Jurgen Klopp hailed Liverpool's reaction to the concession of an early goal after they came from behind to beat Manchester United 4-2 at Old Trafford.

The Reds looked set for another disappointing visit to the home of their bitter rivals when Bruno Fernandes opened the scoring after just 10 minutes on Thursday evening.

But goals from Diogo Jota and Mohamed Salah either side of a Roberto Firmino brace rendered a further Marcus Rashford effort irrelevant and handed Liverpool their first Old Trafford win since 2014.

And it was the mental strength shown in the aftermath of the early setback that most pleased Klopp.

He told Sky Sports: "We reacted really well on their goal, it was unlucky in that moment but it was a bit like we started the game to be honest. 

"The defending in that moment, letting Bruno, half right side, coming inside - there was nobody. 

"He could have used his left, could've used the outside of his right foot and it was unlucky in the centre but the defending in that moment wasn't good. 

"They overloaded the wings obviously and we didn't adapt well to that in the first 15 minutes or so. 

"Then we got control and from that moment on we could play what we want to play. That was absolutely okay and second half even better.

"Great fight, good game, intense, how a derby should be, and since I'm at Liverpool the first win at Old Trafford. 

"Good timing, I would say! We needed it, we fought hard for it, we deserved it and so all good."

Chelsea's defeat to Arsenal on Wednesday opened the door for Liverpool to claim a place in the Champions League spots with four wins from their last four games of this season.

But, while it is one down as far as that aim is concerned, Klopp is expecting the remaining three Premier League fixtures to throw up plenty of challenges.

"It was necessary. Without this result we don't have to talk too much about it," he added.

"We are still in the race, that's all that we could have done tonight, we did that and now we have a very intense period playing the next three games in a week.

"In three days West Brom, Burnley with supporters, and then Crystal Palace at home, which we are looking forward to for different reasons because our supporters are there then hopefully.

"We have to recover quickly and to go again."

If there was one small blot on a good evening for Liverpool, it was an apparent spat between Klopp and substitute Sadio Mane at full-time.

Asked about the Senegalese's refusal to acknowledge his manager when leaving the pitch, he said: "There's no problem. 

"Yesterday I made a late decision in training to decide Diogo. I explain things usually but there was no time for that.

"That's all. It's all fine."

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said he expects a subdued transfer market this off-season amid speculation regarding Kylian Mbappe, Erling Haaland and Jadon Sancho, with the German wary of spending.

Paris Saint-Germain's Mbappe and Borussia Dortmund duo Haaland and Sancho – both reported Liverpool targets – have been linked with big-money moves at the end of the season.

The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on and off the field, with clubs counting the financial cost of COVID-19.

Liverpool could be further impacted by their failure to qualify for next season's Champions League – the Reds are sixth in the Premier League table and seven points behind fourth-placed Chelsea with two games in hand.

Klopp, whose Liverpool were dethroned by Manchester City in the Premier League this season, played down talk of a spending spree in a bid to revive the club's fortunes.

"Not playing Champions League doesn't help, obviously, but it is not our biggest problem because the market will be really strange," Klopp said of Thursday's showdown against rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford.

"I hear a lot about big-money moves – is Kylian Mbappe going or not, Haaland, Sancho – I don't see that happening because the football world is still not in the same place it was before.

"We will see how the market develops but it will not be an early market, for sure.

"If we don't go to the Champions League it is not good but there is still a chance and as long as we have a chance we should not speak about it as if we have no chance. And if it is not then we have to deal with that."

"Do I know what we have to work with? Yes, not a lot, anyway," Klopp said. "We cannot speak for years and years about our structure or whatever, it is always how it is.

"It depends to the business, what happens, if someone wants to leave or if players want to go, if we sell, so we can never really plan early.

"… Getting the injured players back makes us already better. These are our first transfers. We don’t know exactly when that will happen but it will happen at one point. All the rest we have to see."

Klopp has managed away at United without ever winning more times than any other opponent in his managerial career (six – D4 L2).

Liverpool have won just two of their six midweek (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) Premier League games this season (D1 L3), with both of those victories coming against Tottenham. The Reds have failed to score in the four games they did not win.

Klopp added: "Can we challenge Man City next season? And Chelsea. And Manchester United.

City and Chelsea have always had [financial] advantages in this and we still won the league and the Champions League, so it is our situation to work like we work and I never look at other clubs and say 'we can't do this' or 'we can't do that'.

"The only thing I am interested in, and I said this earlier when I arrived here, I am not interested in being the coach of the best team in the world. I am interested in being the coach of the team who can beat the best team in the world.

