Klopp looking forward to reading newspapers again as he concedes Liverpool criticism has been fair

By Sports Desk October 04, 2022

Jurgen Klopp believes the criticism that has come Liverpool's way in recent weeks has been justified, as he quipped he is relishing the chance to read a newspaper again.

Liverpool have had an underwhelming start to the season and sit ninth in the Premier League following Saturday's 3-3 draw with Brighton and Hove Albion.

They bounced back in the Champions League on Tuesday, beating Rangers 2-0 at Anfield thanks to Trent Alexander-Arnold's free-kick and Mohamed Salah's penalty.

Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor pulled off a string of excellent saves to keep the scoreline respectable, with Darwin Nunez frustrated in his search for a first Anfield goal, but the Reds got the job done with a minimum of fuss to claim a second straight win in Group A following their 2-1 defeat of Ajax last month.

When it was put to him in his post-match news conference if Liverpool had used criticism of their performances as additional motivation, Klopp said with a smile: "I cannot wait for the moment when I can read newspapers again!"

He continued: "No, I have no clue. The criticism was completely fine. We are not over the moon about our situation, let’s put it like this.

"We've still been playing some really good games, it's not like [success] was 10 years ago. Champions League nights at Liverpool are always quite enjoyable, usually.

"I don't think it had too much to do with the situation. I saw tonight a team fully committed, that's what I like about it."

Captain Jordan Henderson, who started alongside Thiago Alcantara in a two-man midfield as Klopp tweaked his side's formation, told BT Sport: "It can be difficult. You try to not listen to social media especially when you go through a tough period as an individual or a team.

"You've got to switch off the noise and focus on what you do day-to-day and stay focused on what we're trying to achieve as a team. That's not easy. It can hurt players at times but you've got to try and find a way to use it as fuel and energy on the pitch."

Alexander-Arnold has been one of the players to face the most scrutiny, but delivered an excellent performance.

His stunning free-kick seven minutes in opened the scoring and he finished with more touches (96) and more successful passes in the opponent's half (40) than any other player, while he also produced a joint-high four tackles.

He has now scored more free-kicks (six) than any other Liverpool player since the start of the 2016-17 season, while the England international - who was left out by Gareth Southgate for the Three Lions' final match before the World Cup against Germany - is the first Reds player to net such a goal in the Champions League since Steven Gerrard against Basel in 2014.

"It's a wonderful goal. What can I say?" Klopp said.

"He played a good game, defensively especially. It is not that he has had a defensive problem it's that we have had a defensive problem, because our line was not right.

"If the timing is not right, you open gaps and these gaps are very often on the back of Trent but not because of him, but because of the situation where we put our right-back."

Henderson added: "You've got to give Trent a license to get forward and produce what he can produce up the pitch. I thought he was good defensively tonight, he did the basics really well. I didn't have to cover too much."

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