Jurgen Klopp is determined to put last season’s Champions League success to bed and focus on the challenges to come, even as his side look forward to a week full of reminders ahead of Wednesday’s European Super Cup against Chelsea.
Liverpool boss Klopp looked bemused after Friday’s 4-1 victory over Norwich in their Premier League opener when asked why the team had not paraded the European Cup prior to kick off.
“Nobody told me I had to,” Klopp said. “I touched the European Cup on the match day and the day after, and since then, no.
“I didn’t have a reason to. I know how it feels, and people know how it looks. If somebody expected (something before kick-off) they should have told me, and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have done it because we are now in the new season.”
Liverpool now travel to Istanbul to face Europa League winners Chelsea in Wednesday’s Super Cup, so Klopp will no doubt face plenty more questions relating to his side’s 2-0 win over Tottenham in Madrid on June 1.
The Kop were loud and proud about their status as six-time European Champions on Friday night, but Klopp says he has moved on.
“Enough celebrations,” he said. “Nobody has to congratulate me anymore, even though still they are doing it.
“I’m really fine with everything I heard about it. Now let’s play the new season.”
Liverpool certainly did not look like a side dwelling on their successes as they tore into Norwich, capitalising on the gift of Grant Hanley’s seventh-minute own goal to score four times in the first half with Mo Salah, Virgil Van Dijk and Divock Origi also on the scoresheet.
It was the sort of performance which suggests they are ready to once again push title favourites Manchester City to the wire after missing out by a single point last campaign.
But the intensity did not continue in the second half as a couple of chances went begging before Norwich began to assert themselves, pulling a goal back through Teemu Pukki.
“We are early in the season and some mistakes happen that will not happen during the season,” Klopp said.
“But it’s all good. If somebody would have told me before the game we would win 4-1, I would have taken it easily.
“If somebody would have told me we’d play the first 60 minutes like we played tonight, I’d say, ‘OK, I take it’.”
However, there was a significant setback on the night with goalkeeper Alisson Becker limping off before the break with a calf injury, forcing Adrian into making his debut just four days after signing as a free agent, and leaving Klopp with a potential headache at the back.
Norwich had plenty of headaches in the first 45 minutes as Liverpool punished the slightest mistake at the back but manager Daniel Farke said he could only be proud of his players and their attacking intent as they had 12 shots, five of which were on target.
“We showed great character to come out and win the second half after being 4-0 down at Anfield,” he said.
“We caused them many, many problems and I’ve been told no team had as many shots on goal last season at Anfield as we had. I can’t criticise my lads too much.
“I’m in love with this team, and in love with this club, and in love with these fans. Although we lost this game, we showed today why we are so special.”
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Liverpool welcomed Norwich City back to the Premier League with a commanding 4-1 win at Anfield.
The Canaries fell behind as early as the seventh minute and were subject to a first-half carnage, with Mohamed Salah, Virgil Van Dijk and Divock Origi adding one apiece later in the first half.
The latter was included in the starting line-up due as Sadio Mane gets back up to the speed following the Africa Cup of Nations. It laid the foundation for Origi, Liverpool’s Champions League hero, to shine on his 100th appearance at the club with a sensational performance. We take a closer look …
Shots (on target): 1 (1)
Passes (success-rate): 18 (61%)
Aerials won: 1
Origi provided Anfield more reasons to sing his name loud and clear by playing a big role in two in the goals scored on Friday. The 24-year-old made a lively start and forced the ball into the back of the net in the opening seven minutes.
The forward directed a cross at Roberto Firmino, only to have it deflected into the net by Norwich defender Grant Hanley.
Origi later added his name to the score-sheet by heading home Trent Alexander-Arnold’s perfect cross. The combination was reminiscent of Liverpool’s fourth goal in their famous comeback win over Barcelona last season.
The Belgian was taken off in the 74th minute to provide Mane some minutes, but he had already stamped his name on the fixture by then.
GOT RIGHT – FIREPOWER ON THE LEFT
Origi did a great job in coming close to matching the intensity that Mane produces on the left flank and linked with Andrew Robertson very well.
Several moves on this side of the pitch spelled danger, as Origi troubled highly-rated young full-back Max Aarons – before his ability to produce end product came into play.
The Belgian’s pressing was on point and the urgency with which he acted when Liverpool lost whenever Georginio Wijnaldum lost the ball was indeed commendable.
GOT WRONG – LOSS IN CONCENTRATION
Origi’s defensive work-rate was impressive, but poor positioning on his part was partly responsible for Liverpool failing to keep the clean-sheet.
The Belgian, who was closely marking Emiliano Buendia while defending a Norwich attack, lost his concentration and allowed his man time and space.
The winger exploited the opportunity and set up Teemu Pukki to score Norwich’s first goal of the season, ensuring that the European champions were denied a clean sheet.
The forward’s role in this game was a sign of what will be expected of him this season – as the perfect fourth option for a menacing front three. Origi will be needed to fill in for Mane or Firmino during times of harsh scheduling or an injury on their part.
The 24-year-old maintained a high level of intensity on the left, as needed. His link-up with the rest with partners in crime Firmino and Salah was also admirable.
However, there is still room for improvement when the defensive aspect of his game is concerned.
Liverpool got their English Premier League campaign off to a winning start following a 4-1 win over newly-promoted Norwich City on Friday.
Four first half-goals from Mohamed Salah, Virgil Van Dijk and Divock Origi after an own goal from Norwich captain Grant Hanley gave Jurgen Klopp’s men an unassailable lead with the only stain on the night the loss of goalkeeper Alisson through a calf injury shortly before the break.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said: “There was actually nothing bad to say about the game apart from Alisson injury.”