Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has praised the efforts of his players in the club’s Carabao Cup elimination at the hands of Arsenal, suggesting his side were more deserving winners had they been able to find a breakthrough and score.
The game finished 0-0 at Anfield, requiring a penalty shootout to separate the sides on the night, which Arsenal then edged 5-4. A largely rotated Liverpool had controlled the majority of possession during the game and created more chances without actually finding the net.
“I think if there was a winner in the 90 minutes, it probably should have been us. But we are in dreamland, you have to score. That’s what we didn’t do, but I liked a lot of parts of the game,” Klopp lamented when he spoke to Sky Sports after it had finished.
Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk both started for Liverpool, playing 61 minutes each, but it was otherwise a second string team for the Reds, with Harry Wilson making his first appearance for the club in over three-and-a-half years.
Klopp admitted that fluidity becomes more difficult in such circumstances, although his tone suggested it is unlikely he would have changed anything.
“We mixed things, but I saw a proper performances, a lot of things we want to have on the pitch. I was really fine with the game and I would have loved to win it in the 90 minutes because everyone knows it is tricky in a penalty shootout,” the Liverpool boss explained.
“So many things are different when you mix it up, in decisive positions especially. There were a lot of really good individual performances, but what can I say? Here or there, we lacked the last part.”
“They both could have played 90 minutes, but that was never the plan,” Klopp said. “The other boys came in and did actually well. The game was as good as possible, I would say, and if you finish it off then it’s a brilliant game.
“So it’s just a good one because we lost in the end and it’s what we have to accept.”
There was also a hint that Xherdan Shaqiri is now expected to secure a move away from Anfield in the coming days before Monday’s transfer deadline. The Swiss international was left out when he would normally be part of a rotated team and Klopp alluded to ‘something happening’.
“It’s the time of the year where something is happening in the background. We have to react sometimes and that is what we did,” he explained.
Source : 90min