Good news came on Thursday when Liverpool beat LASK 4-0 in their penultimate Europa League group game. The victory means that the Reds have clinched their group with a game left to play. This is a welcomed break during the busy festive season, since Jürgen Klopp does not have to deal with fielding his strongest XI in the final match against Union SG.
Regarding the game in which Cody Gakpo scored twice, Luis Díaz, and Mohamed Salah bagged a penalty, Klopp’s assessment, as always, included positive and negative takeaways.
“[There were] a lot of positives in the game, a lot of good football,” he said. “The thing I didn’t like too much, and told the boys at half-time, [was] this game should have been put to bed already at half-time. A third, fourth, fifth goal... you cannot play better, you cannot set it up better, [but] you can finish it better obviously, but we didn’t.”
Liverpool may have won, but Toulouse drawing with Union SG is what ensured that Liverpool can’t be numerically overtaken in the last round.
“It was clear, with the defeat at Toulouse we made it a bit more tricky, but because of our result and their result [tonight] we are now top of the table and that will not change. That’s good, very important in the busy, busy, busy schedule we have from now on,” Klopp said.
The last game will take place on December 14th, which is three days before their match against Manchester United. After that, there’s another three games to play before the end of the year. Taking one competition off the table will be helpful and means that many of Klopp’s main squad will have eight days between games and may not need to travel to Belgium.