An underwhelming performance on the continent saw Liverpool head back to Anfield with it all to do in the return leg of their Europa League Round of 32 meeting with FC Augsburg after the showdown with the Bundesliga side ended scoreless.
“German teams on a tactical side are really strong. In the second half you could see the spaces we could use. If you have rhythm then you can do this better,” mused Reds boss Jurgen Klopp in his post match presser. “We had good moments, good passing in second half, but other moments I wasn’t happy with. It’s 0-0 but I am not 100% satisfied,” was the German’s blunt assessment of his sides display. “We could have created more chances, that’s clear. You saw the moments when we played the wrong pass, lost patience, took the wrong decisions,” bemoaned Klopp. “I could say 0-0, top result, let’s go home, but it’s important we speak about this as a team here and improve things.”
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After thrashing Aston Villa at the weekend, the Anfield outfit traveled to Germany with confidence high, but in a performance on par with the campaign as a whole, they lacked the consistency to keep that good run going. While many supporters were hoping to have things wrapped up by the time the second leg rolled around with the all important League Cup final with Manchester City just over the horizon, Klopp was far more pragmatic about the result.
“We should not think too much about the final. I will not ignore it of course, but it doesn’t complicate my plans,” said Klopp when asked if the trip to Wembley will impact his team selection. “How could it here? Winning 5-0 and then have a friendly game in the rematch at Anfield? You should respect German teams more. It is not possible to beat Augsburg 5-0. And if we win 1-0 or 2-0 then nothing is decided,” said the former Borussia Dortmund boss, sounding perturbed. “We have to be really concentrated in the return and show we want to go to the next round. We should be concentrated next Thursday and the Sunday will take care of itself.”