Liverpool scored NINE goals in their last two trips to Porto means NOTHING, boss Jurgen Klopp says as he warns stars of complacency ahead of latest trip to Portugal
- Liverpool travel to Porto this week for the final round of the Champions League
- Jurgen Klopp has had great success there with the Reds in recent years
- They won 5-0 in February 2018 and 4-1 in April 2019, both at Estadio Do Dragao
Jurgen Klopp has warned its players to forget past conquests and brace themselves for a thorough investigation if they return to one of their lucky stadiums.
Porto was a happy hunting ground for Klopp, who kept an eye on 5-0 and 4-1 wins at the Estadio Do Dragao in February 2018 and April 2019 respectively. Both triumphs propelled Liverpool to the Champions League final.
Liverpool have played Porto a total of eight times in Europe – the first, in 2001, was a stepping stone to the UEFA Cup final – and they have yet to be beaten by the Portuguese giants, but Klopp isn’t lulled into the false sense that his team will be so dominant again.
Jurgen Klopp (left) has brushed aside any suggestions Liverpool will have it easy against Porto
Fabinho and his teammates have been warned against complacency during the trip to Portugal
They may have made a promising start to the season, but the three goals Liverpool conceded against Brentford on Saturday were enough to remind them that they are far from perfect and Klopp is demanding maximum intensity in Portugal.
“It’s not an advantage at all that we won the last two games there, absolutely not,” said Klopp.
“All you have to do is put yourself in the opponent’s position and the first thing you want to do is make sure nothing like that happens again.
Liverpool won 5-0 in Porto in February 2018 and won 4-1 there in April 2019
PORT (4-4-2): Diogo Costa; Corona, Pepe, Marcano, Zaidu; Otavio, Grujic, Uribe, Luis Diaz; Toni Martinez, Taremic
LIVERPOOL (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Konate, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Milner; Salah, Jota, Mane
‘That certainly doesn’t make our work any easier, but that’s not the point. We don’t think about the last two games we played there. We’re thinking about this one. They have several options and we have to be ready for that, but we don’t have much time.’
Klopp usually gives a rigorous training day for his players, going through team form and working on set pieces, but he’s not sure if that will be possible on this occasion, so Monday was spent at their Kirkby base trying to make up for mistakes. were clear in Brentford to smooth out.
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson insisted that the team as a whole was responsible for the three goals scored in London, not just the back four, and Klopp noted improvements could be made everywhere to make his team stronger to make.
“It’s not much of a problem (concede three goals) because I think you shouldn’t make these things bigger than they are,” said Klopp, who also revealed that he has added Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andrew Robertson and Alisson Becker. to the Liverpool leaders group. The trio will support Henderson, Vice Captain James Milner and Virgil van Dijk.
“But we have to show a reaction. That’s for sure. It is very difficult to win a football game if you are not defending at your highest level.
‘We didn’t. The general opinion is that it is only about the last line, but in general we had a problem with our defense. That’s why Brentford caused us trouble and it wasn’t good.
Outspoken Porto boss Sergio Conceicao’s style is by Klopp. described as ‘direct’
“Obviously Porto is a different team and will play a different style, but they will also go straight.”
They go straight and with determination, as Diogo Jota – a former Porto player – also made clear.
It’s been almost a year since he scored his first goal for Liverpool and he has become a key player for Klopp since his £43million move from Wolves.
Jota, like his manager, has been diplomatic about Sergio Conceciao’s squad, but the reality is that if Liverpool click – despite all the warnings – they will have to keep their unbeaten start in the Champions League ahead of the double-header against Atletico Madrid.
“I also follow Porto and I know those two results were not good,” said Jota.
“They didn’t show the real difference between the teams. Usually playing at the Dragao is never easy for plowing away. I know if we let ourselves go there and think about those results, we’re going to have a hard time.”
Diogo Jota, a former Porto player, warned Liverpool will struggle if they take it easy on this trip