"If two or three of them play in our league then we will try to beat them and some others as well so we have enough points to win something. It is absolutely not the situation to moan or cry. I am not going to cry about our situations. Our situation is fine.

"A year ago people didn't know exactly how football would go on. Only one year later we speak about what we can do in the transfer window. People talk about changing the football structure completely, the German model, I can tell you the budget will go down massively.

"So changing the structure of the ownership model and [then] signing Haaland for £150m or whatever, that doesn’t work together. We have to use our situation better than we did this year."

Hansi Flick has ended weeks of speculation over his Bayern Munich future by confirming he wishes to leave the club at the end of this season.

After taking over from Niko Kovac in November 2019, the 56-year-old led the Bavarians to a Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League treble in his first campaign in charge.

He added a UEFA Super Cup, DFL-Supercup and the Club World Cup this term, with another top-flight title also looking likely after Bayern opened up a seven-point lead on Saturday.

However, it has recently been reported that Flick was considering his future and, speaking after a 3-2 win over Wolfsburg, the German coach revealed he will depart at the end of the season.

That means one of the biggest jobs in European football is about to become available - so who is in the running to step into the role?

Julian Nagelsmann

One of the most well-regarded young coaches in Europe, Julian Nagelsmann has long been admired by the decision-makers at Bayern Munich.

With speculation mounting over Flick earlier this week, the 33-year-old was forced to deny that discussions with the Bavarians had already begun.

"There have been no talks and we are currently in no talks," he said.

It has been previously reported that RB Leipzig would demand €15-20m to release their head coach from his contract.

But Bayern could well view that as a snip for a manager who has long been touted for the top job in German football and has previously attracted interest from Real Madrid.

Jurgen Klopp

The last manager to deny Bayern the Bundesliga title, Jurgen Klopp is another man who Die Roten have made no secret of their desire to appoint one day.

Despite his ties with Borussia Dortmund, the 53-year-old has never publicly declared that he would not make the move to Munich at some point in his career.

He has, however, recently signalled his intention to see out the remainder of his contract at Liverpool.

Amid links to the soon-to-be-vacant Germany job, Klopp said: "You sign a contract and you normally try to stick to that contract, don't you?"

Ralf Rangnick

Schalke, Eintracht Frankfurt, the German national team - nobody seems to know where Ralf Rangnick might go next. 

Out of work since leaving a role with Red Bull last year, the German's appointment would not require any costly negotiations with a rival.

And, while he might represent a slightly left-field choice to be the new Bayern boss, nobody can doubt his coaching credentials.

So many of the managers the Munich club covet have been influenced by Rangnick, so why not go for the original?

Joachim Low

Flick's imminent availability comes amid strong links with the role of head coach for the German national team.

That vacancy has come up as a result of Joachim Low revealing that he will bring a 15-year stint in the job to a close after the European Championship.

So, could the 61-year-old take on his first job in club management since he took charge of Austria Wien for the 2003-04 season?

Low's only trophy in German football came when he led Stuttgart to the DFB-Pokal in 1997, but his CV is certainly enhanced by that World Cup win in 2014.

Miroslav Klose

Having enjoyed remarkable success since Flick stepped up from his role as assistant to Kovac, Bayern could choose to go down a similar route following his departure by appointing Miroslav Klose.

The Germany legend moved up from his role as U17s coach over the summer to become second in command for the first team and might be a surprise choice for another promotion at the end of the season.

The 42-year-old is popular with supporters, though his lack of experience might count against him given the quality of the other candidates.

Still, if Bayern value continuity above all else in their search for a Flick replacement, don't count Klose out.

Ibrahima Konate has revealed how his phone was "ringing all over the place" following reports on Monday that Liverpool are working to finalise a deal for the RB Leipzig defender.

The highly rated centre-back was part of the France team that defeated Russia at the European Under-21 Championship on Sunday, a much-needed result after they had lost their opener at the tournament.

There was no rest for Konate on Monday, however, as stories circulated that Liverpool are hoping to wrap up his signing ahead of next season.

The Athletic detailed how the Premier League champions have made "significant progress" in their pursuit of the 21-year-old, who is said to have a €40million release clause.

Konate, though, is only focused on the remainder of the season, despite the speculation surrounding his future.  

"I woke up, I saw my phone ringing all over the place, I just wanted to tell them: 'Hey, I played yesterday, I'm tired, leave me alone'," he said, according to quotes in L'Equipe.

"We can't focus on that, there is the Euros and then the return to my club. You have to focus on that, not on the external things."

