Liverpool’s performance in the first half of their match away at Swansea was... not great. Even the most partisan supporter will admit that.
It certainly wasn’t lost on manager Jürgen Klopp. The German boss summed the opening 45 minutes for his side fairly succinctly: it made no damn sense.
“We were not ready for this game. It’s my responsibility that we’re ready for games and today I saw that we weren’t. The body language was not good, the build-up was too static. Swansea did well, that’s important to say, but we were too static. We had no movement. We knew what they wanted to do, so we knew where the spaces are, but there was a misunderstanding. We were never compact enough for counter-pressing situations, that makes no sense.”
When asked whether he was angry over that performance, Klopp’s response was: “Very.”
“I said to the boys: ‘I am 49, so I have a lost a lot of football games and unfortunately I will lose a few [more].’ But today makes no sense, because it’s not a day where we should lose a football game, because we could have done so much better in the first half. It’s not allowed that we accept a bad day. Even on a bad day you have to fight against the start in this game, you have to strike back. You have to cool down. There were small things where you could see we lost patience with yourself and we interrupted the situation by moaning about decisions even if it was absolutely right.”
Thankfully everything worked out. Liverpool came out much stronger in the second half and managed to flip a potential 1-0 loss into a 2-1 win, thanks to a headed goal from Roberto Firmino and a converted penalty by James Milner.
Still. Klopp cares about process. It’s not enough to just get the result however you get it. And he tries to instill that idea in his players. Don’t expect this side to just shrug their shoulders and head off for the international break. This game will be studied and lessons will be learned before Manchester United darken their doorstep on the 17th.