One major frustration with Liverpool has always been their inability to breakdown teams that have stacked their defenses against us. Attacking lines simply can’t move the ball where it needs to be when there’s 6+ players blocking them. And while Sunderland certainly wasn’t the first team to use the tactic against the Reds, they definitely won’t be the last. A tactic that won’t be a problem in the future, assures Jürgen Klopp.
"I think there is no doubt this team is ready to play against parked buses," he said following yesterday’s match. "We have all the skills, but you need to be patient. If you score early then it changes. And you saw it, when we scored the first goal, then we get the second, and we could have got the third, the fourth or whatever – so that’s how it is. That opens the game.”
Liverpool were more than patient, consistently knocking on the door with 27 shots - including the goal from Origi that finally put Liverpool into the lead in the 75th minute. 75 minutes is a long time to wait and frustration can set in easily, not just with supporters but the team. Such is the price of playing defensive teams.
"It’s about the timing of when you get the first one. And the longer you don’t, the most important thing is you don’t get frustrated because we need to get used to situations like this,” Klopp continued.
It’s almost expected at this point, for teams to want to defend more deeply against us, rather than allow Liverpool the space to move the ball and do what they wish with it. It’s no great secret what happens when we play, and other teams are working their responses to it. So it goes. But to expect Liverpool to not be able to respond to those tactics, as they’ve struggled with in the past, is to ignore the growth that these team has made with Klopp. And will continue to do so.
“If you want to say it, it’s our fault that teams are playing that deep, but we can improve a lot, and we are ready for teams doing that."