A move for Konate – who has not committed an error that led to a shot in any of his 15 games for Leipzig this season – would help add depth at what has become a problem position for the Reds.

The former Sochaux player has won 64.7 per cent of his duels in nine Bundesliga games in 2020-21, as well as completing 83.5 per cent of his attempted passes. Injuries have restricted his appearances, though, and he did not feature in the Champions League last-16 tie against Liverpool.

Jurgen Klopp has been without the services of Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez for much of Liverpool's title defence, while Joel Matip is also a long-term absentee.

Ozan Kabak – who joined on loan from Schalke in a deal that includes an option to buy the Turkey international - and Ben Davies arrived in the mid-season transfer window to help provide further defensive options, though the latter has still yet to feature following his move from Preston North End.

Nathaniel Phillips and Rhys Williams have had unexpected first-team opportunities due to key absentees, while Klopp has also utilised midfielders Fabinho and Jordan Henderson as makeshift options at the heart of his back four.

Konate's arrival would help strengthen a defensive unit that has understandably struggled this term, conceding 36 goals in 29 Premier League games.

Liverpool sit in seventh place in the table as they prepare to return to action after the international break with a trip to Arsenal on Saturday.

Julian Nagelsmann does not expect Jurgen Klopp to be tempted by the Germany job after Joachim Low announced he would step down after Euro 2020.

The search for Low's successor is underway, and a poll by Germany's Sky Sport News broadcaster on Tuesday showed Liverpool manager Klopp would be a popular pick.

With over 7,000 votes counted, some 54.6 per cent selected Klopp as the right man for the job, with Ralf Rangnick next in line with a 15.4 per cent share.

Klopp's Liverpool are enduring a deep dip in the Premier League after last season's title triumph, and six successive defeats in the competition at Anfield have seen them slip to eighth place.

But Klopp has enjoyed huge success during his Liverpool reign, winning the Champions League in 2018-19 before the Reds ended a 30-year wait for the domestic title.

He was also highly successful during his time with Mainz and Borussia Dortmund, where he twice won the Bundesliga.

Nagelsmann, whose RB Leipzig side face Liverpool in the Champions League on Wednesday, said: "Jurgen Klopp is an outstanding coach. But I think that both Liverpool and Jurgen are extremely satisfied with each other."

At the age of 33, Nagelsmann appears unlikely to fancy a switch from club management into the international game.

He has performed wonders with Leipzig since being appointed in 2019, achieving a Bundesliga win percentage of 58.62, with 34 victories and just seven defeats in 58 league games in charge.

If he sustains his early coaching performance, the Germany job may be one that Nagelsmann looks at in the future.

For now, he is keen to see how Low bows out, hoping a 15-year reign can end on a high note.

"First of all, it's sad news, but he is still in office," Nagelsmann said. "That's the most important thing: that he will continue and be on the touchline for this big tournament.

"He's had an extreme impact in German football and especially on the national team. He's had great success and defined an era with titles, a development and a second rebuild during his spell."

Nagelsmann pointed to Low bringing through different generations to form new Germany sides, and said he was optimistic the latest incarnation can be trophy contenders at the European Championship.

"I am sure of it, because we have a lot of talented players, which is also an achievement of his," Nagelsmann said. "It's thanks to him making difficult decisions during crucial moments.

"He has also been criticised for this but had a great career as the coach of the German national team nonetheless. I hope he will find a glorious end and then I'm keen on finding out where he will leave his footsteps next."

Germany great Lothar Matthaus backed former Schalke and Leipzig boss Rangnick, who is currently without a club, telling Sky Sport News: "He's free. He's someone who can build something."

The next Germany coach will be expected to lead the team at the Qatar 2022 World Cup, although the qualifying process is set to begin on Low's watch, with games against Iceland, Romania and North Macedonia coming up in late March.

Rudi Voller, the former Germany striker who went on to manage the team from 2000 to 2004, is thankful Low is being afforded the chance to go out on his own terms.

Voller said: "Jogi Low's decision deserves respect. He and his teams have given us great football in many tournaments and by winning the title at the 2014 World Cup, achieved great things for German sport.

"Now Jogi has the chance to go to the European Championship this summer and to achieve a wonderful conclusion. We will all keep our fingers crossed for him."

The search is on for a successor to Joachim Low after Germany's long-serving national team boss announced he would step down after Euro 2020.

Low will complete a 15-year tour of duty as head coach when he leads Die Mannschaft into this year's tournament, delayed a year by the COVID-19 crisis.

