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Jürgen Klopp says he is ‘used to significant setbacks’ with Liverpool as they have to rally again to beat Ajax… while the German boss insists ‘very important’ 2-1 win is ‘typical of the situation’ his stutter side is currently in
Jurgen Klopp admitted he has become used to ‘appropriate setbacks’ after his stuttering Liverpool side left late to beat Ajax in the Champions League at Anfield.
After Mohammed Kudus canceled Mo Salah’s opening game in the first half, Joel Matip kicked off the Reds’ European campaign with a dramatic late winner to flatten the Dutch side and delay Klopp.
It looked to be another night of frustration for the German and Ajax looked dangerous for long stretches on Merseyside.
Jurgen Klopp admitted he is used to ‘appropriate setbacks’ after Liverpool left late to beat Ajax
But Matip, the Cameroonian defender, scored his first goal in Europe for Liverpool in the 89th minute to ensure they got a positive response after the 4-1 defeat to Napoli that had allowed critics to circle.
“It is very important to win, but I think the story of the game is typical, not for our season so far, but for the situation we are in,” said Klopp.
“We do a lot of good things, we played a really good game. We were against a strong side, a confident side, the way they played, we caused them a lot of trouble.
“Then we concede when you’re 1-0 up and give the first chance so that’s what I’m used to, quite a few setbacks. The response was okay, not perfect, but okay. Our pressing was not as convincing as before, not a big difference, but it makes a big difference.
Joel Matip headed the winning goal in the 89th minute to provide a reprieve for Klopp
The German boss was happy with the way his side finally fought its way to victory
“We try to improve on that in the second half. You saw more fouls on their part in the second half, more interruptions. But we did very well, quick set pieces, we tried to take advantage and sometimes you have to take a little longer.’
Under normal circumstances, Klopp would have saluted The Kop at the final whistle, but on this occasion he cut a much more reserved figure in keeping with the tone of a night that had an atmosphere unlike many European matches here.
There was a period of silence for Her Majesty the Queen before kick-off, but it was stopped by match officials after 24 seconds after one fan booed, another shouted ‘Liverpool’ and there was some muffled disagreement.
Virgil van Dijk insisted Liverpool will not get carried away after the dramatic win
Match winner Matip said: ‘I was really happy to score – I wasn’t sure (he had gone in), but all my emotions came out when I found out.’
His defending partner Virgil van Dijk added: “From a horror show in Napoli it was not easy to show a positive reaction, this is a step in the right direction.
“It was very important to win and to get that good feeling going. I should have scored, we were dangerous in corners, luckily the one and only Matip converted.
“There are a lot of ex-football players talking who are trying to take us down. We know last week was bad… but this is a step in the right direction. We don’t get carried away.’