Is it a coincidence, or all part of Jurgen Klopp’s master plan? The two consecutive 3-0 home wins for the Reds have a great deal in common. A frustrating first half without many clear-cut opportunities. Three second half goals, and winning in a walk. A Daniel Sturridge poacher’s finish after a poor defensive header. Even a missed penalty for good measure. It was all there.
Emre Can, whose emphatic second goal essentially put the tie to bed, talked about how important patience is to this team in a post-match interview with the club’s official website.
“It was a game where we had to stay patient and I think we did it well,” Can said. “First half it was very, very difficult because Maribor did it very well, they stayed good and defended very deep [so] it was not easy, but I think we stayed patient enough in the second half and then I think the key was the first goal.
“I think we’ve improved [against defensive teams]. I think if you compare to last year, we create a lot of chances and that’s good - in the league as well, not just today, and we have to play like that.
“Of course you can’t win every game 5-0 or 7-0 like we did against Maribor [away], and we have always to stay patient. We have to create chances and if you get the chance you have to score.”
Wait, why can’t we win every game 7-0?
Anyway, Can’s statement sounds like something that Kloppo has been emphasizing more this season: patience in build up and keeping cool. That patience has been frustrating to watch at times this season, especially in matches where Liverpool’s other (and bigger) problem rears its head: conceding soft goals.
However, conceding goals at home has not been a problem for Liverpool thus far: conceding only one goal in the Premier League and two in the Champions League. At home, at least, the more patient approach seems to be working, especially against defensive sides like Maribor and Manchester United.