Klopp: Bayern result 'not perfect but good enough to work with'
Photo: Getty Images - Oli Scarff

Klopp: Bayern result 'not perfect but good enough to work with'

Reds manager points out goalless stalemate against German champions is 'the best draw you can get'

dave-comerford
David Comerford

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was keen to take the positives amid the frustration of a goalless home draw with Bayern Munich in the Champions League. 

The Bundesliga side thwarted hopes of another memorable European night at Anfield, executing a cautious gameplan very effectively.

Aside from a somewhat frantic ten-minute spell just before halftime in which the Reds carved out a number of openings, Niko Kovac's team looked relatively comfortable and maybe narrow favourites to progress when the two sides reconvene at the Allianz Arena.

Klopp confessed himself rather surprised by the reserved approach of his opponents. 

"It’s not the result or the game we dreamed of," he admitted. "Not really a lot of things happened in the game but it was an intense one.

"You saw the respect both teams had for each other. A lot of situations I didn’t see in all the games when we watched Munich, to be honest – like how the full-backs stayed in their own half protecting, how [Serge] Gnabry defended on the wing in two-v-one situations, and stuff like that.

"There was a lot of respect involved in the game and that made life uncomfortable." 

The missing final ball

Nonetheless, the German believes his side had the chances to win the game, the best of which fell to Sadio Mane ten minutes before the interval, and stressed that they would have created more golden opportunities had they picked out a better final ball. 

"But in the first half we still had chances; if Sadio hits the ball a bit better, he strikes twice with a bicycle kick, which is obviously pretty rare.

"How it always is, a goal would have changed the game. It was like it was. The first half was still absolutely OK, we created. In the second half, nobody created anymore.

"Our problem tonight was, on one hand, the quality of the opponent of course, but on the other hand, our last pass was not our friend.

"We had 10 or 12 situations where everything was prepared, everything was on a plate, and then we played a very average last pass or gave it away."

'Result will feel better with time'

Klopp says his side will only grow more confident of securing progression in the second leg, while nerves will inevitably creep in for Bayern. 

Indeed, keeping out the Reds' fearsome frontline for a second time, and thereby preventing some potentially decisive away goals, is a significant ask.

"But how it is in situations like that, I’m pretty sure at the moment Bayern feel a bit better than we do but we have three weeks, and day by day the result will feel a bit better for us and a bit worse for Bayern.

"It’s 0-0, the best draw you can get. It will be a tough one again to play at Bayern. If we win 1-0 tonight, what would have changed really? Then a 0-0 is enough as well, or we draw 1-1 – but that’s now enough as well. So it’s not perfect but good enough to work with."

'10-day break nothing to do with it'

Liverpool's early FA Cup exit meant they had additional time to prepare for this fixture, but Klopp was asked if a lack of match sharpness tainted the benefits of a greater rest period.

He emphatically rejected the suggestion that rustiness was to blame for his side drawing a blank. 

"The 10-day break? What does the final pass have to do with that? You have to look at the game and think about the game, and not prepare a question because we had a 10-day break. I have no clue why we didn’t play the last pass.

"The sharpness has nothing to do with the last pass, it’s about being in the moment, doing the right steps. You saw the situations, it had nothing to do with 10 days’.

"We cannot change it, we had the 10-day break and now we will not have any break anymore, now we play through – and if it was a problem tonight then we will not have that problem anymore because now we play every three days."

Finely-balanced

Liverpool will be boosted by the return of the talismanic Virgil van Dijk for the second leg, while Bayern, as Klopp pointed out, could welcome back the likes of Leon Goretzka and Arjen Robben.

With the two sides seemingly evenly-matched, the tie truly is on a knife-edge. 

"We will see who is fit that night; for us that’s important and for them important. Bayern had a couple of problems tonight, [Leon] Goretzka I am pretty sure will play in that game and then maybe Arjen Robben is fit, so that can make a big difference with his experience. Maybe [Franck] Ribery starts.

"There are a lot of things that can change, but we will get a player back at least and we can play better than we did tonight.

"This game is not decided. I don’t think there is any weak team – and for sure no team who are at home are weak. Bayern are not. It’s not decided.

"What we wanted tonight was to get a result that we can work with – and we can work with that result.

As I said, it’s not decided and we still feel like we are properly in the competition, but we have to show that in three weeks."

For now, though, Liverpool's attention turns back to the Premier League title race, and to what could be a season-defining visit to Old Trafford this weekend. 

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