Jurgen Klopp takes swipe at Newcastle; says he was not convinced all his Liverpool players were believers

·4-min read
Jurgen-Klopp Liverpool August 2022 Credit: PA Images
Jurgen-Klopp Liverpool August 2022 Credit: PA Images

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp admitted he was not sure all his players were convinced a winner was coming in the dramatic 2-1 win over Newcastle on Wednesday night.

New record signing Alexander Isak had marked his Newcastle debut with a goal in the 38th minute. Sean Longstaff slipped the ball through and Isak found space between two defenders before firing high into the net.

And Nick Pope did not make a save until the 60th minute, getting down low to keep out a shot from the impressive Harvey Elliott. But the England goalkeeper was beaten seconds later when Mo Salah teed up Roberto Firmino for a crisp finish.

Newcastle though looked destined for a valuable point until Fabio Carvalho smashed home eight minutes into added on time. James Milner’s corner was headed on by Joe Gomez and Newcastle failed to clear before the new boy hammered home the winner from close range to send Anfield into raptures.

Klopp, speaking to BT Sport, said: “The perfect moment to win this game because it was a difficult game, very passionate, aggressive defending.

“It’s difficult to pick up the rhythm from a game where everything clicked immediately and you find yourself in situations where it isn’t clicking immediately.

‘Massive, massive win’

“Even before we were 1-0 down we looked in situations a little bit desperate. We had to force ourselves to keep calm a little more and keep going. In the end we forced it and what a wonderful goal from the birthday kid.

“This is the best way to win a football game. I think that we scored after 90+8 is the perfect response. I’m really happy about that.”

Klopp, speaking to BBC Sport, said: “Football can go in both directions but tonight it went in the right one, a perfect end of the game.”

Asked about Newcastle’s time wasting, Klopp said: “I am really happy that everyone saw it tonight. It was hard to take. It was a difficult game anyway, Newcastle invested a lot to close us down.

“They were close to getting pretty much everything for it. Of course everyone wants to see a football game and when it is interrupted that often it is not nice for anybody.

“The only chance we have, not just for this game but in general, the referee has to pick earlier yellow cards. I don’t know when the kicking the ball away stopped being a yellow card. When did this rule die?

“I had no idea if that tonight it was on purpose or if they players really had to go down because slightly injured. I don’t know.”

Liverpool again conceded the first goal and Klopp was asked how do his side stop having to come from behind.

Best player on the pitch

“By scoring first. We have a lot of space for improvement, definitely. It was well played by Newcastle I have to say. It is still early in the season. You have to fight your way through,” said the German coach.

“I am not sure everyone in the stadium kept believing but from now on we have to. What a wonderful goal from the little one. He is in a great moment.

“Harvey Elliott was the best player on the pitch, without a shadow of a doubt. It was nice to see he picks up from where he was before the bad injury. Fabio, what a boy. What a player. I am pretty sure he will want to have that feeling more often and I am pretty sure if he keeps working he will have it more.”

Asked if the Reds needed the win to keep the momentum going, Klopp said: “It’s massive, massive we will remember it for years and years. We had once a 3-2 at Newcastle where Divock Origi scored late. I’m not 100% sure they all believed until the end but from now on we have to as we showed again it is possible.”

Speaking about Carvalho, Klopp added: “For him it’s his second goal. Fantastic boy, we changed pretty much everything, very offensive orientated but he can also play there. If a boy is as good as he is then he needs the moment.”

Carvalho wants to build on victory

Liverpool’s matchwinner Carvalho was delighted to have snatched victory at the death.

He told BT Sport: “We just keep going and we showed up there for the fans. They helped us so much and I’m going to say a big thank you to them because without them, this would have been impossible.

“But we stuck to our game plan, we kept going, kept pushing and finally we did get the goal and a well-deserved three points.

“Hopefully we can build on this. We definitely built on the result the other day and many more to come, hopefully. We just need to keep going, keep working and then more wins will come.”

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