Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp praises 'uncomfortable' and 'special' Leeds United after Anfield thriller

Jurgen Klopp was not surprised that 'special' Leeds United caused his champions so many problems in Liverpool's 4-3 opening day win at Anfield

Saturday, 12th September 2020, 11:11 pm
UNCOMFORTABLE - Jurgen Klopp praised Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds United for how difficult they made life for Liverpool for 95 minutes at Anfield. Pic: Getty

The Reds went ahead three times, only to be pegged back on each occasion as Jack Harrison, Patrick Bamford and Mateusz Klich all found the net to cancel out two goals from Mohamed Salah and a Virgil van Dijk header.

It took an 88th minute penalty, Liverpool's second of the game, from Salah to give Klopp a winning start to the season. It was every bit as difficult as it looked, he said.

"Leeds is special," said the German.

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"I said it before the game, in the game everyone saw it obviously. People can say Leeds performed outstandingly well, how can these mistakes happen to Liverpool, things that everyone is saying but I knew they would cause us problems.

"We struggled in some defensive situations, obviously, that's why they scored. I'm really happy with the things we did with the ball, it was very difficult to play against them, the way they defend, go into challenges, it's really good, for 95 minutes by the way. We scored four goals, could and maybe should have scored more. Offensively it was good, defensively we can improve and will improve."

Klopp heralded Salah for not just his hat-trick but his 'sensational' overall performance. He was fulsome in his praise of the newly-promoted visitors, too and how good they are at building play from the back.

Leeds shaded possession, which Klopp expected.

"Yeah I expected that to be honest. The build up is with a very deep last line. If you jump in and don't get the ball you just have a more open formation. If you do that, against the way they [play out], with the quality they have, you cannot.

"I said before the game we will all struggle against them, 100 per cent. The way they play is just uncomfortable. It's different to all the different teams. We usually have three days to prepare for a PL game. Our boys came back from international duty and we only could start preparing now and it was pretty difficult to deliver all the information we thought they needed to have. If you don't respect the plan of the opponent then they kill you in a football way."