His contract had been due to run until after Germany's Qatar 2022 World Cup campaign, but 61-year-old Low has decided the time will be right to step aside before then.

That means the Germany Football Association (DFB) must spring into action and find the right coach to take over from Low, a World Cup winner in 2014.

DFB president Fritz Keller said: "The fact that he informed us about his decision at an early stage is very decent. He gives the DFB consequently the necessary time, calm and a sense of proportion to name his successor."

Germany is enjoying a golden era of producing world-class coaches, and here are five the DFB may consider.

Hansi Flick: Brilliant as Bayern boss, and Low's former right-hand man

Bayern have flourished under Flick's leadership over the past 18 months, having promoted him to the top job when Niko Kovac struggled to get the best from a talented group.

Club CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has noisily shot down the prospect of Flick leaving to become Germany boss, saying the coach will remain at Bayern for next season.

However, Rummenigge himself will step down from his position at Bayern at the turn of the year as Oliver Kahn replaces him, and Flick may see the Germany job as offering greater long-term security.

He served as assistant to Low from 2006 to 2014 so knows the job as well as any contender.

Jurgen Klopp: Could Liverpool adventure be coming to an end?

Liverpool's steep decline in 2021 has led to the first rumblings about Klopp's Anfield future among supporters of the club.

At board level, there has been no indication Liverpool would be happy to lose the man who has led them to Champions League and Premier League title success.

It seems the former Mainz and Borussia Dortmund boss has enough goodwill in the bank to be trusted to turn around the team's fortunes, so if Klopp is to be a contender for the Germany job it would be on him to make a major career decision.

At the age of 53, could he take the methods that have served him so well in the club game onto the international stage?

Stefan Kuntz: Ready to step up?

As coach of the Germany Under-21 team, former national team midfielder Kuntz is already working in the DFB system.

To appoint him would seem an easy option, which is not to suggest it would be the wrong option.

Kuntz's young Germany team won the UEFA Under-21 Championship in 2017 and were runners-up two years later, with the likes of Thilo Kehrer, Luca Waldschmidt and Serge Gnabry all enjoying early international experience under his leadership.

Kuntz is highly regarded as a coach by his fellow Euro 96 winner Oliver Bierhoff, who is Germany's national team director, and that could be a significant factor.

Julian Nagelsmann: Too much, too young?

Nagelsmann, who does not turn 34 until July, seems a long shot for this job.

He has greatly impressed as head coach of Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig and his next calling point is likely to be a bigger club job, perhaps in Spain or England.

Nagelsmann distanced himself from the Germany job within minutes of Low's departure being announced, so it would take a change of heart for him to come into the equation.

If the DFB makes a determined play for him, however, Nagelsmann would have to decide whether he could refuse to serve his country.

Ralf Rangnick: Tactical master could be perfect pick

Veteran Rangnick looked set to join Milan last year, until the surprise element of Stefano Pioli turning the Rossoneri into a winning machine knocked that on the head.

The 62-year-old has been cited as a major influence on the generation that followed him into coaching, with Stuttgart, Hoffenheim, Schalke and Leipzig among the teams he has led.

His tactics typically lean on a high-intensity pressing game, with swift counter-attacking, and Rangnick would surely relish the prospect of leading Germany into a World Cup.

Whether being out of coaching for two seasons might be a hindrance would be a matter for the DFB, with Rangnick currently employed by Red Bull's sporting division.

Jurgen Klopp out, Steven Gerrard in?

Klopp ended Liverpool's 30-year wait for league glory last season, but the German manager could be set for a return to his homeland.

His exit could see Gerrard return to Merseyside.

 

TOP STORY – GERRARD TO REPLACE KLOPP IN LIVERPOOL RETURN

Steven Gerrard may soon return to Anfield but as manager to replace Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, according to The Mirror.

Liverpool reportedly expect Klopp to take up an opportunity with Germany in the near future amid doubts over long-time head coach Joachim Low.

As a result, Liverpool legend Gerrard has been sounded out as he has Rangers on a cusp of a drought-breaking league title in Scotland.

Gerrard, who made more than 700 appearances for Liverpool, took control of Rangers in 2018.

 

ROUND-UP

- Erling Haaland seems to be on every club's wish list but the Mirror reports Manchester City have joined the queue for the Borussia Dortmund star. City manager Pep Guardiola and Haaland's agent Mina Raiola have a testy relationship but the Premier League leaders will press ahead with an alleged £100million (€115m) deal. English pair Chelsea and Manchester United are also reportedly interested along with Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain.

