Jurgen Klopp admits people were expecting Liverpool to fail as they took control of their Champions League tie against RB Leipzig. Goals from Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane inside five second-half minutes earned the Reds a 2-0 win in their Champions League round of 16 first leg in Budapest on Tuesday.
Jurgen Klopp said:“I think people expected us to slip tonight. I’m pretty sure a lot of people thought that it would be really tricky for Liverpool. And it was difficult, but we did it. I don’t believe too much in motivation in that manner, where people want us to do badly and that makes us want to show them. Yes, we can use things like this from time to time, but we don’t have enough contact with the outside world to really know how much people wish us to fail. But it’s clear. Liverpool, in the situation we are, we play against Leipzig, the chances of us winning the game dropped pretty much minute by minute (lately) in the perception of people. That’s completely fine and I would probably have said the same if I wasn’t that close to the team. But the boys reacted in a really good way and I’m really happy.”
With the scoreline still goalless, Liverpool were indebted to a fine save from Alisson Becker after Christopher Nkunku broke clear of the Reds defence.
Jurgen Klopp said: “Of course a clean sheet helps, as you can imagine. Ali will sleep really well in the plane on the way home! As always, he helped us a lot.”
Klopp also praised the performances of new signing Ozan Kabak and skipper Jordan Henderson, who were again partnered at centre-back.
Jurgen Klopp added:“I think that his (Kabak’s) attitude was good,” added the Reds boss. “I’m very happy with his performance. And Hendo, he can play this position perfectly. It’s not that Leipzig didn’t have a chance, Ali had to intervene also, but that’s normal. Overall I can say that, the whole package, I’m very pleased with the performance.”
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