Klopp 'couldn't be more proud' of Liverpool after Milan win

By Sports Desk December 07, 2021

Jurgen Klopp insisted he "couldn't be more proud" of his Liverpool squad after they secured a perfect Champions League group-stage record with victory at Milan.

Despite their progression to the knockout stages as group winners already secured, the Reds put in a dominant performance to claim a 2-1 success in San Siro.

And the manner of the performance from a team showing eight changes left Klopp delighted at full-time.

He told BT Sport: "[It's] really difficult in the hectic schedule. We have to be always on fire for the next game and, what the boys did tonight, I couldn't be more proud. 

"It was an incredible game, I'm so happy about so many things I saw tonight and, of course, in the end that we won the game is great as well. 

"But the performance was absolutely outstanding; playing this game tonight, having 21 shots, not 21 on target but 21 times we finished a situation off. 

"[There were] so many situations where we played outstandingly well and defended with passion and good organisation. So many good things I saw tonight, really happy."

Klopp went on to pay tribute to the three players who retained their starting places from the weekend win over Wolves: Alisson, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.

The German was most pleased with the desire that trio showed while being involved in a game that, in truth, had little riding on it for the visitors. 

He added: "I have to say, we changed it eight times but Ali is a goalie and that he could play and wanted to play so desperately speaks for him. 

"The same for Sadio and Mo, the game they played tonight was absolutely outstanding. 

"The quality they have and the physicality they bring in a game like this, how much they help defensively, is absolutely outstanding. 

"Mo obviously scores the first, Sadio sets up the second, that speaks really for the boys. 

"So, because it's a mix of fresh legs and quality as well, it was a really good mix tonight."

The Liverpool boss also hailed teenage midfielder Tyler Morton, who put in another impressive performance on just his second Champions League start.

Klopp continued: "I don't want to make his night more complicated than it is already with playing at such a young age for a club like Liverpool, playing a game like this with a performance like this. 

"I think we should all calm down, but it was really good tonight! 

"It was a big pleasure to watch the boy playing and the football knowledge, football brain he showed tonight was absolutely exceptional. 

"If you are technically on that level – and he is, obviously – and you have then such good orientation, sometimes you have enough time to do good stuff and that is what he did tonight. 

"On top of that, he defended incredibly well together with the other boys."

Related items

  • Australia 4-0 Vietnam: Socceroos bounce back in World Cup qualification Australia 4-0 Vietnam: Socceroos bounce back in World Cup qualification

    Australia ended a three-match winless streak in World Cup qualifying in emphatic fashion, with a 4-0 victory over Vietnam.

    The Socceroos had drawn their previous two qualifiers in November, following a 2-1 reverse to Japan in October, leaving them outside the automatic qualification spots in Group B.

    However, they got their bid for a place in Qatar back on track in style on Thursday in Melbourne, inflicting an eighth successive qualification defeat on Vietnam in the process.

    Tomas Rogic thought he had put Australia ahead inside the opening 20 seconds, only for VAR to disallow the goal for Jackson Irvine straying offside.

    Vietnam got no such reprieve when Jamie Maclaren headed home from Rogic's cross in the 30th minute, with the Celtic midfielder turning from provider to scorer on the stroke of half-time.

    Slack defending gifted Australia a third when Craig Goodwin latched onto Mat Ryan's pass in the 72nd minute to score his first international goal, before Riley McGree picked out the bottom-right corner to make it 4-0, also his first strike for his country.

    It was just the second time the nations have met in World Cup qualifying, with Australia – who are back to within two points of group leaders Saudi Arabia – making things rather easier for themselves this time after a 1-0 win in the first match.

     

  • Rumour Has It: Juventus set for talks to thrash out Vlahovic deal Rumour Has It: Juventus set for talks to thrash out Vlahovic deal

    Dusan Vlahovic has drawn interest from Juventus, Arsenal and Tottenham among others.

    The 21-year-old has 18 months remaining on his contract and Fiorentina are keen to maximise their profit on him.

    Vlahovic has netted 38 goals in the past 18 months in Serie A.

    TOP STORY – FRESH TALKS ON VLAHOVIC DEAL

    Juventus are set for fresh talks on Thursday on a deal to sign Fiorentina's Vlahovic, reports Fabrizio Romano.

    The Serbia striker has attracted plenty of interest but an agreement between the Bianconeri and Fiorentina is in place.

    The stumbling block is Vlahovic's final contract and agent's fees, with a deal potentially set to trigger Alvaro Morata's exit to Barcelona, although Romano claims there are no new talks on that.

     

    ROUND-UP

    - Goal claims that Barcelona are working on a plan to raise €100million (£83m) in funds to lure Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland to the Catalan club. The Blaugrana are determined to win the race to sign Haaland despite interest from wealthy giants Real MadridManchester City and Paris Saint-Germain.

    - Bayern Munich's 32-year-old forward Thomas Muller has drawn interest from Newcastle United and Everton as he approaches the final year of his contract, claims Sport Bild.

    - L'Equipe claims that Bruno Guimaraes had told Lyon he wants to join Newcastle after the Magpies tabled a bid.

    - The Sun reports that Manchester United have put their search for a new manager on hold as they consider whether to make Ralf Rangnick's stay permanent.

    - Staying at United, numerous reports in England suggest Jesse Lingard is angry with the club as their demands have put off Newcastle's attempt to sign the player on loan.

    - Ousmane Dembele wants to stay at Barcelona after all, according to Sport. The France international's representatives met with Barca boss Xavi this week.

    - Tottenham's Tanguy Ndombele is set to join Valencia on loan, reports Telefoot.

  • Dortmund superstar Haaland believes he can 'improve on everything' Dortmund superstar Haaland believes he can 'improve on everything'

    Erling Haaland is widely recognised as one of the best strikers in the world, but he still believes he can "improve on everything" about his game.

    The Borussia Dortmund man has been strongly linked with a move to the likes of Manchester City, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, with reports suggesting he has a release clause of €75million that becomes active at the end of the season.

    Speaking to Sky Sports, Haaland may have further tempted those teams and any others who have the money to do a deal by suggesting he is far from the finished article.

    "I think I can improve on everything," he said. "If you say I am good at finishing, I can improve my finishing a lot. I can become faster, so I can improve that. I can become stronger, so I can improve that.

    "But if I should improve one thing, it would be to not get injured, because if I am not injured, I will play a lot more games and I will deliver even better. If you were to ask what my goals are for 2022, it is to not be injured, and the goals for the rest of my career are to not be injured. That's the main thing."

    Haaland has scored 80 goals in 79 games in all competitions since moving to Signal Iduna Park from Salzburg just over two years ago.

    Of players in Europe's top five leagues, only Bayern's Robert Lewandowski (107) has scored more in that time, having played in 11 more games than Haaland.

    The 21-year-old was named as part of the FIFPro World 11 at The Best FIFA Football Awards, where Lewandowski took home the top men's prize ahead of Lionel Messi and Mohamed Salah. Haaland was asked who his top three would have been.

    "I think you would have to say Lewandowski number one," he said, "Then you have, for me, [Karim] Benzema has also been amazing, but Messi has also been outstanding – so Benzema and Messi in shared second and third place."

    The Norway forward was also asked about his recent comments that Dortmund were forcing him to make a decision on his future as soon as possible.

    Haaland said in a post-match interview following last week's 5-1 win against Freiburg that the club "press me to make a decision now about my future", though Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke denied this.

    "I don't really want to say too much about it, but I felt it was time for me to say something," Haaland told Sky. "A lot of others were speaking – so that was it. Now, I don't want to say too much. I said what I said, and now we move on."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.