Jurgen Klopp insisted he saw AC Milan’s fightback coming but was glad to take the three points, as Liverpool kicked off a tough Champions League group by winning 3-2.
Here are four key things from the manager’s post-match press conference on Wednesday.
“We saw it coming”
After Mohamed Salah‘s penalty miss, doubts naturally began to creep in over Liverpool‘s dominance and their ability to translate that into a convincing win.
Then, goals from Ante Rebic and Brahim Diaz turned the game on its head, with Milan clawing back and forcing the Reds into another memorable comeback.
“We saw it coming, actually; we saw the last five minutes coming in the last 15,” Klopp explained.
The manager suggested the noise inside Anfield stopped him from getting the message across to his players – but thankfully, there was enough quiet in the dressing room to turn the tide.
Divock Origi‘s involvement – his first appearance of the season – came as a surprise to almost everyone, and the Belgian produced a reasonable display up front.
Having only made six starts last term and not making the matchday squad against Burnley, Chelsea and Leeds, the striker has clearly dropped down the pecking order.
Klopp was honest in his assessment of Origi’s situation, saying: “I thought he would maybe leave in the summer.”
Origi wasn’t the only player to come in on Wednesday, with Joe Gomez making his first start of the season while both Jordan Henderson and Naby Keita also returned to the side.
Virgil van Dijk, Thiago and Sadio Mane were the unforced changes, with Harvey Elliott the other player to drop out after his ankle injury at Leeds.
The message from Klopp? Expect it to happen more often.
“We have to be sensible in these moments,” he said.
“We have these three boys here in the last line who all came back from long-term injuries. We have to manage that, we can’t do it differently.”
“AC Milan came from Pot 4 in this group – very funny!”
Though Liverpool really should have taken their chances in the first half, that Milan were technically the lowest-rated side in Group B and ran the Reds so close is an indication that this group stage will be tough.
A trip to Porto comes next before back-to-back clashes with Atletico Madrid; no Ludogorets or Maribor this time around.