Manchester United 1-1 Liverpool: Jürgen Klopp’s reaction

Jürgen Klopp felt Liverpool deserved a point from Sunday’s 1-1 draw against Manchester United, despite acknowledging that his side were not at their best at Old Trafford.

Adam Lallana equalised for the Reds in the 85th minute after Marcus Rashford had put the home team ahead late on in the first half.

Liverpool remain unbeaten in the Premier League this season and sit six points clear at the top of the table following Sunday’s result.

Read on for a summary of Klopp’s post-match press conference…

On the VAR decision that allowed Rashford’s opener to stand after an apparent foul on Divock Origi…

I would be really interested what you all think about it. No, at first [I was] not [angry]. I calmed everyone down because I saw immediately… Mr Atkinson knew it could be a goal but immediately showed VAR. My coaches were already on their toes but I said, ‘Come on, VAR is checking’ and I was 100 per cent sure VAR would overrule it. But now you see we have the problem, so the ref let the game run because he has VAR, but the VAR says then it was not clear, so I [the referee] could say it was not a foul, so I don’t overrule it. This makes not too much sense, we don’t get anything back from that but it is a clear VAR issue in how we deal with it in the moment. I am not angry or whatever, I saw it today and it was a foul and nothing else… I am sure Mr Atkinson would have whistled if there was no VAR but he let it go. 

We cannot change it anymore, but pretty much everything went against us, our performance in the first half as well, and we still didn’t get beat and could have won the game. With this part of the assessment I am fine, but with the performance of the first half of course not. It’s just not how it should be. It’s clear that it’s easier for United in a situation like that, coming here and play 5-3-2 and really properly fight and everybody is happy about that. We were not really there, we did not get the momentum of the first half – they had it, but we still had the biggest chance of the first half with the counter-attack when Sadio plays the ball to Bobby. I wouldn’t say it was a ‘no brainer’, it was a big chance. Then at half-time we could adjust a few things and it was immediately better through little position changes and we scored a goal. In the end we have to be happy with the point, that’s clear, but we are not happy with the performance overall. But that’s OK, that’s sometimes like it is.

On the positive impact of Liverpool’s substitutes, Lallana, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita…

Very important today that we could do it like this, that we could change like this, that the boys are in the shape that they are. Coming on, being fresh, doing the job, being immediately in the game, being in between the lines. The set-up of United was really clear, they were all with an outstanding attitude today and it was ‘pass the ball there’, Young is jumping on Trent and stuff like that because we were not really inspired. We did all the predictable things and they could defend the predictable things, that’s how it is. We were not at all unpredictable, when we could have turned the other way around because we were not orientated, like kind of impressed with the challenges they made, we didn’t play real football. But then with just Hendo a bit higher we had then immediately the ball and then first the two guys in between the lines, which helped massively and caused them problems. We had not chance after chance, but we deserved that goal, I think we are all agreed about that. Then Naby was on, helped as well, fresh legs, being there, passing safe and then not always doing the obvious things, moving higher and passing the ball and that’s how the goal happened. We can pass the ball to Robbo and he has to run sideways and not make the ball or you can pass it exactly in that way and he can make the cross that we can score the goal. We were better with the three boys coming on, that helped a lot and I’m happy about that of course, especially about the fact that Adam scored this goal, a very important one. All good.

On whether United’s style of play ‘frustrated’ him…

Why should it frustrate me? I’m not the person who should be frustrated by Man United’s style. It is just a fact when we come here. This year, last year, the year before, they just defend, that’s how it is. It’s OK and not a criticism, it’s just a fact. You see it, everybody is happy. When you think about when United plays against Liverpool, you think both teams are trying like this and that but it’s not usually. Again, the quality – we are the one team, everybody is on their toes when United plays against us. That’s why with the quality they have, set up like they set up, it’s really difficult. That’s no excuse, we expect really to do better, I thought we can do better today but we didn’t. But you cannot play like this against each team, obviously like the way they played today. How I said, it’s nothing for me to speak about.

On whether United’s approach is a ‘compliment’ to Liverpool….

We don’t have to say it’s a compliment, it’s just that we are a good team and when they play against somebody, it is normal people think about how they can stop us. That’s how it is. I think we had a big say in that in the first half, we stopped ourselves pretty much by ourselves. But, of course, United defended really well and then they have the speed with James and Rashford, it is just uncomfortable. They chip the ball in behind and then the race is on and that’s not cool. That’s only one part and we defended that OK, but you cannot defend that perfect because you lose the ball and then they shoot it in behind. We should have played much better football, that’s what we expect of ourselves, so no criticism or judgement of United, it’s just about us.

On the 17-game winning run coming to an end…

We don’t think that far, to be honest. If you look back on a season and say where was it possible to lose a point or two or whatever, for us United is a place [that can happen]. There are worse things that can happen than getting a point here. Some teams will lose here, 100 per cent. They will find [themselves] back on track and all that stuff, and when all of their players are back that’s a real force. We never thought about the 17 games [winning streak] and now we will not now start thinking about the one which we [didn’t win]. We spoke about it already because we have a game on Wednesday. We expect much more from ourselves, but the result is the result of the performance. We could have won today but it was not like we were really unlucky that we didn’t win. We have to play better football. Today we deserved a point and could have won, but that’s not enough at United.