Liverpool have an appalling record at Old Trafford, winning just six of their last 44 trips to take on United with the most recent triumph coming in March 2014. Even during the glory days of the 1970s and 80s, victories at the other end of the East Lancs Road were as rare as a Liverpool goal at Anfield this year. Small wonder, then, that Klopp, still awaiting his first victory at Old Trafford as a manager, cherishes any sort of reward at the venue as his team prepare for their latest visit this afternoon.
Jurgen Klopp said: “We drew there in the Europa League in 2016 but it felt like a win! I know that if we can, then we should put a few things right. But even if we’d won there the last 10 times in a row, it doesn’t have a massive influence on the game we play on Sunday. The longer we don’t win there, the more likely it gets to a point that we will win there. We will try it until it happens.”
Klopp has previously admitted anything other than wins in each of their five remaining games will make Champions League qualification almost impossible for Liverpool. The sombre mood among supporters, still restricted to watching from their homes, indicates few truly believe that to be likely despite an upturn in form that has seen just one defeat in eight in all competitions. Not that it will be easy against a United side who have found pandemic football to their liking and are revelling under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, winning 6-2 in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final against Roma at home on Thursday.
Jurgen Klopp said: “I watched the United game and after half-time the pundits were flabbergasted United didn’t change their team. They then scored four goals in the second half and changed a few players and (Mason) Greenwood scored. It’s nice to see when the quality of a manager is more important than the experience you have. If you need to have 50 Champions League games before you can take on the job at a team like United, then that would be tricky to find someone. There aren’t a lot of coaches out there with that experience. It’s clear that if Ole didn’t have history at United as a player, not so many people at United would have thought about him. Nobody knew how it would work and it worked out absolutely sensationally from the beginning and then a little dip, and now they look absolutely really good. He deserves credit for that along with his coaches. I’m happy for him to be honest. Even though he coaches a club I don’t think too often about, I am really happy for a colleague to do really well.”