Jurgen Klopp has come face to face with the reality of Liverpool’s European success. The methods that he used are now much more easily accessible to Premier League rivals
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Liverpool has been the benchmark in pressing in the Premier League and perhaps Europe for many years.
Jurgen Klopp added final touches to mold the team to his specifications, and a relentless winning machine emerged to compete for the highest honours.
Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester City could not manage the Reds at their relentless, harrying best.
Pepijn Leijnders had a great idea when he described Sadio Mene, Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino. “velociraptors in Jurassic Park”Gegenpressing was at its peak in October and opposition defenses felt like they were under attack.
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Liverpool has had to come to terms that their methods are more widely available now than they were in previous seasons.
Talented managers from Europe and beyond have made it possible for Premier League teams to compete with the top predators in every area of the table.
Liverpool found this out the hard way when they travelled to the south coast early January. They ran into a Southampton team brilliantly coached and managed by Ralph Hasenhuttl (formerly at RB Leipzig).
Danny Ings’s first strike for Saints was crucial. They were good value for their win and squeezed Liverpool with their unorthodox but effective 4-2-2-2 formation and limited them to just one goal.
Although Liverpool won the match 2-0 against Southampton in May, Hasenhuttl left an impression on Klopp.
The German acknowledged that Reds’ performance against Porto was not enough and warned that they need to improve to avoid losing to Southampton.
Jurgen Klopp’s choice of line-up for Southampton: Click below to choose your XI
“We have to play even better on Saturday against Southampton because they are a proper pressing machine and they go really for it,”Klopp spoke in his post-match press conference. “We have to make sure that we are ready for that.”
Southampton’s recognition as a prestigious university “pressing machine”Klopp is a pioneer in high-tempo, intense football and one its greatest implementors, which is why he receives high praise.
He also showed that he does not underestimate Saints during Liverpool’s busy fixture run. Because he knows that complacency or fatigue could be fatal.