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Jurgen Klopp: Liverpool's Victory at Leeds Show our Best Performance This Season


Jurgen Klopp: Liverpool's victory at Leeds was the team's best effort this season

The brutal way in which Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp thought his team destroyed struggling Leeds United was their best performance of the year.

Mohamed Salah and Diogo Jota both scored twice as the Reds scored six goals from seven shots on goal.

This season, Klopp's team has defeated Bournemouth 9-0 and Manchester United 7-0, but according to the German, their best performance came at Elland Road.

He told Sky Sports, "[I am] pretty thrilled about that game.

"I believe we made a lot of mistakes, [scoring] amazing goals, and our counterpressing was the best in decades, I want to say. My favorite moment occurred in the 92nd minute when four players rushed the unfortunate Leeds guy with the ball.

"In many ways, I believe it was the best game we played this year,"

Despite Monday's convincing victory, Klopp's team has had a challenging season, as evidenced by their eighth-place standing in the standings.

Although their chances of making the Champions League are poor, they are still in the race for European football next season, with seventh place likely to qualify them for some participation.

Liverpool's victory at Leeds was their first since their thrashing of Manchester United in early March, and it demonstrated that they still possess a remarkable ruthlessness despite their poor season.

According to the on-field and VAR officials, Trent Alexander-Arnold's use of an arm to block a ball from Junior Firpo before setting up Cody Gakpo's opening was not illegal, but there was dispute surrounding it.

The Reds rallied through Jota, Salah, and substitute Darwin Nunez after Leeds had a brief window of optimism thanks to a goal by Luis Sinisterra early in the second half.

The victory in West Yorkshire followed a significantly improved performance in their previous match against the league's top-ranked Arsenal, when they rallied from a 2-0 deficit to tie despite a missed penalty by Salah.

Klopp continued, "You need stability to play excellent football. "Defending is the only way to maintain stability, but when you are in this sort of negative flow—if we can use that term—you end up making bad choices.

"You believe that in order to play well, the offensive aspects must take precedence. If we respond at the appropriate time, we may be really offensively focused.

"I don't know why [in prior games] our counter-pressing didn't work, but tonight it did. Against Arsenal, it worked well in the second half.

"Tonight, I'm not sure how many goals we scored after regaining possession of the ball, but that was crucial.

I believe we are aware of this, but there is always some distinction between knowing and truly understanding something.

Under Klopp, the Reds have made a successful late drive for Champions League football previously; in 2020–21, they finished third by earning 26 out of a possible 30 points.

Klopp, though, refused to speculate on whether his team can repeat that accomplishment and finish in the top four this season.

"I think a little bit of a problem between this season and that season is that they [teams above] are a bit further away," he continued.

"I don't know where we end up, but it will continue after this season, so we need to watch every game to comprehend.

The games are really significant. If we are unable to accomplish anything this season, we must build on our strong showings in the final stretch.

"I don't know whether we can come close, but I don't believe it's that crucial. I want to see us continue to have the same level of motivation, fervor, and comprehension as we did tonight.

For Leeds and their chances of remaining in the Premier League, it was yet another defeating encounter.

They have demonstrated this season that they are capable of outscoring many of their opponents for the bottom spot, but a weak defense has doomed them the entire year.

The 5-1 loss to Palace on April 9 and the defeat on Monday marked the first time in their history that they had given up five or more goals in back-to-back contests.

Their goal difference advantage over those below them has been greatly reduced, despite the fact that they are still two points above the relegation zone.

"It's hard to accept the game today, the result as well," manager Javi Gracia said to BBC Sport.

"We became agitated during the game. We initially made an effort. We need to get better for the next game, even though the first goal may have been a handball and served as the game's opener.

The Spaniard, who has 10 points from eight games since replacing Jesse Marsch, responded when asked about his team's defensive shortcomings, "It is something we need to focus on and strive to better.

"We haven't done that in prior games, and this is the most crucial portion of the season. We must strengthen our defense and be more tenacious.

There is just one path. Work hard and make an effort to get better.

After a home game against Leicester City, they have three games left that might make or break their season: away travels to Fulham and Bournemouth.