- Fabrizio Romano says Chelsea want to keep veteran defender Thiago Silva beyond the 2020-21 season. Chelsea signed Silva on a free transfer following his PSG exit.

- LaLiga giants Barcelona are in the market for a young defender and have set their sights on Inter's 21-year-old Alessandro Bastoni, according to Calciomercato.

Arsenal are in the hunt for Wigan Athletic sensation Kyle Joseph, with the teenager scoring five goals in 14 appearances. The Mirror claims the Gunners have joined Celtic and Rangers in their interest in the London-born Scotland youth international whose current contract expires in June.

Liverpool and rivals United are eyeing Leicester City's Harvey Barnes, reports the Mirror. The 23-year-old has established himself as a key player for the Foxes.

- Eric Bailly is in talks with United over a new long-term contract, claims The Sun. The 26-year-old defender, who has been plagued by injuries at Old Trafford, is out of contract in 2022. It comes amid United's reported interest in Sevilla's Jules Kounde, Ibrahima Konate of RB Leipzig and Brighton and Hove Albion star Ben White.

Manchester City are reportedly considering a double swoop for Erling Haaland and Giovanni Reyna.

The Borussia Dortmund stars have been linked with moves, with Haaland in particular in high demand across Europe.

And high-flying City have their eyes on the duo.

 

TOP STORY – MAN CITY CONSIDER HAALAND, REYNA

Manchester City are considering moves for Dortmund stars Haaland and Reyna, according to 90min.

Haaland, 20, has scored 17 goals and provided three assists in 17 Bundesliga games this season.

Reyna, the 18-year-old American, has three goals and four assists in 21 league games.

ROUND-UP

- Manchester United continue to be linked with centre-backs. But the Daily Mail reports the Premier League club are unwilling to meet Sevilla defender Jules Kounde's £68million (€79m) release clause, although they remain interested in the 22-year-old.

- With Liverpool enduring a difficult season, Jurgen Klopp's future has become a talking point. Bild reports Klopp could take over as Germany coach after the 2022 World Cup despite having a contract with Liverpool until 2024.

- Another club linked with a move for Haaland are Chelsea. Metro reports Tammy Abraham, who has scored 12 goals this season and is out of contract in 2023, is unwilling to discuss a new deal with the club amid the Haaland rumours.

- Jesse Lingard is attracting interest after an impressive start to his West Ham career. The Daily Express reports Leicester City are prepared to challenge West Ham if they try to sign Lingard, who is on loan from Manchester United, permanently ahead of next season.

- Still without a club, it remains to be seen where Maurizio Sarri ends up next. CalcioMercato reports Fiorentina again met with the former Juventus and Chelsea boss, but a potential agreement remains complex.

Jurgen Klopp said losing star captain Jordan Henderson to injury was a "massive blow" after Liverpool's faltering Premier League title defence hit a new low on Saturday.

Henderson suffered a groin injury as champions Liverpool were upstaged by Everton 2-0 in Saturday's Merseyside derby at Anfield.

After Richarlison put Everton ahead in the second minute, Henderson was forced off the field by the half-hour mark as Liverpool's injury crisis mounts.

Gylfi Sigurdsson's penalty with seven minutes remaining condemned Liverpool to their first home defeat to neighbours Everton since 1999.

"It's a massive blow losing Hendo [Jordan Henderson] again, massive, but Nate [Nathan Phillips] played a super game," Liverpool manager Klopp told reporters post-match.

"Again, we got used to it, unfortunately, that we have to change things,

"We just try to set up again for the next game and as long as we have 11 players we will do that.

"The boys are still full of desire, I see that. But to change a football game, a result, to get the result you have to be decisive in the right moments, defensively and offensively and that's what we are lacking."

Liverpool were already without Fabinho – himself a stand-in for Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk.

Van Dijk sustained a potentially season-ending knee injury in October's reverse fixture at Goodison Park.

Liverpool have lost four consecutive home league games for only the second time, last doing so back in December 1923 – when they were also defending top-flight champions.

Everton picked up their first win over Liverpool in 24 meetings in all competitions (D12 L11) – ending what was the Reds' longest ever unbeaten run against a single opponent.

Jurgen Klopp questioned the decision to award Everton a late penalty that condemned Liverpool to a 2-0 defeat in the Merseyside derby at Anfield.

Carlo Ancelotti's visitors sealed a first win at the home of their near neighbours in almost 22 years on Saturday thanks to strikes from Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson.

