Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said he is not concerned about his side’s defending as they head to Porto for their second Champions League group match.
The Premier League leaders’ wild 3-3 draw at Premier League newcomers Brentford on Saturday was the first time they had conceded three in a match since the European defeat to Real Madrid in April.
It came as something of a shock after previously letting in just one in five league matches this season.
However, they have already experienced similar against AC Milan a fortnight ago when they let in two goals in three minutes just before the interval, resulting in a more difficult second half than they should have had before closing out a 3-2 victory.
“It’s not that much of a concern because I don’t think you should make these things bigger than they are – but we have to show a reaction, that’s for sure,” said Klopp before the squad flew out to Portugal.
“It’s really tricky to win a football game when you are not defending on your highest level and that’s what we didn’t do.
“The common opinion is it’s only about the last line but we had a problem in general with our defending. That’s why Brentford caused us problems and it wasn’t good.
“We have to improve in that department for sure but now is not the moment to be concerned.
“We spoke about it and we know we cannot do it like that. I think we have sorted it but we have to show it tomorrow.”
There is the potential for more defensive disruption as Klopp is likely to rotate his players with Joe Gomez and Ibrahima Konate in contention to come in at centre-back.
Liverpool’s last two meetings with Porto have seen them score 11 goals and concede just one and after both encounters Klopp’s side progressed to the final, winning one and losing one.
The Reds boss is not one for omens, however, and insists Tuesday’s match is a reset.
“It’s not an advantage at all that we won the last two games there, absolutely not. For them it is another reason to be motivated on the highest level,” he added.
“You only have to put yourself in the position of the opponent and the first thing you would want to do is make sure a similar thing doesn’t happen again.
“That doesn’t make our job easier for sure but it’s not about that. We don’t think about the last two games we played there. We think about this one.
“We didn’t think about the game before when we won 4-1 (last season) because it makes no sense.
Is right, Naby lad 😁— Liverpool FC (@LFC) September 27, 2021
“They qualify year in, year out for the Champions League and they are always first or second in the Portuguese League. That is a top team and that is what we are preparing for.
“I am still happy we won the games when we were there but we don’t think we have won this game already.”
Fit-again midfielder Naby Keita was included in the squad to face Porto after recovering from the foot injury which forced him to miss the Brentford game.
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.