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Klopp Blames “Easy” First Half for Liverpool’s Late Struggles Against Salzburg

Liverpool were very, very good to start. Or Salzburg were very, very bad. The result was complacency for the Reds.

Liverpool FC v RB Salzburg: Group E - UEFA Champions League Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images

Liverpool’s first half performance against RB Salzburg was one of their best performances since Jürgen Klopp took charge of the club. Alternately, perhaps, it was a poor performance from Salzburg, a side that seemed over-awed by their opponent.

Either way, the scoreline was lopsided and the game seemed easy. Perhaps a little too easy, with Klopp suggesting that the way the first half played out may have led to a little bit of complacency that allowed Salzburg to fight their way back into the game.

“One of the problems of the game was maybe in the first half an hour the boys had to work really hard for it but it felt so easy,” he noted. “Pass the ball left, accelerate, being in the half-space. I don’t know how often we had a midfielder completely free.”

Free, easy, and out to a 3-0 lead. Then, perhaps, complacency. Some sloppiness. Most troublesomely for the manager, a lack of structure. And then Salzburg were back in it. And then Salzburg were level, an easy game turning into a very close call.

“I was already shouting in the first half that we had to use our structure again,” Klopp added. “But that’s obviously easier said than done. There are a lot of things to learn from, a lot of things to improve, but still, the target before the game was winning.

“Now we did, so I’m obviously fine with that. Now let’s carry on.”

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