It was Sigurdsson's 83rd-minute spot-kick, after Dominic Calvert-Lewin was adjudged to have been fouled in the box, that most irked the losing manager.

Referee Chris Kavanagh was asked to inspect the incident at the pitchside monitor but stuck with his original decision, much to Klopp's dismay.

Asked about the incident at his post-match press conference, the Liverpool boss said: "I really think it's unfair to ask me because everybody asks me, which means everybody thinks it was not a penalty.

"But that's not really important because the ref thought it's a penalty. I wanted to talk to him after the first few interviews I had but he left already.

"I [wanted to ask] what did he see? Because the VAR calls you over in a situation like that, then I think he is in doubt about the decision.

"But he needed only a second; he went there, watched it from three, four yards and, yeah, penalty.

"He saw, obviously, something all the people didn't see. I didn't see it back yet but everybody who sees it tells me the same: 'How can it be a penalty?'"

As they contend with the disappointment of derby defeat, Liverpool must also count the cost of yet another injury blow following Jordan Henderson's first-half withdrawal.

On his captain, Klopp added: "It's the groin/adductor region and nobody in the medical department was kind of positive about it.

"So, it doesn't look good but we have to wait for the scan tomorrow, hopefully."

As for the game as a whole, Klopp highlighted an early moment of defensive sloppiness and profligacy at the other end of the pitch as the reason for Liverpool's downfall.

Asked about how much the result had hurt, he said: "A lot. A lot. But we conceded a completely unnecessary first goal, let's not forget that, and that's a big part of the game.

"There are two big parts, you have to defend and you have to score, and in one situation we didn't defend well enough so they could score.

"We made a mistake, if you want. And we didn't use things we created and that's why we have the result."

Jurgen Klopp has been suitably impressed by Ozan Kabak so far as the defender looks to make the most of his opportunities at Liverpool. 

Kabak moved to Anfield on the final day of the mid-season transfer window, initially joining on loan from Schalke until the end of the current campaign. 

However, the deal reportedly includes a purchase option, meaning the 20-year-old Turkey international has a window in which to prove he should be signed permanently in a deal worth £18million. 

The centre-back endured a moment to forget on his debut against Leicester City, colliding with goalkeeper Alisson to gift Jamie Vardy a goal that helped the hosts go on to seal a 3-1 triumph at the King Power Stadium. 

Yet Klopp felt Kabak was still solid despite that incident, with the new signing going on to help the Reds keep RB Leipzig at bay in a 2-0 Champions League victory in midweek. 

"Big potential, 20 years old and already pretty experienced, to be honest," Klopp replied when asked about Kabak in his pre-match press conference ahead of the derby against Everton.  

"He didn't take the easy way in his career so far, when you are in Istanbul when you can play for probably one of the biggest teams in the world [Galatasaray] and always be around at the top of the table.

"Then you go to Stuttgart and Schalke, where you have to fight really hard to win football games. That's good from an education and development point of view.

"Now he's here and looks really promising. Both games, he looked really solid.

"Yes, we all know what happened in the Leicester game, but around this situation he played a really solid game, not to forget who we played that day. They were second or third in the Premier League, a tough one with all the forwards they have.

"He did really well - long may it continue."

Kabak has swapped a Bundesliga relegation battle for a top-four fight with Liverpool and, with Fabinho ruled out again, could be set to continue in the team for the visit of Everton on Saturday.

His performance against Leipzig in the first leg of the last-16 tie certainly suggested he has adapted quickly to the change of scenery. He made twice as many tackles (four) as any of his team-mates in Budapest, also managing a joint match-high three interceptions while completing 84.3 per cent of his attempted passes.

The clean sheet on Tuesday was also a confidence boost for Alisson, as his involvement in the Vardy goal against Leicester came after two high-profile errors in the 4-1 home loss to Manchester City. 

While understanding such moments can lead to self-doubt for any player, Klopp made clear to the media that he has never lost faith in his first-choice keeper. 

"My confidence? Nothing changed. We are all human beings, Ali as well. It's not about telling him he's a world-class goalkeeper, he knows that," the Liverpool boss said.

"If you made a mistake in the game before, the previous games and it's nothing you like, humans are all the same. Ali is too smart to ignore it completely.

"Other personalities would perhaps not struggle, but in the end he can rely – and we can rely – on his quality and his attitude, plus how focused he is during a game, how much he lives in it. 

"There was not one second of doubt. Ali, for sure, did not have the best time between the two games – that's how it is. But the Leipzig game was a really good one to get back."

Liverpool are unbeaten in their previous 23 meetings with Everton in all competitions, which is their longest run against any opponent.

