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Klopp relieved as Reds hang on in thriller

Arsenal 3 Liverpool 4

By Jack De Menezes

Published 15/08/2016

Party time: Liverpool players celebrate their victory with manager Jurgen Klopp
Party time: Liverpool players celebrate their victory with manager Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp blamed himself for nearly costing Liverpool victory after he sprinted to join his players in celebration following the Sadio Mane strike which put the Reds 4-1 up against Arsenal yesterday.

Within a minute, the score was back to 4-2 but, despite Calum Chambers reducing the deficit further, Liverpool were able to regroup to hold on for the three points.

"Scoring four goals is wonderful, conceding three is the opposite of emotions," Klopp said.

"It was too easy to play between our rows and in the spaces we gave them, the formation we had chosen was to close those spaces and what we did was open spaces."

He added: "We came out, scored wonderful goals and then I made the big mistake because I got involved in the celebrations and that I do hopefully one of two times in my life but not so early in the game because it was a long time for all of us, and I felt for everybody in this moment 'that's it', and in the end you look at the watch and think 'oh, there's still half an hour or something to go, that's not too good'.

Opposite number Arsene Wenger, meanwhile, admitted that his Arsenal team are "not ready" to compete in the Premier League after seeing Aaron Ramsey and Alex Iwobi limp off, leading to yet another uncomfortable atmosphere inside the Emirates Stadium.

After missing a penalty, Theo Walcott had opened the scoring only for Philippe Coutinho to level before half-time.

Adam Lallana, Coutinho and Mane netted after the interval to fire Liverpool 4-1 in front before Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Chambers netted as the Gunners threatened a comeback.

"Physically we are not ready," Wenger said. "You're in a catch 22 situation with the Euros because you give the players a rest. We are not ready to play this kind of game and they get injured like Ramsey today, or you give them a rest and you start the season without many of your players.

"You could see that we dropped physically today. It was a game of contrast between two halves but I felt as well that mentally we kept going and we have been absolutely remarkable on that front."

Arsenal: Cech, Bellerin, Holding, Chambers, Monreal, Elneny (Xhaka, 67 mins), Coquelin, Walcott, Ramsey (Cazorla, 61 mins), Iwobi (Oxlade-Chamberlain, 68 mins), Sanchez. Unused subs: Gibbs, Wilshere, Ospina, Akpom.

Liverpool: Miignolet, Clyne, Lovren, Klavan, Moreno, Wijnaldum (Stewart, 88 mins), Henderson, Lallana (Origi, 76 mins), Mane, Coutinho (Can, 69 mins), Firmino. Unused subs: Manninger, Grujic, Matip, Alexander-Arnold.

Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland)

Man of the match: Philippe Coutinho

Match rating: 9/10

Belfast Telegraph

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