Soccer

Liverpool had just days to work on new system vs Man City and adapted mid-game

Liverpool had only two days to work on their new system before their recent draw.

Jurgen Klopp looked to take Pep Guardiola by surprise by playing a front four of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota – having been expected to name only three.

The German was pleased with how the tactics worked in the opening stages of the eventual draw, with Salah opening the scoring from the spot before Gabriel Jesus levelled the match.

Klopp has now outlined his new style, and revealed that it was not quite perfect during the game.

He said of the clash: “Top game. Top, top level both teams. Energy level outstanding from both teams, two really good football-playing sides battle against each other. It was outstandingly interesting to watch.

“I loved our start, obviously we played a different system and you saw that in the game – in moments we had still to adapt to it. We had two days’ time to work on it, we did that but in the end, under pressure from a proper opponent, it’s slightly different.

“But the boys did incredibly well, I liked really a lot of situations, a lot of football parts, how we defended City was really good.

“They had their 10 minutes when we weren’t as compact as necessary after the quick start. That’s where they came back, that’s the quality of City, but then it was again equal or level or whatever you want. So, I’m really fine with a point.”

Jota’s Champions League hat-trick looks to have forced the hand of Klopp in the build up to the trip to the Eithad, coupled with the indifferent form of Brazil forward Firmino.

The manager said of the debate: “I thought it made sense. We had a couple of days to recover, couple of days to train, couple of days to prepare and that’s the line-up we decided to go for.

"I wanted quality on the pitch in different areas. If you want to get something here you have to be brave. That’s an offensive line-up but if everyone is doing their job it’s an even more solid defensive formation, so we will see.”

And Jota said of his relationship with Klopp: "He is a different trainer than any I have ever had, especially in terms of contact. He sent me a text message a few days ago, something that is not very common in a coach.

"I was on the couch, resting, I wasn't even waiting for a message and I get a message from him.

"He likes to be close to the players, both on and off the field."

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