They go into the latest meeting with their neighbours looking to avoid a fourth successive league loss, having not suffered such a run of form in the competition since Gerard Houllier was in charge in December 2002.

Jurgen Klopp saw positive signs from Liverpool but admitted two "massive mistakes" by Alisson proved their downfall in a 4-1 defeat to Manchester City.

The reigning Premier League champions slipped to a third successive home league defeat on Sunday, with the result leaving them well off the pace in the title race.

City now sit five points clear of nearest rivals Manchester United but 10 ahead of Liverpool, while Pep Guardiola's squad also have a game in hand.

Mohamed Salah's penalty cancelled out Ilkay Gundogan's opener in an eventful second half at Anfield, but two blunders by Alisson helped City on their way to a record-equalling 14th successive win in all competitions.

"When you lose 4-1 it's not your day. Big parts of the game were brilliant from my side, we played really good football," Klopp told Sky Sports.

"In the first half we played really good football, against City it just means you are reading the game. Start of the second half, City changed the system slightly to a 4-4-2.

"It's a little adaptation and at the start of the second half we didn't give enough options to play and gave the first goal away. We just gave them a bit too much of an opportunity.

"We scored the equaliser and it looked like the game could now go in our direction. We made two massive mistakes, it's clear, everybody saw them, they used them, then 3-1 it's tough to take. 

"The performance was good for a lot of time. Really good, high level, if we played more before like in these moments we would not be 10 points behind City.

"The goals - we made massive mistakes, if you make them against City it's the killer. That's why we lost the game."

Klopp felt the rest of the team did not help out Alisson for the stray passes that led to City's second and third goals, scored by Gundogan and Raheem Sterling respectively.

The Brazil international is the first Liverpool goalkeeper to make two errors leading directly to a goal in a single game since Loris Karius against Real Madrid in the Champions League final in May 2018.

"It's true as well that we didn't give him a lot of options, especially the first one," the Liverpool boss said.

"I think the second one there is no explanation, maybe he had cold feet or something, it sounds funny but it could be, but still the opportunity was there to kick it into the stands.

"But Ali has saved our lives many times and tonight he made two mistakes."

With a double-digit gap to City, Klopp confirmed his main focus is on sealing a top-four finish and a place in next season's Champions League. 

They return to league action next Saturday, travelling to third-place Leicester City.

"It is of course our main target, that is clear, we will try everything," Klopp said. "We've enough games to play to secure that but we have to win games."

Pep Guardiola expressed disappointment with Jurgen Klopp's attempt at pre-match mind games after the Liverpool manager falsely claimed Manchester City had "a two-week break for COVID reasons".

Champions Liverpool host Premier League leaders City on Sunday, where Guardiola's men have the chance to go 10 points clear of Klopp's side with a game in hand if they can claim a first win at Anfield since 2003.

Both men addressed the media on Friday, with Klopp speaking first and suggesting a coronavirus outbreak within the City squad between Christmas and new year actually helped their title bid.

Asked about Guardiola's recently repeated mantra that his team - currently on a 20-match unbeaten run across all competitions - are playing better because they have managed to "run less" in possession, Klopp focused his attention upon the spike in infections that saw City's scheduled December 28 trip to Everton postponed.

"The more you keep the ball, the less you have to run, probably. We didn't have a break," he said.

"I think City had a two-week break for COVID reasons. It's really tough. It's a tough year, season; for some teams, it looks like lesser but, for us, for the reasons you know, it's tough."

In reality, City had a seven-day break between their 2-0 win over Newcastle United on Boxing Day and a January 3 trip to Chelsea, where a squad heavily depleted by a raft of players being forced to self-isolate secured an impressive 3-1 win.

Having started his own briefing later than scheduled, Guardiola opted to respond initially with heavy sarcasm.

"He made a mistake, it was two months off or three months off. Four months we had off. That is why we are in top form right now," he said.

"Jurgen has to see the calendar again. We had COVID, we had one week and we played with 14 players at Stamford Bridge, Maybe I'm wrong, maybe it was three or four weeks.

"Tomorrow when I see Jurgen I'll say to him, 'How many weeks or days were we off?'"

Guardiola famously endured a tempestuous back and fourth with Jose Mourinho when the pair were in charge of Barcelona and Real Madrid a decade ago - an affair he was perhaps referencing when stating he held Klopp, whom he also competed against in the Bundesliga, to higher standards.

"I'm surprised," he said. "I thought Jurgen was not that type of manager like other ones [for whom] it is usual to do it. I didn't expect that comment. From him, I didn't expect it.

