Jurgen Klopp plays down Adrian error as Liverpool make it two wins from two

Jurgen Klopp plays down Adrian error as Liverpool make it two wins from two

The goalkeeper made a high-profile error, making for a nervy finish at St Mary's. 

leanneprescott
Leanne Prescott

Jürgen Klopp was quick to brush off Adrian’s mistake on Saturday as Liverpool recorded a 2-1 win against Southampton. Goals from Sadio Mané and Roberto Firmino proved enough to secure a second successive win of the new Premier League campaign despite a late howler from the former-West Ham goalkeeper. 

From hero status in the Super Cup penalty shootout against Chelsea on Wednesday to the villain who made it a nervy final ten minutes at St Mary’s, Adrian gifted Danny Ings a goal against his former side after his attempted pass ricocheted off the striker and into the net. 

Liverpool managed to hold on despite the hick up, notching their 11th successive win in the top flight to match the club’s current record.

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Adrian still trying to contend with Klopp’s possession-based ethos 

The former-West Ham goalkeeper didn’t look entirely comfortable playing out from the back on Saturday afternoon as he continues to get to grips with the wider demands of his role at Anfield. Klopp has never made secret of his desire to play out from the back, with a tiki-taka philosophy reliant on goalkeeper’s being comfortable in possession. 

Last season saw Alisson play an instrumental role at both ends of the field, with his quick distribution and accurate passing providing the basis for a number of Liverpool counter-attacks. In his absence, there will be a hope that Adrian can fulfil a similar role, unleashing the searing pace of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino to great effort.

However, there are times when no nonsense defending is equally needed. Playing the ball short to Van Dijk inside his own penalty area, Liverpool were inviting unnecessary pressure onto themselves at times. The 32-year-old now needs to find the right balance between abiding by the club’s ethos and ensuring he doesn’t get himself into dangerous scenarios such as Saturday’s error at St Mary’s. 

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Klopp plays down Adrian mistake as Liverpool make it two wins from two

It’s worth remembering that Alisson made a similarly high-profile mistake at the start of his Anfield career, gifting Leicester a goal after over-zealous play. Going on to win the Golden Glove in his first season in England, the ramifications of his mistake were miniscule, while Adrian’s was also papered over by the prior work of his attacking teammates. 

Klopp insists that the end result is what matters rather than dwelling on individual errors throughout the game, thus playing down Adrian’s mistake.

“Ali did the same…it’s a goalie thing at Liverpool, no problem with that as long as we win the games. All good,” said Klopp.

“Adrian had a swollen ankle and we played too many balls back to him in that period. I was happy with everything he did, all the saves, all that stuff. The other players have to then feel more the responsibility for the build-up and cannot give all the balls back to him and hope the painkillers still help.”

“I don’t think the goal was because of that, but a few other balls were. He’s completely good with his feet,” Klopp concluded.

Albeit making a mistake that led to a nervy finish, Adrian was instrumental in ensuring Liverpool didn’t fall further behind after a poor first-half, chipping in with impressive close-range saves. Getting down brilliantly to save Maya Yoshida’s header from a corner before showing good acceleration to rush off his line and stifle Che Adams, there were still plenty of positives to take from the goalkeeper’s performance. 

“The other players have to then feel more the responsibility for the build-up and cannot give all the balls back to him and hope the painkillers still help.”

“I don’t think the goal was because of that, but a few other balls were. He’s completely good with his feet,” Klopp concluded.

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