Through their first five league games this season, Liverpool conceded just a single goal. Through their first seven in all competitions, the conceded three. Then, against a newly promoted Brentford side on Saturday, they conceded three more times.
To say that reflects a less than perfect defensive effort would be an understatement, but manager Jürgen Klopp insists that while his players will need to show a reaction, one poor defensive performance isn’t something he’s going to be overly worried by.
“I don’t think you should make these things bigger than they are, but we have to show a reaction, that’s for sure,” Klopp noted at his pre-match press conference. “It’s really tricky to win a football game when you are not defending on your highest level.
“I know we talk about the last line, but it was not only that problem. We had in general a problem with defending and that’s why Brentford caused us problems. Porto is a different team obviously but will go direct as well, will go for second balls as well.”
Porto currently sit second in the Portuguese Primeira with five wins and two draws to show for their first seven games—and 16 goals scored. They’re a side that will believe that they can put pressure on an opponent, create chances, and convert them.
Previous European opponents Atletico Madrid did limit them to no goals, five shots, and just one shot on target in a nil-nil draw, but that only goes to show that a determined defensive effort can keep them quiet. Now the Reds will need such an effort.
“We have to improve in that department for sure but it’s not the moment for being concerned,” the manager added. “We spoke about it obviously and we know we cannot do it like that, so I think we sorted that and we have to show that tomorrow.”