Jurgen Klopp accepted there was no hiding from the scoreline after his side’s 4-0 defeat to Manchester United but insisted there were positives to take from the pre-season fixture.
Erik ten Hag got off to a fantastic start in his first match in charge of United and although it was only a friendly in Bangkok, his players will take confidence from their comprehensive win over their rivals, which came thanks to goals from Jadon Sancho, Fred, Anthony Martial and Facundo Pellistri.
Liverpool, who started the game with five teenagers and did not introduce Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk, or summer signing Darwin Nunez until the 61st minute, had good moments of their own but were punished for errors which underlined their lack of match practice.
“The result is there, so we have to accept that,” said Klopp. “But of course I think it’s clear we could have scored our goals as well. Then it would have been an even more spectacular game.
“The goals we gave away for United, we nearly got assists for it, to be honest. But they used the chances and that’s how it is. But I saw a lot of really good stuff from my team as well. The game obviously came a little bit early for us and a few of our players.
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“It was pretty clear where we made the mistakes but you have to keep on playing and that’s what we did and we could have scored three or four in the last five minutes – but we didn’t and that’s our fault. Atmosphere great, welcome fantastic, organisation really, really good. But result not.”
Fred celebrates his goal against Liverpool in Bangkok
Klopp was reluctant to analyse the individual performances of new signings Nunez – who was suffering from blisters – and Fabio Carvalho given their lack of training time with their new team-mates.
However, given the context, he spotted moments of quality from his side which encouraged him Liverpool are on the right track to return to the form which saw them win two cups and go close in two other competitions last season.
“I understand we have to talk about [the new signings] but for us it makes no sense,” said Klopp. “Fabio is here for eight days and Darwin for three days. He has massive blisters on his feet. We’ve all experienced that in our life and it doesn’t feel different for a professional footballer – it’s really painful. But that’s the situation.
“I saw a lot of good situations, good performances in moments but no consistency. We were sometimes in a rush, sometimes too high but with the way Man Utd defended in a man marking system, especially in midfield, we lost the balls in the wrong moment, gave the balls away and they finished the situations off. That was the obvious stuff we have to improve, even if we’d won 4-0.
“It’s just the start of the pre-season and now we carry on.
“I think United have had a week longer training with the core group, these kind of things. I don’t want to take anything away from United in this moment, they did really well. But we saw in the moments where we showed glimpses of our normal football we were immediately dangerous. Some situations were pretty freaky that we didn’t score from it, twice the post and all this kind of thing but that’s how it is.
Facundo Pellistri is congratulated by Charlie Savage after scoring Man Utd's fourth goal against Liverpool
“Football is a results game, we accepted it long ago and we accept it tonight.
“The 30 minutes we gave the boys was enough. I think some of them would have been happy if we took them off after 20! Nothing you do in training in these few days prepare you for a football game. You have to get used to it again.
“If we talk about the game completely without the result we have a lot of good things to talk about my team. But if we do it like it should be, not forgetting the result, we have to consider we lost 4-0 and more things didn’t go too well because we made some mistakes. That’s normal. But you have to pay the price for that.”
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