Liverpool were not focused in City thrashing, Klopp claims | OneFootball
Liverpool were not focused in City thrashing, Klopp claims
Jurgen Klopp felt Liverpool lacked focus on their previous visit to the Etihad Stadium and wants his team to avoid paying a similar price against Manchester City on Sunday.
The Reds' most recent visit to the Etihad Stadium came in the wake of their canter of a historic Premier League title triumph in July.
However, Pep Guardiola's deposed City ransacked the victory lap and ran out 4-0 winners.
Klopp conceded he was unsure of how to prepare after a match that was expected to be pivotal assumed dead-rubber status and does not rank it among the most painful reverses of his career.
"If you are not 100 per cent focused on the game against City you will lose big," he said. "I'm not sure I needed that game as proof but that was 100 per cent the case
"It was the first time we had won the league in England so I had no idea how to prepare the game.
"I didn't want to overdo it – 'Boys, forget what happened three days ago. Now it's City and we can show the whole world', blah, blah, blah.
"I didn't do it. I'm not sure of that was right or wrong. I know my boys wanted to win that game but we were not as focused as we usually are in these games
"That explains a little bit. Still, we played some good football that night, but we did not score and they scored four times. It was not the most heavy defeat in my life."
That defeat in July, where Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden were all on target before half-time, was not an altogether isolated incident for Liverpool. Their past three Premier League visits to City tally to an 11-1 aggregate deficit.
However, Klopp retains a fine record against Guardiola, who has never lost to another coach more frequently than the eight defeats he has endured at the hands of his former Bundesliga sparring partner.
"Yeah, we should meet much more often," Klopp chuckled when it was suggested Guardiola brings out the best in him, dating back to their respective Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich tenures.
"I'm happy that we don't meet that often, to be honest, because of the quality he and his teams have.
"I'm not aware of any records. I know that we met from time to time and I know we didn't lose all of them. But I know all the games were incredibly difficult. Incredibly difficult
"They are very intense. That's the only thing I'm concerned about, not how we played in the game in the summer or the game before that. [I'm concerned that] we are ready to compete in the game.
"For that you need close-to-perfect organisation, you need to be really brave, play your own football, cause them problems as well."
Klopp added: "It sounds so easy and it's not rocket science but it's still really difficult because it's under massive pressure and they cause you pressure. We can do that as well.
"It's an interesting game, always. Hopefully it will be interesting as well on Sunday because that means we will be good and that will be the first step in the right direction."
Liverpool will hope to return to the top of the table on Sunday, although City can close to within two points of the champions with a game in hand if they continue their impressive home record in the fixture.