‘Natural force’ - Jurgen Klopp names five Liverpool youngsters who shone vs AC Milan
Liverpool defeated AC Milan 4-1 in the Dubai Super Cup.
and live on Freeview channel 276
The Reds eased to a 4-1 victory over the Serie A champions in the Dubai Super Cup.
Mo Salah and Thiago Alcantara scored in the first half before a six-minute Darwin Nunez double off the bench in the second period sealed the win.
Klopp used the friendly to give young players in his squad opportunities. Stefan Bajcetic started again, while Fabio Carvalho, Bobby Clark, Ben Doak who both respectively assisted Nunez’s goals - and Melkamu Frauendorf all came off the bench.
On the win, Klopp said: “It was a really good game. There was one situation which I didn’t like – that was when we conceded the goal because it was directly after a drinks break. With the system they played, we avoided pretty much or denied all the switches. In that moment, we didn’t deny the switch and then it was difficult and they could score.
“Then extra-time in the first half – three, four minutes – it was like we were waiting for the whistle but it was five minutes and they had too much possession there. Apart from that, we were super dominant.
“We played a really good game. I liked how our midfield was connected, I liked our build-up because they surprised us a little bit with the system – I’m not sure they played it very often but because of their problems what they have with injuries they changed. So building up with three, we needed to adapt a little bit. When we did that, pressing was really good as well
“And, of course, when you bring on the kids [in the] second half and you see the pass from Bobby Clark and the whole performance from Stefan, the performance from Mel as a right full-back and then Ben Doak comes on, 16 years old, and is this kind of natural force, it’s really cool to see. In these 10, 11 days, the kids especially, everybody made a real step forward. That’s why these things are so important, that we can involve them. And in general, tonight was the result of the last 10 days what we saw in training and tonight we could bring it on the pitch, which is obviously nice.
Asked about the fledgling talents in his squad, Klopp continued: “It’s absolutely cool. I’m not sure the Academy could watch the game tonight but when you see these boys and performing in a game like this, it’s cool. It’s a real physical game, adult football is a physical game and the boys need to make these steps [so] they can get ready for it step by step.
“How I said, the physical part will come but until you are that strong, you can create a lot of ideas, you can do things a bit smarter. And when you see what Bobby did with the pass for Darwin - and then Darwin scores twice, so really nice obviously. Oxlade, really good. Fabio when he came on, really good.
“A lot of really good things tonight and that’s why we play football. We want to see good football games. And in the first game obviously the result was not cool but the first half was absolutely OK, and that’s what you should not forget and that’s why we could build on that. So for tonight, all good.”