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Jürgen Klopp Proud of Liverpool Defensive Performance in Manchester City Draw

An attacking lineup gave the Reds the edge early, but most of Klopp’s praise was for the defence.

Manchester City v Liverpool - Premier League Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp surprised many observers when he sent out four attackers against Manchester City in a battle between England’s top two sides. It even seemed to surprise City, with Pep Guardiola’s side at times looking overwhelmed by their pressure.

In the end, though, as expected of a side as good as City, they fought their way back into the game, even if Liverpool had a deserved goal to show for their early advantage—though ideally, Klopp says he hoped for more early chances when he picked Sunday’s eleven.

“The start was probably the best period of the game,” Klopp noted. “That’s how football is, you have to use your chances or create even more. We had really top situations, top football moments, but for the football we played in that period we didn’t have enough [chances].

“But that’s nothing I’m too concerned about because you just have to stay in the game. Usually when we play City we sit here in the press conference and I have to say they usually have more clear-cut chances. Today they hadn’t and that’s a compliment to my boys.”

In the end, with City fighting their way back into it, the game ended a 1-1 draw—likely a fair result for both sides on the day. And while Klopp may have hoped for more early chances and goals, that City’s one marker in the end seemed their fairest tally is worthy of note.

With Liverpool dealing with defensive injury issues—and potentially one more as Trent Alexander-Arnold left mid-match with a calf strain—and facing a side that in the past has always created a lot of their own chances, Klopp’s Reds defended commendably.

“We respect them a lot,” the Liverpool manager added. “I loved the energy level of both teams. It was a proper, proper fight on the highest level. That means you [have to] deny the opponent in a lot of moments. So, I’m really happy with the result and performance.”