The Champions League won’t break Liverpool’s league rhythm. If you look at the results in the league there’s no difference.
Klopp has this attacking ethos and he’ll never change, whoever Liverpool are playing. It’s the way he wants them to play. And he’s giving players around the squad time too, Gomez, Oxlade-Chamberlain. He’s making sure everything is in place, and his record in home-and-away ties in Europe speaks for itself – he’s won 10 in a row as Liverpool manager.
And he knows he has a really potent weapon in that front three who can get you a goal under any circumstances.
That is a great thing to have.
Sometimes he’ll play a 4-3-1-2, but it’s a very subtle version of 4-3-3 basically, and he’ll use that to draw teams out sometimes, but that’s it. You don’t see him switching between five or four or three at the back, and it’s always very attacking.
Look at the conversation he had with Jordan Henderson where he said he could play further forward and Klopp tried it and they’ve kicked on again.
Or when they came in at half-time against Cardiff still at 0-0, and Wijnaldum said to try something different, that was down to the players, but you’ve got to be a very open-minded manager to accept that.
Lots of managers I know would just tell them to F off and say “I’m the manager”, but he said we’ll try it.
It tells you as much about the manger’s personality as anything.
Adrenaline takes over at this stage
When you get to this stage for the first time it’s when you realise that adrenaline is actually a good thing for your legs, such is the nature of the games. Playing in these games is what you play the game for.
I played two semi-finals in the European Cup and in both we were in comfortable positions going into the second leg. We didn’t really go into a second leg at 1-1, where they’d an away goal, and that makes the home team change in that second leg.
In the Spurs-City tie, you can see how valuable a clean-sheet at home is, and City were very negative in the first leg, which for Guardiola is really unusual.
It was almost like he was saying he didn’t back them to score.
Why wouldn’t you when you have the best team in the league? I found that odd. Ultimately, that cost them more than VAR goals or all these kind of things.
That’s where they came undone.