Klopp unhappy with first-half performance vs Man City but hails his players’ mentality

Jurgen Klopp praised the Liverpool team after the Reds came back from a goal down to beat Manchester City 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium to qualify for the semi-finals of the Champions League.

The Reds were carrying a three-goal lead from the first leg but things started disastrously when Gabriel Jesus scored after just two minutes. City dominated the first half but could not add to the scoreline.

A half-time team talk seems to have galvanised Liverpool and Mohamed Salah scored in the 56th minute to give us a crucial away goal before Roberto Firmino capped off a brilliant night for us with the second.

Speaking to BT Sport (h/t Evening Standard) after the game, Klopp stated that he was not happy with the first half performance and how we gave the goal away.

The German was quoted by the Evening Standard as saying:

“City took all the risks they could take, we needed a bit of luck and a disciplined defending formation. I was not overly happy at half-time to be honest.

“He (Guardiola) took all the risks and it was his decision and it could’ve been the absolute right one, it’s easy to say afterwards. They could’ve scored two or three goals in the first half but it was 100% clear that if we win the ball we’d have an opportunity.

“The last situation in the first half was how you do the counter-attack and that’s how we scored the two goals. It’s not about perfection it’s about the result, the character, the mentality, really fighting for the result. We defended well, it’s not our best game but we deserved it at the end.”

The boss was also quoted by BBC Sport where he said that we had come through a whirlwind to win the game.

“The boys found a solution in the second half. We had two or three opportunities in the first half already, so it was easy for me and the boys to see the development of the game. We had come through the whirlwind.”

The Reds will now wait to see who their opponents in the semi-final would be and going by this performance, we should not be overly concerned about who we face as we look to reach the CL finals for the first time since 2007.