Jurgen Klopp admits Liverpool ‘struggled’ against 10-man MET Mo Salah and Sadio Mane after failing to break Arsenal’s ‘low block’ without AFCON stars – as he insists lack of pace is NOT the issue was in the half deadlock of the Carabao Cup
- Jurgen Klopp admitted Liverpool are missing Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane
- But they’ve struggled to split 10-man teams with the AFCON stars
- Reds were held to a goalless draw by Arsenal in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final
- Salah and Mane are absent for weeks because of playing at Africa Cup of Nations
Jurgen Klopp admitted Liverpool are missing Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane but have struggled to split 10-man teams with the AFCON stars.
The Reds were held to a goalless draw by Arsenal in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final on Thursday evening, after playing against 10 men for over an hour after Granit Xhaka’s red card.
Liverpool have been without star men Salah and Mane for several weeks, with the pair representing Egypt and Senegal respectively at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Jurgen Klopp said Liverpool struggled to break up teams with 10 men with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane on the side
Both Salah (left) and Mane (right) are absent for international service at the Africa Cup of Nations
Salah has been in sensational form this season, scoring 23 goals and providing nine assists in 26 games, while Mane, on the other hand, provided 10 goals and one assist.
‘Do we miss them? Yes,” Klopp said in his pre-match press conference ahead of his side’s clash against Brentford on Sunday.
“But I liked the start we made in the race yesterday.”
Liverpool failed to beat Arsenal by ten men in the first leg of the Carabao Cup half on Thursday
The Liverpool boss was quick to point out that his team struggled against 10 men when Salah and Mane were sidelined, insisting lack of pace was not the issue in the stalemate with Mikel Arteta’s Gunners on Anfield.
“We’ve had issues with Sadio and Mo v 10 men before. Breaking down a low block is the hardest thing in football.
“We didn’t miss any pace last night, that wasn’t the problem. There was no room to use that.
“We just have to build on how we started. We have to play between the rules – thinking fast is more important than running fast. We are here to find solutions.’
Minamino fired over with the goal gaping as Liverpool’s attack found no breakthrough
Klopp selected Diogo Jota, Takumi Minamino and Roberto Firmino as his front three in the absence of Salah and Mane, but it was a frustrating night for the hosts.
Xhaka was sent off for a high challenge on Jota as he was the last defender in the 24th minute as Liverpool struggled to find a breakthrough.
Minamino shook his lines with gaping at goal and fired the ball over from close range in an opportunity described by fans as ‘easier to score than miss’.
Divock Origi could get more playing time with Salah and Mane on international duty and Klopp revealed on Friday the striker is getting closer to full fitness.
“He has been running outside and looking good so he won’t be far away,” he added.