Liverpool picked up a vital 2-0 win over Rangers in the Champions League on Tuesday, with Jurgen Klopp in positive spirits after the game.
Here are four key points from the manager as he spoke to the press…
“New team structure” excels
After an insipid run of form, something had to give at Anfield, with Klopp making a much-needed tweak to his formation.
The manager reverted to a two-man midfield of Jordan Henderson and Thiago, with Mohamed Salah, Diogo Jota, Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunez all starting in a 4-2-3-1 formation.
Liverpool looked a more cohesive unit in the process, and speaking after the game, Klopp admitted he liked what he saw.
“Good game, the game we wanted to play,” Klopp said.
“It was a really good defensive performance in a new team structure and offensively we created an awful lot. I liked the game a lot.”
The fact that Liverpool stayed in a 4-2-3-1 even when substitutes were made could suggest that they will again line up that way at Arsenal on Sunday.
Silencing the Trent narrative
Trent Alexander-Arnold roared back to form on Tuesday night, curling home a wonderful free-kick and setting Liverpool on their way to victory.
The right-back’s all-round game shone, both going forward and at the back, amid widespread criticism in recent weeks.
Klopp clearly has total faith in Alexander-Arnold’s defensive work, sticking up for his player after the match and blaming the system as a whole.
“He played a good game, especially defensively, and scored a wonderful goal,” he added.
“Trent doesn’t have a defensive problem, we’ve had a defensive problem, because our timing wasn’t right and we take risks defending.
“These gaps are very often in behind Trent, but it’s not because of him, but because of other situations. That’s why we adjusted things slightly.”
While Alexander-Arnold deserves criticism for some of his performances this season, the narrative that he can’t defend is one of the laziest around, and Klopp is spot on, as usual.
Goals will come for Nunez
Nunez led the line for Liverpool and produced a committed showing that only lacked a goal on the night.
A number of chances came his way, and while Allan McGregor was in inspired form to thwart him several times, his endeavour shone through at Anfield.
Klopp has no doubt that the goals will soon come for Nunez, who should grow in confidence after this display:
“The way the boys up front moved together was extremely good for only one session, and that was a low-intensity one.
“You can see how good a striker he is, constantly being in these situations. I think everybody saw that tonight.
“It will happen – it’s all good.”
Klopp accepting of criticism
Liverpool’s form has been woeful by their extremely high standard and nobody will be more aware of that than the boss.
He joked that the win over Rangers will allow him to read newspapers again, with so many negative column inches written about his side recently.
“I can’t wait to read the newspaper again because I didn’t read them for weeks!” he said.
“The criticism was completely fine. We are not over the moon about our situation, but tonight I saw a team fully committed and that’s what we have to do.”
The real litmus test for Liverpool will now come in the form of Premier League leaders Arsenal on Sunday, before a trip to Ibrox next week and then the visit of Man City.
If the Reds can pick up positive results in all three of those games, it will suggest they have well and truly turned a corner.