Liverpool have finally found a groove, winning their sixth match in a row after they defeated Brentford 1-0. In the end, it was a day all about the King. The Egyptian King, that is. After the match, Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp lauded the striker for putting away the winning goal, his 30th goal of all competitions this season.
“I can’t see him stopping, that’s just his nature,” said Klopp of Salah. You need to have this desire to score goals. People often forget how many goals he also sets up. He is very often involved.”
“When he sits in a studio in a few years as a pundit, everybody will know how good he was when we were all watching him. A lot of people don’t appreciate players when they are still playing. For us, it’s clear. He is an all-time great.”
While Salah knocked in the winner, Klopp also made sure to point out how well his defensive unit handled a bevy of attacking set piece opportunities. In a physical affair that somehow saw Liverpool penalized 19 times by Anthony Taylor, the Reds managed to deny one of the best attacking set piece teams.
“That game today was the best defensive set-piece session I ever saw in my life against the best set-piece team I have ever played, [the] most creative. We didn’t concede a real chance with 50, 60 set-pieces – that’s how it felt at least. It was because the boys were really focused. Could we have controlled the game better in places? Yes, but it was really tricky because they break the rhythm.”
One of the reasons Brentford wasn’t able to convert on the few opportunities they had was goalkeeper Alisson Becker. The Brazilian netminder was quick to come out and quell potential opportunities on balls over the top while his defense played an aggressive high line. In the end, Alisson earned his 100th clean sheet for the club. After the match Klopp said they had a shirt made up in anticipation of the occasion.
“We prepared a shirt for him and I gave it to him saying this is for 100 life-saving stops and he said ‘hmm, no more!’”
Incredible achievement, @AlissonBecker pic.twitter.com/9PdXpzKu29— Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 6, 2023
Klopp also was asked about the hybrid right back/holding midfield role he has been playing the past month and whether that would be a permanent change.
“Long term, we will see what we can do. It depends on the new players we bring in and who can play in different positions, that’s clear, but it suits him extremely well. I think the chance he set up for Darwin was, again, a very, very special ball to play there and he’s defensively extremely strong.”
While Klopp is pleased with how Trent is performing in his new role, he also said there are still some kinks to iron out with how the team play in their new set up.
“We have to adapt still to the formation. I think in the last game we struggled a bit behind Trent. I’s not about him, he cannot be everywhere. In the first moment when we lose the ball, for example, in the counter-press, of course he has to stay in the center. That means Ibou or whoever plays that position has to cover the space behind him. We were a bit passive there in the last game.”
“But apart from that, Trent played now pretty much all minutes since six, seven weeks in this super-intense period, with games every three days. And for that, it’s outstanding what he’s doing.”