Jurgen Klopp says he’s ‘used to proper setbacks’ with Liverpool as they have to rally once more to beat Ajax… as German boss insists ‘very important’ 2-1 win is ‘typical of the situation’ his stuttering side currently finds itself in
- Joel Matip scored an 89th-minute winner as Liverpool won 2-1 against Ajax
- The defender’s late header provided respite for a frustrated Jurgen Klopp
- It ensured a positive response following the 4-1 opening defeat to Napoli
- Klopp was pleased with the way his side eventually battled their way to victory
Jurgen Klopp admitted he has become used to ‘proper setbacks’ after his stuttering Liverpool side left it late to beat Ajax in the Champions League at Anfield.
After Mohammed Kudus cancelled out Mo Salah’s opener in the first half, Joel Matip gave the Reds’ European campaign lift-off with a dramatic late winner to flatten the Dutch side and bring respite for Klopp.
It had appeared to be another night of frustration for the German and Ajax looked dangerous for long parts on Merseyside.
Jurgen Klopp admitted he is used to ‘proper setbacks’ after Liverpool left it late to beat Ajax
But Matip, the Cameroon defender, scored his first goal in Europe for Liverpool in the 89th minute to ensure they got a positive response following the 4-1 opening defeat to Napoli that had enabled 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,’ Klopp said.
‘We do a lot of good stuff, 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 problems.
‘Then we concede when you are 1-0 up and concede the first chance so that is what I am used to, proper setbacks. The reaction 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 home the winning goal in the 89th minute to provide respite for Klopp
The German boss was pleased with the way his side eventually battled their way to victory
‘That is what we try to improve again in the second half. You saw in the second half more fouls from their side, more interruptions. But we did really well, quick set pieces, we tried to take advantage and sometimes you have to take a bit longer.’
In normal circumstances, Klopp would have saluted The Kop at the final whistle but, on this occasion, he struck a far more reserved figure in keeping with the tone of a night that had an atmosphere unlike many European matches here.
A period of silence was held before kick-off for Her Majesty The Queen but it was called to a halt after 24 seconds by match officials after one fan booed, another shouted “Liverpool” and there was some muffled discord.
Virgil van Dijk insisted that Liverpool will not get carried away following the dramatic win
Matchwinner Matip said: ‘I was very happy I could score – I was not sure (it had gone in), but all my emotion came out when I found out.’
His defensive partner Virgil van Dijk added: ‘Coming from horror show in Napoli, it was not easy to show positive reaction, this is step in right direction.
‘It was very important to win and get that good feeling going. I should have scored, we were dangerous in corners, luckily the one and only Matip converted.
‘There are lots of ex footballers speaking, trying to get us down. We know last week was bad… but this is step in right direction. Won’t get carried away.’
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