Jürgen Klopp had plenty to smile about at his press conference after Liverpool defeated Napoli 2-0 to close Champions League group play. Among the topics the boss discussed was the team's reaction in the match after two tough losses, the play of Darwin Núñez, and what victories against Napoli and Manchester City say about the club.
Liverpool supporters will be hard-pressed to find fault with the effort or the result of the match and the same goes for Klopp.
“The reaction is what I wanted to see,” Klopp said. “We all agreed that we have to show a reaction – and we did, in a very difficult game against a really good opponent… Second half, we scored two really nice goals, where we showed as well the right determination – we were there for the rebounds and finished it off and won the game.”
Núñez had a hand in both goals, scoring one and setting up the other, in just over 20 minutes on the pitch.
“Yeah, absolutely good,” Klopp said of Núñez's play. “In these games, for us it was obviously not a game for massive rotation or whatever because of the situation…And then when you can then bring on a fresh player with the quality of Darwin it's very helpful, so really happy about that.”
Liverpool's roller coaster of a season so far has seen many peaks and valleys. They have beaten top teams in Serie A and the EPL while also losing to clubs at the bottom of the Premier League. Klopp says the victories against top competition say a lot about his team.
“We don't doubt the quality, I don't think anybody doubts the quality. But that's part of the problem as well – we don't show consistency” he said… Napoli is at the moment a real force, really, and so it could have been extremely difficult for us tonight but the boys played a really good game and that's why it was not. So, again, consistency, and stability is what we need to get.”
Liverpool's performance vs Napoli and Klopp's comments following the match should draw a chorus of Amens from Reds supporters everywhere. We needed to see the team put together a good showing after two straight losses. Someone needed to step off the bench because of the limited rotation. Núñez answered that call, and finally, fans are looking for consistency.
It's as if Klopp read our minds as he addressed all three topics and others. in the press conference. He is also correct that Liverpool have quality. Today's win proves that. Like the rest of us, however, Klopp is looking for one thing to turn this season around-consistency.
“We don’t doubt the quality, I don’t think anybody doubts the quality. But that’s part of the problem as well – we don’t show consistency.”