Jurgen Klopp warned Liverpool about Barcelona and got it right in 24 hours


It didn’t take long for Jurgen Klopp to be right. In fact, it only took 24 hours. Liverpool had just swept Barcelona 4-0 in a pre-season friendly at Wembley.

The Reds clashed with Lionel Messi and co in August 2016 and faced them outside the park in front of a crowd of 90,000.

Sadio Mane has announced his recent arrival of £ 30million with a goal. Divock Origi and Marko Grujic were also featured on the scoresheet. And Javier Mascherano put the ball in his own net.

It was a rout that no doubt signaled what this team could accomplish. But not in Klopp’s eyes.

The boss made it clear in his pre-match press conference that it was just a meaningless warm-up.

He explained, “Whatever happens, it won’t tell us too much. This is just the moment.

“I don’t think at the moment that ‘oh, we should be competing with Barcelona, ​​or whatever’. It doesn’t make too much sense to make our aim to be better than Barcelona or bigger than Barcelona at this point. You have to proceed step by step.

“For me, it’s about the way we are right now. ”

And at that point, his accusations were undoubtedly good, albeit against a Barca side not fully tuned in to the new campaign.

Liverpool players celebrate in 4-0 win over Barcelona

But the next afternoon, things were quite different.

Liverpool’s busy schedule saw them compete in the capital on Saturday night before heading to Germany to play Mainz on Sunday – four years ago today.

It was once again a 4-0 demolition. But unfortunately, Liverpool were the recipient.

Clearly this needs to be put in context: a more senior team had competed less than a day before and the Opel Arena’s starting XI have seen some big changes.

Only Adam Lallana and Emre Can were selected on the side that started against Barça.

No one who played more than 45 minutes in London was on duty in Mainz.

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The roster and substitutions were: Manninger, Alexander-Arnold (Randall 45), Wisdom, Matip, Moreno (Hart 61), Can (Stewart 45), Henderson (Wijnaldum 74), Grujic (Ings 40), Lallana ( Gomes 45), Woodburn (Brannagan 45), Origi (Firmino 74).

ECHO’s James Pearce summed it all up in his verdict: “There was no rhythm, no intensity, no drive, no tempo, no display of controlled aggression.

“While the beating of an undercooked Barcelona provided a thrilling glimpse of the Reds putting Klopp’s plan into action, it was a world away from what the manager has spent the past five weeks asking of them.

“On a hot and hot afternoon in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, Liverpool faded.

“Even those who played only a minor role against Barcelona looked horribly leggy. ”

Klopp called him correctly as the team was brought down to earth with a bump.

Liverpool's Alex Manninger in defeat
Liverpool’s Alex Manninger in defeat

Still, it may have given him yet another point of reference in the dressing room to inspire at home the need to maintain the highest standards possible.

As the ECHO match report put it: “This afternoon of reprimand can serve a goal if it concentrates a few spirits after the dizzying heights of humiliating Barcelona. ”

Klopp’s post-game reflections underscored the message he conveyed to his men.

He said: “Yesterday [after the Barca win] we couldn’t stop smiling and it wasn’t fair and today we can’t stop being disappointed and it’s not good too.

Liverpool FC highlights

“It was a very important lesson. When it’s difficult, we have to trust our style of play, our philosophy – everything we usually do and the way we want to defend.

“So far we have done a very good job. But in situations like this today, we have to find other solutions.

“This work will never stop. ”

And those last words are the ones the Premier League, European and Club World Cup champions have lived through every day since.


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