"He knows it’s not true, come on! Nobody in the Premier League has had two weeks off, everyone knows. In some situation you do it [mind games] for a purpose, but I did not expect he will do it."

Liverpool have lost their past two home games 1-0 to Burnley and Brighton and Hove Albion.

Nevertheless, Anfield remains something of a final frontier for Guardiola as City boss, having lost four and drawn one of his five visits to the red side of Stanley Park.

"They are always an incredibly tough team and remain a tough squad," he said.

"They know the process, the skills, the routines and methodology they do offensively. No change.

"They are aggressive and will be more aggressive than ever, I'm pretty sure. They'll rest really well after the game against Brighton and they'll recover in these two weeks off and they will be ready."

City remain without Kevin De Bruyne (hamstring), Nathan Ake (muscular) and Sergio Aguero, who has endured a prolonged absence after testing positive for coronavirus. He is expected to return in a few weeks.

Virgil van Dijk will not play again for Liverpool this season barring "a miracle", according to manager Jurgen Klopp.

It had been reported that Van Dijk could return in April from an anterior cruciate ligament injury suffered in the Merseyside derby last October.

The 29-year-old has been undertaking his rehabilitation in Dubai and was said to be closing in on a return to the pitch, but Klopp does not consider that to be a realistic possibility.

"Whatever happens I think we have space for Virgil on the Champions League list, I think he was on the Premier League list – nobody told me I have to change something with that. If we have space in the Champions League list, Virgil will be on the list," he told a news conference.

"No doctor told me there's a chance for Virgil to play again this season. I don't want to say it's impossible, but it's not likely.

"If we have space we will put them all on even when the medical people tell them there's no chance because we believe in miracles from time to time.

"But if there's no place then we have to consider these things and say the chance is not too big so we have to make a decision. But if they're on the list then it's only because we hope for nearly a miracle and that's it."

With Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and makeshift centre-back Fabinho also out injured, Liverpool brought in Ben Davies from Preston North End and Ozan Kabak from Schalke on deadline day.

Klopp was pleased to have bolstered his defensive options and intends to let Rhys Williams return to the Under-23 squad in order to get more game time.

Liverpool take on Brighton and Hove Albion on Wednesday and Klopp is hopeful he will not have to throw Davies and Kabak straight into action against Graham Potter's men at Anfield.

"The good thing is it is football and they play football in Germany and the Championship, so that's not the problem," said Klopp.

"[There have been] 12 or 13 different centre-half pairings and then that makes it more difficult for example Neco [Williams] and Kostas [Tsimikas] too.

"You search for stability in the team when you change that often, but we don't live in an idle world and that means we have to be smart and quick and try different things.

"We play differently to Preston and Schalke so they'll need time but we don't have a lot, so we'll use the time we have in our hands and try our best.

"If they had to start Wednesday together I think that would be not too cool, but we will give them a few more days."

Jurgen Klopp insisted Liverpool would only sign "the right player" despite their defensive problems increasing with the loss of Joel Matip to an ankle injury.

Matip missed the 3-2 FA Cup loss at Manchester United last Saturday but returned for Thursday's Premier League win at Tottenham, partnering Jordan Henderson in defence in the absence of Fabinho.

However, the Cameroon international had to be substituted at half-time of the 3-1 victory over Spurs with what Klopp later confirmed as ankle ligament damage.

With Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez long-term absentees and Fabinho struggling with another muscle problem, the Reds finished the match at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with Henderson alongside the inexperienced Nat Phillips.

Klopp, though, is not prepared to sanction a new signing before the transfer window closes simply to add extra numbers to his squad.

"You can imagine that we think about everything, of course," he said. "We thought the whole time, we think the whole time, it's about doing the right thing.

"I'm not picky or whatever… but we need to find the right player. We have players still. Not a lot, to be honest, in the defence line it is incredible what's happening there, it's really incredible. But that's it."

Liverpool's convincing win over Jose Mourinho's men, delivered through goals from Roberto Firmino, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Sadio Mane, was just their second in eight games in all competitions.

Firmino's first-half opener ended a wait of 482 minutes for a Premier League goal, in which time the champions had attempted 93 shots without finding the net. 

"I am completely happy about the performance and, yes, it's about the boys," Klopp said. "They put a proper shift in. It was a brave performance in a game against a counter-attacking monster, which they are and that makes it even more special. For tonight, it was really good."

The win moved Liverpool back into fourth place in the table, four points behind leaders Manchester City, who have a game in hand.

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