Liverpool still 'a top team' but Klopp says Reds must take stock after Napoli win

By Sports Desk November 02, 2022

Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool's win over Napoli offered a reminder they are still "a top team", though he acknowledges they cannot rest on the achievements of last season.

The Reds got back to winning ways with a 2-0 win over the Serie A leaders in their final Champions League group-stage game, with both sides heading through to the knockout rounds.

Late goals for Mohamed Salah and Darwin Nunez helped rebound from the latest disappointment of a difficult season, with Liverpool having lost late on to Leeds United in the Premier League on Saturday.

Klopp says his team know they have quality, but they need to sometimes take stock of themselves in order to achieve the right results amid a tough campaign.

"We don't doubt the quality, I don't think anybody doubts the quality," he said. "But that's part of the problem as well – we don't show consistency.

"That's why we have to [take] a proper step back, and tonight we did that."

"We are Liverpool, a top team. Nobody forgot what we did last year, the boys didn't forget that, but it's now not important really. I know people might get sick of it when I say it, but we really have to fight through.

"We showed everything. We showed pieces of good football, and the defensive stuff was on a high level.

"Napoli [are] a real force, really, and it could have been extremely difficult for us tonight, but the boys played a good game and that's why it was not.

"Tonight we will take the right conclusions of this game, even when the next one will be a completely different game for different reasons. We will take the good stuff out of this game and then start the next fight against Tottenham."

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    Massimiliano Allegri said Juventus "never had a first half like" their poor showing against Monza on Sunday.

    The Bianconeri went in 2-0 down to the visitors at the break and were unable to turn it around in the second-half as Raffaele Palladino's men completed a league double over them.

    Goals from Patrick Ciurria and Dany Mota were enough for Monza to secure a 2-0 win at Allianz Stadium, following their 1-0 win against Juve earlier in the season in Palladino's first game in charge.

    Monza became only the second team ever to win both their first two games against Juventus in Serie A, after Inter in 1930.

    Speaking to the media after the defeat, Allegri said: "I'm angry, we can't concede goals like that. We've never had a first half like today.

    "We have to think about working on the field... we need to examine our conscience and start playing with intent again."

    It was the latest setback for Juve after being hit with a 15-point deduction in Serie A related to previous transfer dealings, and Allegri was left in no doubt how much work there is to do to rescue their season.

    "Reality says that we have 23 points, so we still have to win many more," he said. "This is reality, and if we don't look at it, we'll get hurt. 

    "We are all responsible for the performance... In [our last] three games [in the league] we won just one point and conceded 10 goals.

    "We facilitated the Monza goals, they came out with disarming ease. You can't allow them to get into the defence like we did. They got through us too easily.

    "We didn't have any reactions... The last few performances were not up to par, when you lose you have to lose in another way, [though] there was a different attitude in the second half."

  • 'No greater motivation than playing for Atletico' – Simeone defiant after Osasuna triumph 'No greater motivation than playing for Atletico' – Simeone defiant after Osasuna triumph

    A defiant Diego Simeone declared "there is no greater motivation" than playing for Atletico Madrid after his side boosted their LaLiga top-four hopes with a narrow victory at Osasuna.

    Head coach Simeone cast doubt over his future before the 1-0 win over Osasuna, suggesting how Atletico finish the season will dictate whether he stays in Madrid.

    With Atletico out of Europe and eliminated from the Copa del Rey in midweek by Real Madrid, Saul Niguez's second-half strike at Osasuna may have somewhat eased the mounting pressure on the Colchoneros boss.

    Simeone acknowledged the blow of Thursday's defeat to fierce rivals Madrid, but he says his players should need little inspiration to finish the season strong.

    He said: "We have a way of thinking and the club has a way of living. Do not lower your shoulders, always go forward and get up in adverse situations. 

    "We will focus on the league. There is no greater motivation than playing for Atletico. 

    "We are out of the Copa and out of Europe, but we play for Atletico, and for Atletico you have to play until the last game."

    Victory over Osasuna moved Atletico three points clear of Villarreal and Real Betis in fifth and sixth respectively, having played a game more, while Simeone's side trail Real Sociedad – who play Madrid on Sunday – by four.

    Simeone's visitors were largely indebted to some fine goalkeeping from Jan Oblak before a calm 74th-minute finish from substitute Saul.

    The Spain international has had to wait for his chance after the World Cup, but Simeone believes Saul, who Valencia are reportedly interested in signing on loan, is beginning to find form.

    "He has been working very well since the return of the World Cup, with good consistency," the coach said. "He is becoming more and more identified with the patterns that we are looking for. 

    "It's a pity that we couldn't increase the score after with the counter-attack situations we had, because Osasuna, at home, are very strong, and the last minutes were difficult."

  • Newcastle complete £45m swoop for Gordon as Everton sell youngster Newcastle complete £45m swoop for Gordon as Everton sell youngster

    Anthony Gordon has completed his move from Everton to Newcastle United.

    Newcastle are reportedly paying £40million up front to Everton, with an additional £5m payable in potential add-ons.

    Gordon was the subject of intense interest from Chelsea at the start of this season, but Everton rejected their advances and had been hoping to tie the young forward to a new deal.

    However, Newcastle and Tottenham also enquired over the 21-year-old, and the Magpies solidified their interest this month.

    Gordon has signed what has been described as a "long-term" contract at St James' Park, becoming Newcastle's first signing of the January transfer window as Eddie Howe's team look to push on for Champions League qualification.

    The new recruit said: "Since I heard of the interest, I was always convinced Newcastle were for me."

    Speaking to NUFC TV, Gordon added: "I think the fan base and the city really suits me as a person, the way the team are playing under the gaffer at the minute really suits me, and the club just look like they're heading in the right direction.

    "I feel like it's a really big step. People haven't seen what I'm capable of yet. I think under the gaffer, and the way the club's going, I can really excel here."

    Newcastle head coach Eddie Howe expects big things, saying: "I'm delighted to sign Anthony – he's a top, top talent.

    "I'm really excited to work with him, to develop him, and I'm looking forward to seeing what he can do in a Newcastle shirt."

    Gordon's time at Everton ended disappointingly. The academy graduate performed well last season as the Toffees avoided relegation under Frank Lampard, but despite starting this campaign with two goals in the opening five Premier League games, his subsequent performances have been inconsistent.

    He missed training on Tuesday in what Stats Perform understands was a pre-authorised absence and was also absent from Finch Farm on Wednesday and Thursday, before returning to Everton's base on Friday.

    Cash-strapped Everton are 19th and sacked Lampard on Monday, with Sean Dyche being tipped to be named as his replacement, and Gordon was confronted by a group of fans outside Goodison Park following a 2-1 defeat to fellow strugglers Southampton on January 14.

    Gordon is Everton's joint-leading league scorer this term, with three goals, but he has created just eight chances for team-mates and has not provided an assist, recording just 0.5 expected assists across 16 appearances.

    Only Demarai Gray (51) has attempted more dribbles in Everton's squad than Gordon (41), but England Under-21 international Gordon has completed just 10 of those.

    Gordon has had 26 shots, second only to Gray among Everton players, and his tally of 16 on target tops the charts.

    Howe will believe he can rekindle Gordon's best form as he aims to add further spark to Newcastle's attack, having allowed Chris Wood to join Nottingham Forest.

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