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Klopp: What the boys produced against Arsenal was really special

Jurgen Klopp has hailed the ability of his side to adapt as the Reds booked their ticket to Wembley for the Carabao Cup final after a 2-0 win against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday night.


A Diogo Jota goal in either half settled the tie and the manager was a very proud man as he spoke to the media after the final whistle reported by the Official site.


"With our problems we have, there's now not plenty of options to change probably. What the boys put out tonight was really special. The start of both halves I would say was Arsenal time, so they were really aggressive, really straight forward, all these kind of things.


“So we had to adapt to the game but we calmed it down and from that specific moment on in both halves we controlled the game and played really good stuff and, on top of that, scored wonderful goals.


While Liverpool’s performances in domestic Cup competitions have been average in recent seasons, both Jurgen Klopp and Pep Lijnders have often talked about the importance of this cup run and after reaching the final, Klopp said it has not been an easy path to negotiate.


“Look, the situation is always a little bit the time of the year, who is available, how many games did you play, all these kind of things. I cannot just pick a team, I have a full squad on paper and then say, 'OK, we go for these 11 and then we let them play.' We have to consider a lot of things and we always did that.


“But you need a little bit of luck in specific moments to get through – we never had that. We had always really tricky draws on top of that pretty early when we played a lot of games and couldn't line up a team from the Premier League three days before.


"I don't say it was always unlucky but we had these moments where we thought, 'OK, away game at Chelsea is now not the easiest draw' and these kind of things.


“So, it's all good. We want to go for everything – we said that plenty of times. Now we are in the final, it doesn't mean we have won it already, it just means we qualify for it. When we will be there at the end of February, we will give it a go – but unfortunately the opponent probably [will] as well."




The success of this Liverpool team over the past few seasons has been a squad mentality, when one player is down on form or absent, another steps up to the plate and produces the goods.


That was certainly the case with Jota who the manager described as “ extremely important and the perfect mix of skills for a player.”


And while the likes of Mo Salah, Virgil Van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold get plenty of deserved headlines, it is still remarkable in some ways that a player like Andy Robertson is undervalued in some footballing circles.




But as someone who sees him at close range on a daily basis, there is no doubt in Klopp’s mind that he is the premium left back in Europe. 


“Outstanding player and, again, the mix of his skillset and his mentality, that makes him so special. 


“You see the situations when he has the ball that he is a good footballer but the desire in each game when he really wants to defend with all he has, I think that's the biggest improvement since he arrived


"That was a little bit the issue in the early stages when he came from Hull to us; he was already a massive talent but defending-wise we were not over the moon.


“ But he improved a lot and is now the full package, which is really helpful.”


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