Thursday 25 April 2019

Jurgen Klopp insists Liverpool have found the formula to beat 'bus-parking teams'

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp

Samuel Lovett

Jurgen Klopp believes Liverpool have proven their ability to beat “bus-parking teams” after Saturday’s 5-1 rout of Brighton and Hove Albion.

The Reds were subject to repeated criticism last season for their failure to overcome the league’s 'lesser' teams, with the side notably coming undone against Swansea and Hull at the turn of the year.

Such struggles have become a thing of the past, though, with Liverpool comfortably seeing off the likes of Stoke, Southampton, West Ham, Huddersfield and now Brighton in recent months.

Klopp described this as “development” in the wake of victory at the Amex Stadium but remained reluctant to shower his players with too much praise.

“Last year, a few [of your] colleagues said we didn’t have a plan against bus-parking teams – however people said it – and now we score five, we score three, we do things like this,” he said. “It’s development.

“I’m happy about the performance, of course, but I don’t think it was world class or something like this. It was just doing the job, come on and let’s carry on.”

He added: “I would be lying if I said I didn’t think ‘yay’.

“When we get 3-1 it was not really insecure but it’s not that cannot happen because three weeks ago, two weeks ago, it happened. It needs a little bit and then we don’t have that in our mind completely.”

After watching his side dismantled by their north-west visitors, Brighton manager Chris Hughton insisted Liverpool “certainly have the quality” to push for the title – regardless of how slim the odds may be.

“Liverpool are certainly good enough,” he said. “Manchester City are extraordinary at the moment in terms of the results they are getting and the way they are playing, but we all know in this game that what is now can be different in a month or two months’ time if they pick up injuries.

“Can Liverpool continue to push? They certainly have the quality to do so.”

Hughton was less forthcoming in his praise for his own team, though. “Where we can be a good side at keeping possession, I think that is as poor as we have been for a while in possession.

“The players will have to learn from it. We weren’t anywhere near our levels today and against a Liverpool that can happen.”

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