Jurgen Klopp surveyed the defeat against Manchester City in the FA Community Shield showdown at Wembley and concentrated on the huge number of positives he could glean from the encounter.
Klopp’s men were beaten on spot-kicks on Sunday after the game ended 1-1 in normal time. Former Kop favourite Raheem Sterling put Pep Guardiola’s side in the lead before the break and Joel Matip levelled for the Reds in the second half.
It was a deserved equaliser in a period in which Liverpool were dominant having had to play second fiddle to City’s might before the break. When the goal came it was one to savour and very much carried more than a hint of defensive indulgence. It came when the ever-impressive Virgil van Dijk got on the end of Jordan Henderson’s free-kick and managed to steer it back in to the danger zone for rear guard partner Matip to head from inside the six-yard box.
And, although the champions of Europe Liverpool went on to lose on penalties, there was lots for Klopp to like about his side’s display with an eye on the opening game of the Premier League season at home to Norwich City this Friday (August 9). He told the club’s official website:
“I’m completely happy about the performance. I said before the game, if you want to be prepared for Man City you have to make a pre-season game against Man City — no team plays like them. You saw that in a few moments in the first half, when they can do what they do. We struggled a little bit positioning-wise but that’s normal.”
Although the Anfield giants couldn’t collect silverware this time of asking, Klopp was quick to reiterate the desire, hunger and determination ahead of the new campaign to do exactly that and land as many trophies as is possible.
“Yes, we will try everything. It’s not as much important what I could say but what the boys showed against City. I thought they looked pretty hungry. That doesn’t mean it will work out but we fought in this game after all the things that were said about the competition, both teams wanted to win it desperately, I saw that.”
Klopp added that his side is keen to get back in action and redouble their efforts in terms of effort for the cause, and that includes upping the work rate where possible. He said:
“The character of the team is still incredibly good. We had a difficult pre-season but the boys did what they had to do and were affected by it. It was very important we all gave ourselves and our supporters a sign of the performance today. Now let’s carry on.”
Liverpool go again after they host the Canaries when they travel to Istanbul, Turkey to face Premier League rivals Chelsea in the European Super Cup — and then go to Southampton for their next top-flight clash.