Thursday, December 1, 2022

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Klopp: Thrashing Rangers a big confidence boost ahead of the City Test

Jurgen Klopp believes Liverpool’s 7-1 win over Rangers at Ibrox immediately changed the mood at the club ahead of Sunday’s clash with Manchester City.

The Anfield side got off to a miserable start to their league campaign with just two wins out of eight, but they raged against the Govan men in their Champions League clash in Glasgow.

Rangers took the lead through Scott Arfield in the 17th minute but the Reds held their own again and Roberto Firmino grabbed a brace and fellow forward Darwin Nunez added a third before substitute Mo Salah scored three goals in six minutes and 12 seconds scored – the fastest hat in the Champions League. Trick – with Harvey Elliott notching the seventh while Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side collapsed.

Klopp spoke of a “freaky” result but a “special” hat-trick for Salah as he hailed the confidence boost.

He said: “It’s a night where things worked for us. It definitely changed the mood.

“We usually have a beer after away games and it’s been so long since I’ve had one that I’ll probably be drunk after one.

“It completely changed the mood. It’s good. But we all know who we greet on Sunday.

“(It’s a) different game, we know that, but it’s better to approach tonight with that feeling than any other.

“We don’t have to make a big deal out of it, the best football team in the world is coming to Anfield right now.

“Meeting us at the wrong moment wasn’t cool for Rangers.

“I know you’ll say there was a glitch, but it wasn’t easy defending against us in the second half.”

It was the Gers’ heaviest home defeat of all time and their worst defeat, equaling their League Cup Final loss to Celtic at Hampden Park in 1957.

Rangers are bottom of Group A and have no points from four games and Van Bronckhorst was at a loss to explain the late collapse and after last month’s 4-0 defeats by Celtic and Ajax the Dutchman admits that at Ibrox a change in mentality is required.

Van Bronckhorst, who reckons Connor Goldson and Ryan Jack, who both left injured, will at least miss Sunday’s Motherwell game, said: “The first half and the last half hour was night and day compared eh we played and the difference in level in the Champions League is too big.

“We were there for the first hour and we can make it difficult for a lot of opponents at Ibrox, but the way we’ve played the last 25 minutes you’re going to lose to any team we play here.

“I can’t explain it. I have to process it, I can’t explain it at the moment.

“We have to solve it. We need to find a way to ensure these moments don’t happen again in games. We’ve suffered a few big losses this season.

“We don’t want that. We have to work on that because there are still a lot of big games in the league before the break.

“We have to improve our performance, keep our level, keep our focus for the 90 minutes.

“If we lose focus against any team, especially against teams of Liverpool’s quality, you get penalized quickly – as you’ve seen.”

Van Bronckhorst braces himself for a heavy stick.

He said: “Of course we have to accept the criticism. It’s part of my job, part of the players’ job.

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