News ID: 258994
Published: 0305 GMT September 20, 2019

Klopp unfazed by Liverpool's defensive lapses

Klopp unfazed by Liverpool's defensive lapses
BEN STANSALL/AFP

Jurgen Klopp said Liverpool has not changed its defensive approach despite its record of only one clean sheet in its eight games so far this season.

The European champion is five points clear at the top of the Premier League after five straight wins but the backline has been breached in four of those matches, AFP reported.

And two late goals conceded in Naples in midweek meant its Champions League campaign started in disappointing fashion.

Klopp's men started last season's league campaign with three clean sheets and conceded just 22 Premier League goals all season, missing out on their first top-flight title since 1990 by a single point.

But Klopp said at his pre-Chelsea press conference on Friday that the change was down to circumstances rather than system.

"No, there is no difference," he said at Liverpool's training ground.

"We didn't focus more on offensive things and forget the defensive things.

"The goals happened completely strangely. There would have been a second clean sheet against Southampton if we don't concede that goal, there could have been different clean sheets in other games.

"Of course it's not exactly what we wanted but we don't collect clean sheets. We want to win football games and we are still early in the season."

Klopp, whose side travels to Frank Lampard's Chelsea on Sunday, was asked about the importance of Virgil van Dijk and whether he had concerns about any potential injuries ruling the Dutchman out for a period of time.

"That's the reason why we have four center-halves," he said.

"It's not easy for the 'in the moment number four', not playing and sometimes not involved in the squad, but in the moment if something happens, like it was last year, not only one thing happens, a couple of things happen and then you end up with one center-half and a defensive midfielder, which we did against Bayern," he added.

 

‘My Dortmund’

 

Klopp said that Chelsea’s youthful new-look squad reminds Klopp of his Bundesliga-winning former Borussia Dortmund team.

With Chelsea operating under a transfer ban, Lampard has turned to the young players in its ranks and the policy has come good so far with all Chelsea’s goalscorers this season being academy players, such as Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount.

“It’s a really exciting team. It reminds me a little bit of my team at Dortmund years back when they were really young, maybe even younger than this team at Chelsea,” Klopp said.

“People were always talking about how young they are but they only played because they were good. They didn’t play because they were that young.

“If there was one club in the world who a transfer ban didn’t hit that bad, it was probably Chelsea because of their policy of the last few years. They had players on loan who have come back.”

Although new recruit Christian Pulisic is yet to hit the ground running for Chelsea, Klopp said their academy players have stepped up with the support of the experienced players in the squad.

“They brought in Christian Pulisic in the summer, I’m not sure about the money but for around £60 million ($75 million), and all of the players around him now have the same value,” Klopp added.

“Tammy Abraham is now a £60 million player, Mason Mount is for sure a £60 million player, if not more, (Callum) Hudson-Odoi was that already... (N’Golo) Kante, who looks like he could play for the next 20 years.”

 

 

 

 

 

   
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