Sport Liverpool spirit pleases Klopp: It's all about showing a reaction
Liverpool will be vulnerable without their Van Dijk security blanket
Jurgen Klopp was fidgety and frustrated and in one of those moods when it is hard to get him to engage. The tipping point came when he was asked about Mohamed Salah scoring his 100th Liverpool goal.The tipping point came when he was asked about Mohamed Salah scoring his 100th Liverpool goal, with a quite beautiful finish. The inquisitor’s intention was to get some kind of positivity from Klopp but this was absolutely not the moment.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is pleased with how his players have responded to recent setbacks but warned them not to take anything for granted against Midtjylland.
The Premier League champions were sensationally hammered 7-2 by Aston Villa prior to the October international break, then lost Virgil van Dijk to a serious knee injury on their return to action.
Defender Van Dijk was hurt in the early stages of the 2-2 draw with Merseyside rivals Everton, a game the Reds twice led before eventually having to settle for a point.
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IAN HERBERT AND SIMON JONES: Virgil van Dijk's awareness, calmness, height, goals and guidance for Gomez and Joel Matip who are poorer without him, will be sorely missed.It's the spatial awareness, the calmness, the height, the goals and the guidance for Joe Gomez and Joel Matip who are poorer without him, which they will now miss. As well as the diagonal passes which propel Liverpool ahead on the counter attack and were integral to last year's 3-1 away win at Bayern Munich, in which Van Dijk also scored.
However, since then Liverpool have recorded a win away at Ajax in the Champions League and also fought back from a goal down to beat Sheffield United.
"It's all about showing a reaction - you cannot influence the things that have happened to you in life. You can influence the response you show - and I like the response, to be honest," Klopp told the media ahead of facing Midtjylland on Tuesday.
"The boys were really ready to work extremely hard again, show real resilience and fighting for results. All those kinds of things are important. I expect them, actually, but after the very, very long good times we had, people react differently.
"They did exactly what I thought they would do - they fought and we won both games."
While Liverpool triumphed 1-0 in Amsterdam in the Champions League, Midtjylland suffered a 4-0 loss at home to Atalanta on their debut in the group stage of the competition.
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Yet Klopp - who revealed he is set to be without injured trio Naby Keita, Joel Matip and Thiago Alcantara again - does not feel the scoreline reflected the Danish side's overall display.
"The 4-0 against Atalanta was not a 4-0," the German manager said. "It didn't look like that kind of game. They were really in it and possession was pretty level.
"They are a football-playing side with different ideas. They are flexible as well, so it's a challenge, a real challenge. We have to be ready for it."
This will be Liverpool's first home game in Europe since they lost 3-2 in the second leg against Atletico Madrid in March, a game played out with fans present at Anfield amid the breakout of the coronavirus pandemic across the continent.
The extra-time defeat in the second leg of the last-16 tie was the Reds' final outing before the 2019-20 season was put on hold, with Klopp admitting it was a "strange time".
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"We played a really good game at Madrid (when they lost 1-0 in the first leg), people forget that," he said. "Played a super game at home and lost, sounds crazy. What can you do more? If you use your chances, you go through. Performance-wise, it was not a problem.
"It was a strange time. We heard a lot of things, the last game before lockdown. This is not an example of how we should do things, football-wise.
"We love the competition, even when we got knocked out too early. It's the Champions League, Anfield but no crowd, but it's still the competition we love.
"We have to show that again tomorrow night. There are no guarantees, but a lot of opportunities."
The loss to Atletico is Liverpool's only blemish in their previous 26 home games in all European competitions. They have not suffered consecutive home defeats in Europe since December 2009.
Gary Neville believes Jurgen Klopp will be 'nervous' ahead of Man City clash .
Jurgen Klopp will be ‘nervous’ ahead of Liverpool’s vital clash with Manchester City, according to Sky Sports pundit and 12-time Premier League winner Gary Neville. The Reds make the trip to the Etihad Stadium on Sunday afternoon in a game which could have a big bearing on the Premier League title race. Liverpool are currently five points ahead of Pep Guardiola’s side having played a game more, so victory would be huge for the champions. Klopp’s men have been looking shaky in defence in the absence of Virgil van Dijk, however, and despite topping the table currently, no team has conceded more goals (15).