Liverpool continued their preseason tour ahead of the start of the new Premier League campaign. After a short visit to Asia wrapped up this past week, the Reds traveled to Germany for the penultimate leg of the tour.
The first of their two preseason games in Deutschland was held earlier today, with the Reds topping Hertha Berlin 3-0 at the Olympiastadion. Liverpool displayed strong performances, with Dominic Solanke and Georginio Wijnaldum putting the visitors ahead in the first half and Mohamed Salah sealing the deal just after the hour mark. As preseason games go, it was an impressive performance.
Yet Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp was more measured in his assessment. His verdict on the performance: “This is what I expect.”
“We do it because we want that it feels difficult for the boys. That's not the only reason but we have to do a few things, that's what we did yesterday and also the day before. Today we had quite a long journey to come here: bus, plane, bus, hotel, bus, here - that's not what we usually do on a matchday but we wanted to have it more difficult. You could see after half an hour, someone took the charge off a little bit. The players thought it was already done and then Hertha came up again and it was more difficult for us, we were a little bit too late in different situations so they had moments. After 1-0, we could've conceded a goal but Simon [Mignolet] was there, we defended then with passion when organisation wasn't there anymore. I'm fine with it; as long as you win, that's the main thing. The second half, also, we scored just one goal but then we managed the game, that's very important, especially because the players want to show they can do it. It looked really mature, I'm happy with this.”
Klopp did take a moment to acknowledge the budding chemistry between Philippe Coutinho and Salah, who combined for Liverpool’s third goal.
“I think players like this understand each other,” Klopp said. “That's a good thing with players of this quality. The pass was nice and the finish was not too bad also.”
The bossman also talked up Joe Gomez (who’s recently returned from an extended injury lay-off), who he said has been “unbelievably important” for Liverpool with Clyne having an abbreviated preseason. Klopp also singled out new signing Andrew Robertson, saying the defender did good work today but has some room for improvement.
“He's good in defence but in one or two situations [he wasn't] but it's always like this. We left him alone, like we left Alberto Moreno alone in the first half, and then Hertha are too strong, they have too many options inside, outside, through the legs, whatever. He needs to improve but he's a really good boy with a lot of perspective. I'm happy to have him around.”
Finally, Kloppo addressed a niggling concern that he— and indeed, everyone who follows this team— thinks about often: injuries.
“At the moment, we're really happy but, in this moment, we don't have a lot of injuries, that's the best news. If we can stay fit, then we will be strong, that's how it is. Unfortunately, the other teams are also pretty strong in England, so we need to be. “