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Jürgen Klopp Praises Liverpool on Second Balls

A strong performance in a game that poses different challenges.

Burnley FC v Liverpool FC - Premier League Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Burnley away is a fixture that conjures up some unpleasant memories for many Liverpool fans.

The 2-0 defeat at Turf Moor in 2016 might be one of the most frustrating games I can ever remember watching, in which Liverpool dominated and dominated without being able to really break the home side’s deep block apart. Sean Dyche’s team posed problems that the reds had a difficult time coming up with solutions for. But not anymore.

“I have said it before that it was pretty much the best ‘second-ball’ game we have played since I’ve been together with boys”, The Liverpool Echo report Klopp as saying as he praises his team’s ability to adapt to the issues posed.

”We were really there for pretty much all the first balls, which is difficult enough. And then being around in formation for the second balls was just amazing.

”We then used the immediate spaces for passing and trying to be quick in our decision making. It was really good.

“It is not the only thing that Burnley is doing, of course, they have these early crosses. They play them three or five passes to prepare for an early cross and you have to be there as well. They chip the balls in behind from different positions.

”That last time, I don’t know how many times Burnley were offside, but it was brilliant how we adapted in these situations. Apart from that we played really good.”

“Against a 4-4-2 system, it is really difficult if you aren’t quick and passes have no real direction. For that formation, the full-backs are under pressure from the wingers, the No.6s can get close together and stuff like this. Immediately you have no real situation that can create a kind of momentum.

“We worked on all of this in the first half, which was kind of fluent as much as we could without creating massively, but we had our moments”.

Speaking a little more about moments in the game itself, he added that ”we scored, OK, a bit of a lucky goal, but we still deserved to be 1-0 up and the second goal was brilliant. Just brilliant. We won the ball and then it was just really quick decision making for us and the super pass from [Roberto Firmino] and the super finish from Sadio [Mané].

”The third goal was also brilliant and we controlled the game as much as we could. Each set piece was a massive threat. Pope can play them and Ben Mee can play them the two wingers can cross, so it is just difficult.

“It was only the last 10 minutes when I thought OK, this is really different to all the other games I’ve played here.

”Before today I’ve never felt like it was done already [in the last 10 minutes] but the boys did the job, so brilliant. It was really good.”

Liverpool aren’t just a good football team. They’re an intelligent team, a flexible team, a team that has learned from past mistakes and take on a variety of different types of opponents. They only get better.