Wednesday 20 March 2019

'Not good enough' - Klopp critical despite Pool's win

UNHAPPY: Jurgen Klopp was critical of his team’s performance against Huddersfield. Photo: Reuters
UNHAPPY: Jurgen Klopp was critical of his team’s performance against Huddersfield. Photo: Reuters

Liverpool defender Andrew Robertson took heart from his side's battling qualities after their 1-0 win at Huddersfield kept them level on points with league leaders Manchester City - even if boss Jurgen Klopp wasn't happy.

Huddersfield gave as good as they got against Klopp's below-par title challengers, who extended their unbeaten top-flight start to nine games courtesy of Mohamed Salah's neat first-half finish.

"Yes of course, there's a bit of relief. It was a tough game against a very good side," Robertson said. "It's important you come to these places and you win the game.

"Luckily we managed to get our noses in front and we've seen it out from there. We can play a lot better, but they made it hard. It's a very good three points for us."

Huddersfield midfielder Jonathan Hogg crashed a 25-yard shot against a post eight minutes after Salah had finished off a slick Liverpool move by slotting home his first goal in five matches.

Alex Pritchard thought he had turned home a first-half equaliser only for his effort to be ruled out for offside, while Klopp agreed afterwards his side were fortunate not to have conceded a 42nd-minute penalty when the ball appeared to hit James Milner's arm.

And despite the win, which kept his side level with Manchester City at the top of the table, Klopp was not impressed by the performance of his players.

"We weren't surprised by Huddersfield at all," Robertson said. "We did our analysis and in our meetings, the analysis team and our manager were saying they were a better team than the points suggest and I think they proved that.

"They played very well and they're probably a wee bit unfortunate to be where they are in the table. I think they will have a positive season.

''They just need to get up and running and hopefully they will do that, but for us it was about getting the three points.

"We weren't at our best, but like I said these are the games you have to win if you want to challenge and we'll play a lot better."

"I'm not angry, but I think we can do better," declared Klopp. "Huddersfield did well, but we helped them with an average pass or a rubbish pass.

"I'm not happy, but that's okay. The main purpose here was to win the game and we did that. It was a good game from Huddersfield and not so good game from us. So we'll take it.

"I sometimes look frustrated even if were winning. The performance wasn't 100pc; it looked like we could have scored in six or seven situations but we needed one better pass. We did lots of good things and then the last pass wasn't good. How can I explain that? I need to look back at the game.

"We want to decide games earlier, and we couldn't do that. We didn't play out counter-attacks. We can do things like that better to decide the game and this is why it was tight until the end.

"This is why when I shake hands with David Wagner at the end of the game, I don't wait for him to say anything to me and I just say sorry. It was a closer game than we wanted."

Wagner suggested his side deserved more from the game, as he argued a first-half handball in the box by Milner could have given his side a chance to score their first home goal in the Premier League this season.

"This handball situation was a huge situation and I don't understand why it wasn't a penalty," he said. "I haven't spoken to the referee.

"It was a clear handball and the ball changed direction because of this handball and Laurent Depoitre couldn't receive the ball. It is handball. That could easily decide the direction of the match."

Huddersfield substitute Steve Mounie blazed the game's best second-half chance off target in the 82nd minute, leaving Wagner's side goalless in their last seven home league games - a new club record.

Despite matching their illustrious opponents for long periods, defender Chris Lowe cut a dejected figure afterwards.

"It gives us a bit of confidence if we see that we can give them a real fight and play really well against such a team," Lowe said.

"But the most important thing is to get the first win and get some points on the board.

"We've played some good games in the past few weeks, but in the end, we are here after the game with nothing in our hands and that is the most important thing."

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