Jurgen Klopp is determined to put last season’s Champions League success to bed and focus on the challenges to come, even as his side look forward to a week full of reminders ahead of Wednesday’s European Super Cup against Chelsea.
Liverpool boss Klopp looked bemused after Friday’s 4-1 victory over Norwich in their Premier League opener when asked why the team had not paraded the European Cup prior to kick off.
“Nobody told me I had to,” Klopp said. “I touched the European Cup on the match day and the day after, and since then, no.
“I didn’t have a reason to. I know how it feels, and people know how it looks. If somebody expected (something before kick-off) they should have told me, and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have done it because we are now in the new season.”
Liverpool now travel to Istanbul to face Europa League winners Chelsea in Wednesday’s Super Cup, so Klopp will no doubt face plenty more questions relating to his side’s 2-0 win over Tottenham in Madrid on June 1.
The Kop were loud and proud about their status as six-time European Champions on Friday night, but Klopp says he has moved on.
“Enough celebrations,” he said. “Nobody has to congratulate me anymore, even though still they are doing it.
“I’m really fine with everything I heard about it. Now let’s play the new season.”
— Premier League (@premierleague) August 10, 2019
Liverpool certainly did not look like a side dwelling on their successes as they tore into Norwich, capitalising on the gift of Grant Hanley’s seventh-minute own goal to score four times in the first half with Mo Salah, Virgil Van Dijk and Divock Origi also on the scoresheet.
It was the sort of performance which suggests they are ready to once again push title favourites Manchester City to the wire after missing out by a single point last campaign.
But the intensity did not continue in the second half as a couple of chances went begging before Norwich began to assert themselves, pulling a goal back through Teemu Pukki.
“We are early in the season and some mistakes happen that will not happen during the season,” Klopp said.
“But it’s all good. If somebody would have told me before the game we would win 4-1, I would have taken it easily.
“If somebody would have told me we’d play the first 60 minutes like we played tonight, I’d say, ‘OK, I take it’.”
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) August 9, 2019
However, there was a significant setback on the night with goalkeeper Alisson Becker limping off before the break with a calf injury, forcing Adrian into making his debut just four days after signing as a free agent, and leaving Klopp with a potential headache at the back.
Norwich had plenty of headaches in the first 45 minutes as Liverpool punished the slightest mistake at the back but manager Daniel Farke said he could only be proud of his players and their attacking intent as they had 12 shots, five of which were on target.
“We showed great character to come out and win the second half after being 4-0 down at Anfield,” he said.
“We caused them many, many problems and I’ve been told no team had as many shots on goal last season at Anfield as we had. I can’t criticise my lads too much.
“I’m in love with this team, and in love with this club, and in love with these fans. Although we lost this game, we showed today why we are so special.”