Guardiola’s presence at Stoke game means Liverpool-City tie is special: Klopp

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Liverpool, Dec 28 (IANS) Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola’s presence at the Anfield Stadium here when Liverpool beat Stoke City 4-1 is, according to the city-based football club head coach Jurgen Klopp, an indication of the importance of their next tie on Saturday.

It is (a big game). It is for both. I heard Pep Guardiola was in the stadium tonight (Tuesday); I am not sure he watched a lot of games in the last few weeks from the stadiums of the opponents, so that’s a first sign it’s a special game and we are already looking forward to it,” Klopp told the club’s official website.

“It’s a difficult game for both teams, but exciting and the best thing is it’s at Anfield. I am really looking forward to it. They are an outstandingly good side and we are not too bad, so it will be a nice game,” the German tactician added.

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Asked whether it was unusual for Guardiola to attend the game, Klopp said, “Unusual, I don’t know. I did it a lot in the past, but obviously it’s not too easy anymore because it’s more a signing hour than you can watch a game.

“Maybe he saw nothing. Hopefully we had no security and Pep had to write all the autographs! The game is on December 31 and whatever I say tonight can’t win it. But maybe I could say a few things that would make it a bit more difficult for us to win it. So it’s probably best I shut my mouth!” the Liverpool coach said.

Klopp praised Adam Lallana, who shone again for Liverpool scoring the equaliser after Jonathan Walters gave Stoke the lead.

“He’s very important but if only Adam was good at keeping the ball then we have a big problem.

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“I saw no player who didn’t do his job tonight. It was not easy. We could have done better, especially in the last 15 minutes — 4-1 up, we ran with the ball still on fire and that makes not too much sense.

“But it’s part of our character so I have not too big a problem with it. In the first half, we could have done a lot better, all of us, but Adam is very important. Alone, it could be difficult for him.”

Klopp stressed on the fact that it is the team that is making the difference and not individual players when he was quizzed about Jordan Henderson’s brilliant show on Tuesday.

“He is a very important player, but it’s not the moment to praise single players. I don’t think they need it in this moment, they are all happy about the team performance, the result and the goals we scored,” he said.

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“He has been doing really well over the long-term, but it’s not a moment to lean back or whatever. He will not. But my feeling is always that when we speak about one player, we speak always about the past.

“I already think about the next game, to be honest, and hopefully we can do better because we can do better than we did tonight. But for tonight, it was absolutely OK.”



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