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Klopp hails return of 'real' Reds as Chelsea handed reality check

 

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Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp celebrates with Sadio Mane after the match. Photo: Michael Regan/Pool via Reuters

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp celebrates with Sadio Mane after the match. Photo: Michael Regan/Pool via Reuters

Pool via REUTERS

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp celebrates with Sadio Mane after the match. Photo: Michael Regan/Pool via Reuters

Jurgen Klopp claimed he saw the return of the real Liverpool in his team's 2-0 away victory over 10-man Chelsea.

Two goals from Sadio Mane yesterday helped the Premier League champions maintain their winning start to the season after Andreas Christensen had been sent off.

While Liverpool had got off the hook against Leeds United in their opening game, Klopp was delighted to see a dominant display against Chelsea.

Asked if the victory demonstrated Liverpool's hunger, Klopp said: "For today, yes, but that's exactly what we have to show all the time. That's what we wanted to show today. To us, it's really important. We only have to show ourselves 'OK, it's us', and I saw us today. I saw us playing football today, and I'm completely fine, I loved it. For ourselves, we feel the way we play, with adaptations, with improvement, with development, made us successful, and will make us successful if we really show it consistently on the pitch."

New signing Thiago Alcantara made his Liverpool debut as a second-half substitute and completed more passes (75) than any Chelsea player during the 90 minutes.

"We decided to bring Thiago on early because it was 11 v 10, and a player like him can command the rhythm," said Klopp. "It was the perfect start for him, and the boys helped him massively."

Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard was pleased with his team's performance, but could not defend Kepa Arrizabalaga after the goalkeeper's poor pass was pounced upon by Mane for his and Liverpool's second goal.

With Edouard Mendy due to complete a move from Rennes once he has undergone a medical, Kepa looks set to lose his place, with Lampard also confirming that Willy Caballero, as planned beforehand, would face Barnsley in the EFL Cup on Wednesday.

"It was a clear mistake today. I think Brighton was a mistake as well. He (Kepa) has reflected in that way, so we have to keep working," said Lampard.

"Individually, players need support, particularly from myself, and I give that to all the players. Kepa has to keep working. Nobody tries to make mistakes in football, but it's the nature of the game, and you have to be strong."

Lampard left German international defender Antonio Rudiger out of his squad entirely, with Fikayo Tomori replacing him on the bench and making an encouraging 45-minute performance as a substitute.

"I've got five centre-halves at the club and I can't pick a squad with three on the bench," remarked Lampard. "I have to make my selection on the back of training, hard work and other situations. Tomori did really well. I hope he feels the trust I have in him."

On Christensen's red card, which was upgraded from a yellow following a Var check, for a foul on Mane, Lampard reflected: "They can be given or not. Once the yellow is the first decision, you feel it needs to be absolutely certain that it's a red to make that decision. I'm not sure it was. It was one I felt could be given or not." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk