Liverpool‘s 6-1 mauling of Leeds United at Elland Road on Monday was their best performance of the season according to manager Jurgen Klopp, who has not ruled out a push for a Champions League place in the final weeks of the campaign.

The victory was Liverpool’s first in six games in all competitions since they beat Manchester United 7-0 in early March, as they inflicted a record home Premier League defeat on hapless Leeds who are battling against relegation.

– Liverpool Ratings: Salah, Jota on point in runaway win
Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.)

“I think it’s the best game we’ve played this season from all different perspectives,” Klopp told Sky Sports. “We forced a lot of errors, sensational goals and counter-pressing, the best game for long time.

“There were a couple of tough moments, we conceded an unnecessary goal, but these things happen. Apart from that we were in control of the game.”

Liverpool have also beaten Bournemouth 9-0 in the Premier League and Rangers 7-1 in the Champions League this season, but Klopp said he will always judge his players on performance rather than the number of goals they score.

“I’m not bothered about scoring six, it’s about the performance. This was a winning performance,” he said. “We can be super offensive orientated if we react in the right moment. I can’t explain why our counter-pressing didn’t work [earlier this season], but tonight it clicked.

“I’m not sure how many goals we scored after we won the ball back — that makes all the difference.”

Leeds boss Javi Gracia looked utterly defeated in his postmatch interviews and was at a loss to explain his team’s capitulation.

“It’s hard to accept the game today, the result as well,” Spaniard Gracia, who took over in February, told the BBC. “We lost composure during the game. Maybe the first goal opened the game and maybe came from a handball [by Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold], but after that there is nothing to say, we have to improve for the next game.”

Leeds now have the worst defence in the top flight with 60 goals conceded in 31 games and are only two points above the relegation zone ahead of a trip to Fulham on Saturday.

“It’s something we need to work on and try to improve,” he said. “It’s something we didn’t do in the previous games and now we are in the most important part of the season. We have to be more solid and defend better.”

Leeds were booed off the pitch at the final whistle by those fans still inside Elland Road and Gracia acknowledged there was no quick fix to their defensive frailties beyond heightened effort and concentration.

“We played today against a very good team. They played much better, they deserved the result and we tried but it was impossible to do it better,” he said. “The only message [to the players] is to try to play better next game, try and get a better result and this way they [the supporters] will be with us.

“There is only one way. Try to work hard and try to improve.”

Information from Reuters was used in this story.

Source link

Liverpool’s romp over Leeds ‘best game this season’