Liverpool have improved markedly under new manager Jürgen Klopp. So far, though, their road form has far outpaced what they've shown at Anfield, and with a potentially decisive Europa League match this Thursday followed by a league game at home against Swansea, that performance gap has become a talking point leading up to the match.
Klopp, though, thinks things are being blown out of proportion. Liverpool may have looked better on the road so far under him, but they've improved at home, too. Plus, their best game under the German was their last, on the road against Manchester City. Fans and pundits worried about their Anfield showings might do well to wait to see what they can follow up the City demolition with.
"You shouldn't make a bigger point out of it than it is," said Klopp at his pre-match press conference ahead of Thursday's Europa League tie against struggling Ligue 1 side Bordeaux. "Usually in football it's not the biggest difference between home and away. Okay, so we know about the results, that we have to develop our performances, but we've done that in the past weeks."
Liverpool have improved week over week under Klopp, and though their first loss with their new manager came at home against Crystal Palace ahead of November's international break, Liverpool were the better side for most of the night and were unfortunate to walk away with nothing. The result may not have been ideal, but it was far from being a major setback for a side on the rise.
"People talk about the result against Palace," continued the Liverpool manager. "Only the first 15 minutes were bad for us. The rest was okay or better, and we created chances. Usually it would have been enough to win the game but we just couldn't do it. The goals we conceded were from set-pieces, not from them creating chances. Many things were better than in the games before."
Crystal Palace wasn't the right result, but losing a match that Liverpool were the better side in bodes better for them than losing the match deservedly would have. And if there was any question about that result denting their confidence, City offered the answer. Now the goal is to build off of that with a win on Thursday that would put Liverpool through to the knockout rounds.
"With the intensity of so many tournaments, sometimes you pay a price," added Klopp. "I'd say Palace was about that. There's not the most experience in this team, and we have to learn how to handle different situations. We try to create stability and then to play football. We know what we have to do, and we are in a good place now to play even better at home."