Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says his team must improve well without the ball when they face Chelsea on Saturday in the English Premier League.
Klopp’s men lost 2-1 to Chelsea on Wednesday in the Carabao third round clash at Anfield- a defeat which ended their 100% start to the new season.
A brilliant individual effort from Eden Hazard five minutes from time sealed the victory for the Blues ahead of Saturday late kick-off at Stamford Bridge. Emerson Palmeri’s close-range finish had drawn Chelsea level after Daniel Sturridge overhead kick had shot Liverpool into the lead.
Klopp believes he knows how to stop Hazard from being decisive on Saturday like he was in the Carabao Cup.
“How do we defend him? We have Hazard and him. And Willian. And Kovacic running like a Formula One car. And Kante. “They’re all important [players for Chelsea], so let’s try to be at 100%. When we play football we cause teams problems.”
“Stop passes to him? Good idea? Being close? Good idea, but he likes players being close sometimes.
“We all know we could have stopped that goal but he used that situation. No player is not defendable.
“We have to close the right spaces. I know exactly how good he is. He’s a special player and he enjoys these one vs one situation.
“I didn’t need that game to find out about that.’
On where Liverpool needed to improve in general, Klopp added: ‘I was happy with how we adapted in the end. But still, we lost. It’s not a problem, that can happen.
“The result is the most important thing, but performance is also important especially for analysis. It was interesting to see how we adapted in such a short time. We are competitive.
“That’s what we have to show again. The Chelsea game was a very interesting game.
“We needed time to adapt without the ball. It felt like things weren’t comfortable. It was because of little, little details. It was a big challenge for the boys.
“We want to strike back, that is the sport. If you play them again, you try to correct that case. Fighting back is a duty in the sport.
“We will go to Chelsea and try our best again. Chelsea will make changes. A lot of other players will come in. It will be interesting again and I’m looking forward to it.
He also admitted that a late decision will be made on Virgil van Dijk ahead of the game.
“We have to wait. He hasn’t trained with the team so far.
“He is a world-class player and if you are missing a world-class player it is not cool. If he cannot play we have options and that is really good.”