Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp isn’t too worried about the sloppy defense his champions showed in a 4-3 win over new boys Leeds United on Saturday.
The Reds blew three leads before Mohamed Salah completed his hat trick in the 88th minute with his second penalty of the game.
[ RECAP: Liverpool 4-3 Leeds ]
All of Liverpool’s goals came from dead balls: Two penalty kicks, a Salah hammer of a knocked-down free kick, and a Virgil van Dijk header off a corner kick.
But the Reds will be looking for much better in defense as Van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and Andy Roberson all made substandard plays or outright gaffes in allowing Leeds to equalize thrice.
Here’s Klopp, who as you can imagine loved the style and energy from admired manager Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds. From the BBC:
“The opponent forced us to make mistakes, we can do better, we will do better but I loved a lot about the game against a well-organised, passionate side like Leeds. We used our skills to cause them problems, we could have scored more and in the end we used set-pieces which is fine by me.
“It is not like riding a bike, you can lose something in pre-season and it takes time to all come together again. I am really positive about this game. Leeds will have a good season if they can keep up that intensity and they did it in the Championship with more games so why not?”
The mistakes were bad and Leeds scored some great goals but let’s not ignore Liverpool’s control of the match.
Leeds scored on three of their five shot attempts. SofaScore says not one should be considered a “big chance created.” Goals Jack Harrison and Mateusz Klich were the stuff of special creativity and technique, and Patrick Bamford’s the result of Van Dijk’s uncharacteristic lack of awareness.
xG map for Liverpool – Leeds
although they scored four from set plays, Liverpool’s counterpress created a dozen chances in the penalty area that easily could have been the winner pic.twitter.com/nQg5Ep8Pet
— Caley Graphics (@Caley_graphics) September 12, 2020