After a dull 90 minute affair at Anfield saw the Reds share the spoils with arch-rivals Manchester United, manager Jurgen Klopp appeared to accept a point after criticising his team for lacking bravery to take the match to the Red Devils as he told the press after the game:
“We didn’t play as well as we could have played. We started OK and immediately with their defending we weren’t brave anymore. We weren’t calm enough, that is their style that is OK you need to have respect but be cool. That is not the way we want to play but I accept it we got a point, there are worse things in the world.”
Captain Jordan Henderson also added:
“We didn’t play to the level we are capable of. We didn’t create many clear cut chances and we could have been a little more decisive. I am not sure if it was nerves but maybe we tried to force it. At the end of the day we kept a clean sheet, they came and did a job.”
Whilst the result may not have been the most positive for the Reds, it will be good to see key figures taking the positives from the dull game with the first Premier League clean sheet of the season an unexpected bonus.
Speaking ahead of last night’s clash, Klopp discussed the goalkeeping dilemma which he faced by telling the Liverpool Echo that it was not an easy decision to make between Loris Karius and Simon Mignolet:
“Whichever goalkeeper I choose unfortunately he will not be totally free of mistakes and that’s the way it is. That’s the game and that’s no problem. But it’s about giving the boys the best feeling and the biggest support to perform at their best and that’s what we do. My job is to create an atmosphere where single mistakes are not really important… It’s difficult but from my point of view it’s a luxury problem, it’s a decision between two very strong goalkeepers. I can’t handle the goalkeeping position like I handle all the other positions. I can’t say: ‘Today you, tomorrow you’, like I may with a defender or full-back or striker. It’s not possible.”
Summer signing Karius, who joined for just £4 million, has not enjoyed the best start to life at Anfield as he appears hesitant and shakey, something once again on display at Anfield last night, after breaking his hand in pre-season. Simon Mignolet retains hopes of regaining the number one spot, but he may have to wait for a little while yet to get that opportunity.
One sensation from pre-season was young forward Ben Woodburn, with the 16-year-old featuring alongside the first team and drawing comparisons to a young Michael Owen with his pace and poacher’s instinct, and the Liverpool Echo now claim that he has agreed terms on a professional deal with the Merseyside club.
Having scored against Wigan and Fleetwood in pre-season, he is now impressing in the under 23s team for Michael Beale and will put pen to paper on a three year deal on his 17th birthday according to reports in the Echo as he seeks to continue his development to break into the first team.