Even after Liverpool's lopsided loss to Real Madrid in the Champions League, Jürgen Klopp was pretty positive when he met with the media ahead of the Reds' EPL match with Crystal Palace. The boss says conceding 5 goals is unacceptable, but also adds that he saw some strong play from his club. He then turns his attention to the upcoming match with the Eagles and addresses the importance of having success in the upcoming slate of games.
While fans might not want to look back on the 5-2 defeat, Klopp and his staff have to. There were obvious bad moments in the match, but he also took time to highlight the good ones as well.
“Yes, of course we watch it back; not the whole game together with the players, [there's] no time for that really…Conceding five in a home game in the Champions League is absolutely not acceptable, I know that, but it happened anyway so we cannot change that anymore. The way we conceded the goals, we can change. Not for that game but in general – and we have to. But the start in the game was a good one anyway, it was good. It was not only 20 minutes; I know after then we conceded but the first half was a really good half, could have scored another goal, maybe should have scored in that situation. And then the second half had the worst start for us.”
Liverpool have had a lot of success on Crystal Palace's home pitch of Selhurst Park, having won there 7 times running. Klopp says those facts won't make this match any easier to play in, however.
“I can't say I enjoy it, I like [it],” he said. “I heard now we have a good record there but if you would have asked me I would have said, ‘Wow, incredibly difficult games, always really tough.' Yes, great atmosphere. I actually hope because it is Saturday night in London people go out and don't go in the stadium, to be honest! It is a great place to play football. I really respect a lot what they are doing because I think it's really tough in London between all these massive clubs and then finding a way.”
Things are looking up for Liverpool in the standings for pretty much the first time all season. After playing Crystal Palace, Liverpool will host Wolves at Anfield Wednesday, March 1st. While both clubs are behind the Reds in the standings, Klopp cautions not to count the points before they are earned.
“These are facts now on the table, but we should not involve the Wolves game already and we should not consider the three points already in our pocket or whatever,” Klopp said. “It's not like this, it's a really tough game. Crystal Palace had result-wise not the perfect spell as well since the World Cup but performance-wise it looks much better. For us all the games now are Champions League qualifiers, that's how it is. Nobody knows if we can do it because it is not only in our hands, but getting three points would bring us in the right direction and that's obviously something we want to do, but we know it's difficult.”
The Real Madrid match was a representation of what Liverpool's play has been all season. The good moments are outstanding and the others were terrible. There seems to be no middle ground with this club. That's why Jürgen Klopp is cautioning against chalking up 6 points before the next two matches are played.
If they play as they did for the first 20 minutes of the last match, I expect Liverpool to vie for a Champions League. If not, they could be shut out by a pair of struggling teams in the next two matches. You just never know which Liverpool team will show up.
“Conceding five in a home game in the Champions League is absolutely not acceptable, I know that, but it happened anyway so we cannot change that anymore”
“For us all the games now are Champions League qualifiers, that’s how it is.”