Big Match

Blueprint to beat Manchester United

JURGEN KLOPP, Liverpool manager, on resurgent Manchester United.
JURGEN KLOPP, Liverpool manager, on resurgent Manchester United.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Liverpool boss Klopp wants to emulate PSG and hand Solskjaer his first defeat in the EPL

LONDON • Manchester United have been on a roll since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's appointment with 11 wins from 13 games in all competitions, but Jurgen Klopp believes he has "the blueprint" to inflict their first Premier League loss under the caretaker boss tomorrow.

Who will the Liverpool manager take his cue from? Paris Saint-Germain. The French champions came away from Old Trafford with an impressive 2-0 victory on Tuesday and the German is planning to take a leaf out of Thomas Tuchel's book by keeping a lid on United's "massive, massive" counter-attacks.

At his pre-match press conference yesterday, he said: "Yeah, results-wise, (PSG) were the only team (to beat United so far).

"They were pretty cool with the ball, they passed really a lot and they were really confident, good positioning, passing between the lines.

"Whichever line-up they (United) have, how they attack, whoever it is, will be quick on these offensive wings.

"That's just good and then from time to time, they leave a player up or two, so you need to be really 100 per cent concentrated."

NEW LEASE OF LIFE

They've brought in all the things (former manager) Sir Alex Ferguson stood for. That makes them a threat again. They are really back on track. Good for them.

JURGEN KLOPP, Liverpool manager, on resurgent Manchester United.

But stopping United from breaking with pace is a task easier said than done, given that they are the English top-flight's in-form team.

Having last played them in December when they were at their lowest, Klopp credited Solskjaer for the turnaround in their form.

He told reporters: "Jose Mourinho is an outstanding manager, but they had a difficult time and it looks like they found a solution (the Portuguese was sacked after losing 3-1 at Anfield). It's a big difference of course (then and now). Different team, different style."

The German also lent his voice to the growing calls for the Norwegian to be made United's permanent manager after masterminding "one of the best records ever".

Klopp said: "I'm really happy for him. It's not the best news for us, but for all Manchester United fans, it's brilliant.

 

"They've brought in all the things (former manager) Sir Alex Ferguson stood for.

"That makes them a threat again. They are really back on track. Good for them.

"We see that with (Paul) Pogba and with (Ander) Herrera in outstanding shape. They were all good before and now, they are full of confidence and use their potential.

"Now, he's (Solskjaer) in charge and there's no doubt he will be the manager next year as well. That is clear. He deserves (the job) 100 per cent. Can you imagine if they brought in a new manager?"

But Klopp is determined to take advantage of their "best moment for a number of weeks", even though Dejan Lovren will be missing with a hamstring injury.

This is shaping up to be a crucial period of the Reds' season - they have a midweek league game at home to Watford, followed by the Merseyside derby at Everton next Sunday.

Klopp said: "It's very good to have Virgil (van Dijk, who was banned for their Champions League game against Bayern Munich) back. It's not that we go there (to Manchester) and we are a weak opponent... we are a pretty well-organised football team with a lot of potential.

"If we can (live up to it), then it will be a tough one for United."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 23, 2019, with the headline 'Blueprint to beat United'. Print Edition | Subscribe