Jürgen Klopp has insisted that Liverpool’s world was not perfect in their historic 5-0 thrashing of Manchester United because his team have to improve defensively and be capable of winning 1-0.
Liverpool have not lost in 23 matches, their longest undefeated run since 1989, possess the Premier League’s only unbeaten record and recorded their biggest win at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Klopp nevertheless guarded against complacency by arguing Liverpool have achieved nothing and describing their start to the campaign as “OK”. The only visiting manager ever to take a four-goal first-half lead at Old Trafford in the Premier League said he spent the interval trying to get his team to tighten up.
He said: “The world is a bit like this: you win 5-0 against United and everything is perfect. Well, it was not. United had clear-cut chances which we gave them. We should not rely on luck or Ali [goalkeeper Alisson]. I saw the first half; we gave too much away.”
Liverpool have struck 37 times in their past 11 games in all competitions but their manager believes clean sheets will be imperative when they are less prolific.
“We have some really impressive scorelines but you don’t expect that to happen all the time and I have no problem with winning a game 1-0,” Klopp said. “That is where we have to be ready. We have to be that stable and consistent when the opponent has the ball. There is no reason why someone has to get through. That is where we can 100% improve.”
Liverpool could go top with victory over Brighton but Klopp said: “Nothing happened yet: it is matchday 10 with 28 after that to come. It is just a really OK start but even in that start we had our downs; maybe not results but moments we were all not happy with.”
Although Naby Keïta may make a swift return on Saturday after he was injured at Old Trafford, Klopp is likely to be without four of his eight midfielders, with Fabinho, Thiago Alcântara, James Milner and Harvey Elliott probable or definite absentees.
Klopp opted not to replace Gini Wijnaldum when the Dutchman left for Paris Saint-Germain but explained: “You can buy another four or five players and never have that problem again, but you can never have the atmosphere in the squad which is much more important to win something than a squad with 40 players.”