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Monday 10 December 2018

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp: Nobody on pitch is not involved in defending

Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool let slip a two-goal lead at the Emirates
Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool let slip a two-goal lead at the Emirates

Jurgen Klopp has insisted he builds a "defending approach" to his tactics as Liverpool manager.

The Anfield boss launched a staunch defence of his side's rearguard set-up in the wake of leaking three goals in five minutes to slip to a 3-3 draw at Arsenal on Friday.

Philippe Coutinho and Mohamed Salah fired Liverpool into a 2-0 lead at the Emirates Stadium, only for Alexis Sanchez, Granit Xhaka and Mesut Ozil all to strike in five minutes and blast Arsenal into an unlikely lead.

Roberto Firmino's goal salvaged a point for the visitors, but Klopp was still left to bat away questions about his side's open, attacking game-plan.

"We have an absolutely defending approach," Klopp said. "We played 4-5-1 and everyone has a responsibility to defend. We can line up quite offensively, player-wise.

"But there's nobody on the pitch who is not involved in defending.

"That they will cross, that they will shoot, it happens in a football game.

"I want to defend first of all; that's the basis for everything.

"But the best thing is to defend with 10 offensive players, because then when you have the ball, it's much more likely that you will score."

Former Borussia Dortmund boss Klopp refused to lay any blame at Simon Mignolet's door after the Belgium goalkeeper's mistake gifted Arsenal their second goal, from Xhaka's regulation strike.

"We don't talk about that now," Klopp said on whether Loris Karius would replace Mignolet for the Boxing Day clash with Swansea at Anfield.

"Everyone saw the mistake. It's quite difficult to judge because it will definitely never happen again.

"He's never conceded a goal like that, so you don't have to make a big thing of it."

Despite disappointment at surrendering a commanding position in north London, Liverpool remain unbeaten in their last 13 matches in all competitions.

Klopp is not chalking off the results on the calendar, but believes the Reds are maintaining consistency in performance.

"I don't know how many it is now; I don't think about or count this," the German said.

"But I really think performance-wise we are in a really good way; that's what we need to keep.

"So even when it still feels completely, maximum average, unbelievable not to win at Arsenal, the performance was still good.

"The performance was a team performance. We can't talk too much about mistakes because there was only one mistake. It's still only one mistake.

"They scored their goals, and we have to get that, stay consistent, and keep on performing like we did.

"It's not too easy to play this kind of football for the boys, it's intense. And to go to Arsenal and to be in a position where we could have scored six or seven goals, seems pretty rare.

"We should have had three points, but we got one. We were the much better side, so that's something we can take forward."

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