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Fan Opinion: Liverpool under Klopp have proven that big game mentality is here despite lacking firepower

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Liverpool opinion: Big-game Liverpool is here to stay under Jurgen Klopp

The scenario was pretty straightforward for Liverpool ahead of the Champions League semi-final second leg against Barcelona.

The Reds had to win by four clear goals to qualify for the finals, however, that was never going to be easy against the La Liga champions.

Lionel Messi was on fire, we did not have Mohamed Salah or Roberto Firmino and there was a psychological blow just 24 hours earlier.

Manchester City beat Leicester City 1-0 thanks to Vincent Kompany thunderbolt and reclaimed top spot in the Premier League.

Leicester were our best bet to hold City or even beat them in this thrilling Premier League race, and it would have made sense for Jurgen Klopp to ensure the Reds finished their Champions League campaign on a high with a respectable performance against Barcelona.

The Catalans even rested their best players at the weekend, while we fought hard to defeat Newcastle at St. James’ Park.

However, an incredible Liverpool came out fighting from the first minute and pulled off an unbelievable 4-0 win over the Catalans.

Hapless Catalans fall to Origi and Wijnaldum

Every player out there on the pitch did their job for the Reds perfectly.

Alisson made some great saves, our centre-backs shut out Luis Suarez and Messi, Trent Alexander-Arnold was relentless down the left, Fabinho was charging Barca’s midfield down, Jordan Henderson was running around like there was no tomorrow.

Sadio Mane did the same and Divock Origi opened the scoring for us in the seventh minute. Liverpool were on Barcelona like a bad rash and even when they had to alter their playing XI, they did not stop.

James Milner slotted into the left-back role as Georginio Wijnaldum replaced the injured Andy Robertson.

The Dutch midfielder scored a brace as the tie turned around before Trent’s quick thinking saw Origi deliver the knockout blow.

It would have been easy for Liverpool to look for a 1-0 or 2-0 win against a well-rested Barcelona team and leave with their heads held high.

However, they destroyed Barcelona, even without two of the best players in the world, and it just goes to show what Jurgen Klopp has turned us into.

Big games are supposed to be a difficult test for any club, but this Liverpool team thrives under the pressure, even if the opposition might have a better side on paper.

The Reds have barely put a foot wrong all throughout the season and have only grown better since the first day of the campaign.

Last night was a reminder of the “full-throttle” football we had shown last season, except this season we brought that down by a couple of gears.

There still was method to the madness and Barcelona did not know what hit them. Liverpool could have scored a few more and this win should give us the confidence of ending the season on a high.

The players ran themselves to the ground but that is what a Klopp team is supposed to do.

Read more Liverpool news, click here – Latest Liverpool news

This season has been miraculous and who is to say another won’t take place as we fight Manchester City for the Premier League title on Sunday.

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“You deserve it”, “Music to my ears” – Several Liverpool fans pleased as key Reds star pens new contract extension

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Joel Matip signs new contract to extend stay at Liverpool

Liverpool confirmed that Joel Matip was the latest start to sign a new deal with the Premier League leaders.

The Cameroon defender joined from Schalke on a free transfer in 2016 and has been excellent over the past 12 months.

The 28-year-old has been consistent alongside Virgil van Dijk and has helped us become one of the best defences in Europe.

Joel Matip scores against Manchester City

The centre-back missed our last two games but was happy committing his future to the club (h/t LiverpoolFC.com):

“It’s a great feeling to be a longer part of the club. It’s really just a great feeling.”

Matip added that the Reds had a young team and are ready to win more trophies after landing the Champions League last season.

Back for the United game

The release from the club added that Matip should be ready to face Manchester United on Sunday, and we do need him.

Our defence hasn’t been all that tight this season, with Joe Gomez and Dejan Lovren playing alongside Van Dijk in recent games.

Matip will provide us with more assurance at the back, and we should be the favourites for the clash at Old Trafford.

