this display ranked, Klopp said: “It was really, really good. We beat the best team in the world. I don’t think about things like that. I have never been part of the best team in the world but I always knew it is possible to beat them. It is rare because they are so good.

“If I answer your questions the way you want me to, Pep [Guardiola] only has to put the newspapers in the dressing room and say ‘look what Klopp said’. We have to work like hell. We are not in the next round. Why should I celebrate it?”

It was put to Klopp that a Liverpool away goal in the second leg really would be fatal for City.

“I didn’t think about that,” he replied. “It makes sense to score there but it will be difficult again. We have conceded there five once already. I don’t think it makes more likely we are through. I don’t feel it. We have to work. You have to celebrate the party when the party starts, not four weeks before and I cannot ignore that we have to play in between another game.

“The only place where the people are more happy about the result than here is Goodison [Park for the derby with Everton on Saturday]. We have to fight there and then we have to fight again.”

Klopp stopped short of agreeing that the display was “perfect”, but praised how his side ensured City didn’t hit a single shot on target.

“It was really good… no shot on target but when we have the ball we have to play more football as well. We can do that but still space for more improvement. I never expected a perfect performance. I expected a real challenge and we were a real challenge. Being 3-0 up is better than 3-0 down. Man City want to strike back. They didn’t play bad.

“They didn’t create the usual number of chances because we defended outstandingly good. Trent had a fantastic game, Robbo [Andy Robertson] on the other side, both centre-halves spot on, our three midfielders… That is the only way to get anything against Man City. That’s why it’s 3-0.”

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