Jurgen Klopp faced a tough and stubborn Sunderland side at Anfield and his charges came away with a late victory as they managed to break down the Black Cats and win the game 2-0.
The way the Reds played in the game has led their manager to believe that his side have proven that they are more than capable of handling sides that "park the bus."
Klopp was highly critical of David Moyes' tactics and said that Sunderland were the "most defensive" he's ever seen in his career. A defensive display was expected from the Black Cats, but Klopp had no love for the way they played against his team.
Klopp says Liverpool are ready to play against parked buses
Everybody expected Moyes' side to be defensive against Liverpool and they did just that.The team selection by the Scot showed that they were playing for a point and were willing to defend against any and all attacks from Liverpool's frontline.
Jason Denayer was tasked with man-marking the dangerous Philippe Coutinho and Victor Anichebe dropped deep into midfield leaving the veteran scorer Jermain Defoe all on his own up top, Klopp pointed out the fact that Anichebe was playing as a left-back for most of the game.
Liverpool have faced this tactic many a times in the league so far in their season and Klopp believes his side are ready to face teams who play this tactic. He is highly confident about his team's abilities and thinks that there is "no doubt" that his team can play defensive teams.He admits that even though Liverpool possess "all the skills",but stresses the importance of "being patient".
Speaking about the game, Klopp said: ""If you score early then it changes. And you saw it, when we scored the first goal, then we get the second, and we could have got the third, the fourth or whatever – so that’s how it is. That opens the game."
The German continued and explained how it's "about the timing" of the first goal that the team scores in games and he also believes that the "most important thing" is that his team don't get "frustrated" because they need to "get used" to situations like this where opposition teams setup their sides to try and contain Liverpool.
Klopp added: "How could we be used to it? Last year the games were different. Last year of course a few teams played defensively against us, but this time, because we are better, we have forced them into situations like this".
Klopp was not happy with the way Anichebe went all the way back and supported his teammates in their defensive endeavour, he said," Victor Anichebe is not a left back and shouldn’t be playing there. But today obviously there is no-one else there to do the job, so he’s trying to stop Clyne."
Klopp explained how its Liverpool's fault that teams are so defensive against them and that the club "can improve a lot" and believes that, his team is "ready" for teams playing that way.
Klopp not drawn to teams man-marking his players
Sunderland used the system of man-marking to supress the creative forces that have helped Liverpool flourish this season, especially Coutinho, who had to be taken off for Divock Origi due to a serious injury to his ankle ligament.
Klopp made it clear that he is "not interested" in what his teams do to block his players and said that it was "not his business". He continued,"Not every team can play like this, first of all. So don’t for example compare Southampton with this.
"But it’s the same for all teams at the top of the table. Do you think against Arsenal for example teams will think ‘it’s only Arsenal?’ Do you think they will defend high against City, against Tottenham, against all the top teams?".
The former Borussia Dortmund coach explained how team tactics depend on two factors, it depends on "what their plan is" and how does the Liverpool team "combat that". He reiterated his faith in his attackers and said that the Reds must use the skills of their players, he believes this makes other teams take on a more defensive approach when facing them.
Klopp acknowledged that the Black Cats had two or three counter-attacks and accepted that his team "sturggled at times" to deal with "this pass or that pass". He added that the away side's plan did not work and that his team did everything to "stay in the race" for the victory and got the goals they needed.
While it may not have been another goalfest or a complete domination of the scoreline from the Reds, Klopp insists that he is "fine" with the two goals scored.