The Cameroon star has turned things around at Anfield and has replaced Dejan Lovren as the partner for Van Dijk.

Gomez was the partner for the Dutchman last season, and Matip didn’t let the opportunity slip when the English defender was out due to a fracture.

Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, Andy Robertson and Roberto Firmino are some of the stars who have penned new deals in recent months at Anfield.

Many of our supporters were pleased at this news and here are some of the reactions from Twitter.

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Why copying Liverpool’s defence strategy is difficult for Manchester United or any other side – opinion

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Why United’s move for Harry Maguire was always destined to fail

Virgil van Dijk was the most expensive defender in the world and well, he did turn our fortunes around with some impressive performances.

From a leaky defence, we became the tightest unit last season, and that was the base for a fantastic campaign. The Reds were struggling at the back and landing Van Dijk worked out quite well, something which Manchester United did this summer.

The Red Devils splashed £80million on Harry Maguire to make him the most expensive defender in the world (h/t Express), however, things just haven’t worked out for them.

Michael Owen claimed that the move had failed since United didn’t have the same “calibre” of players as the Reds did (h/t Express). Maguire might be the most expensive defender in the world, but this move was always going to fail.

It isn’t only about the players at Liverpool

The Reds didn’t have the greatest set of defenders before Van Dijk’s arrival and his leadership qualities certainly have helped us at the back.

Things do look calmer here, but United also signed a quality right-back in Aaron Wan-Bissaka in the summer. They had decent options for the other spots while David de Gea is regarded as one of the best keepers in the world.

Virgil van Dijk

So why hasn’t it worked for them? And in all probability, it won’t work for others too.

It all goes down to the manager and the coaches we have. Take Van Dijk out of the defence and we have Joel Matip, Dejan Lovren and Joe Gomez as his partners.

Each defender has grown leaps and bounds under Klopp. Gomez was possibly the best centre-back last season before he picked up that fracture.

Matip came into his own during the second half of the previous campaign while Lovren was excellent in the 2-1 win over Leicester City.

Joel Matip scores against Manchester City

Our full-backs have been fine-tuned to fit into this system and they are possibly the best in the league.

Andy Robertson came from Hull City and took time to adjust to Jurgen Klopp’s demands. Trent Alexander-Arnold took time to become one of the most consistent right-backs in the league, and the pair is excellent when going into the attack.

It is true that our defence didn’t look that great when Van Dijk wasn’t around but the people behind the scenes also deserve credit for fixing things at the back.

Our entire system works together in getting the best out of the players and that is something which is not in place at most clubs.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer doesn’t have toplevel experience and even after splashing big on Maguire, they still have a lot of work.

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Liverpool, on the other hand, have been excellent in their transfers over the years and our players are improving with each season under Klopp and co.

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Klopp doesn’t confirm if these 3 important Liverpool stars will face Manchester United

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Jurgen Klopp to take call on three players ahead of Manchester United clash

Jurgen Klopp was in a boisterous mood ahead of our clash against Manchester United on Sunday.

The German participated in his pre-match press conference and spoke on several topics.

The manager also provided an update on three players returning from injury.

Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp

Joel Matip, Alisson and Mohamed Salah all carried knocks going into the international break, and Klopp claimed he would check on the trio before making a decision at the weekend:

Liverpool need to be at their best

Adrian has done a wonderful job in place of Alisson, but the Brazilian’s return would be a boost for us.

Salah is one of the best in the world while Matip could be the most important player to return. The Cameroon defender improves our defence and has been excellent alongside Virgil van Dijk.

Joel Matip

We need to be at our strongest when facing Manchester United, and Matip will be important for us. Joe Gomez struggled this season and he is a little rusty after returning from an injury last season.

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Dejan Lovren did well against Leicester City but Matip should be ahead in the pecking order. Salah also needs to have a great game, and it will be interesting to see how Liverpool do against our biggest rivals on Sunday.

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