Juergen Klopp: We cannot defend like that against Jamie Vardy, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Juergen Klopp: We cannot defend like that against Jamie Vardy

Liverpool manager sounds warning ahead of clash against Leicester

Liverpool's defence could be ripped to shreds by Leicester City's in-form striker Jamie Vardy in tomorrow's English Premier League clash if they switch off like they did in their Champions League win over Red Bull Salzburg, manager Juergen Klopp has said.

European champions Liverpool let a three-goal advantage slip at Anfield yesterday morning (Singapore time) before Mohamed Salah struck his second goal in the 69th minute to seal a 4-3 win over the Austrian champions.

Sadio Mane and Andy Robertson also scored for the Reds.

Said Klopp: "I'm sure Brendan Rodgers thinks if we protect like we did tonight, then Jamie Vardy will probably run through five times alone on the goalkeeper.

"Christian Fuchs was here as a pundit and all of the others (Leicester players) were on the sofa and watched the game, so that's (a) slightly different preparation for that game...

"We have only three days to recover."

Klopp said his EPL leaders had to learn quickly from their mistakes as they prepare to take on the third-placed Foxes, who have impressed under Rodgers, with four wins and two draws from seven games this season.

Vardy, in particular, has thrived since ex-Reds boss Rodgers took over in February, scoring five league goals this season and 14 in 17 matches under the Northern Irishman, reported Reuters.

Said Klopp: "We'll learn but we have to learn quick. It is not... that it is completely new, it is usually a strength of ours, but tonight for some reason we didn't show that...

"That we showed character, I'm the last one who would be surprised by that."

Match-winner Salah admitted that his team got ahead of themselves after racing to a three-goal lead after just 36 minutes.

He told BT Sport: "When we were winning (by) three, we needed to score a fourth, fifth and sixth. It's a little bit bad because the human mind says 'OK we are going to win this.'

"They made it a game for us, but we are happy to get the three points...

"I think they can be a very dangerous team."

Ex-Liverpool and England striker Peter Crouch agreed, calling the Austrian team "incredible" and singling out their goalscorers Hwang Hee Chan, 23, Takumi Minamino, 24, and Erling Haaland, 19 for praise.

Crouch said on BT Sport: "I thought attacking-wise, this was their first real test, but they came up showing very well.

"It was a great attacking performance from them.

"Minamino was class, Hwang, some great individual performances. And Haaland coming off the bench to seal what he thought had been the draw...

"They deserve credit for that, they had a real go. Their heads could have dropped at 3-0, but they kept up their attacking threat."

Several British football pundits, meanwhile, accused Liverpool of losing their heads after racing to an early 3-0 lead.

Liverpool legend Phil Thompson said on Sky Sports: "What went wrong? Complacency is the first thing that I'd say.


"There was some absolutely wonderful football in that first half by Liverpool and they fully justified their lead.

"But then they lost the goal just before half-time and it gave Salzburg a bit of a lift.

"Liverpool came out for the second half very sloppy...

"I think this was a little bit of a warning sign. Klopp didn't look happy on the touchline at all, with how sloppy it was."

Ex-Blackburn Rovers and Chelsea striker Chris Sutton agreed, saying on the BBC: "There was a lack of concentration, at 3-0 up they got complacent, they thought they had won. The defenders seemed to pass on the responsibility of marking to their teammates.

"They took their foot off the gas and Salzburg exposed them and utilised it.

"Liverpool switched off and underestimated their opponents tonight."

The absence of in-form centre-back Joel Matip, who suffered a slight knock against Sheffield United last Saturday, seemed to have an effect on Liverpool's defence.

Former Liverpool striker Michael Owen said his replacement, Joe Gomez, "looked nervy" while former Blackpool boss Ian Holloway pointed out that the Englishman's usually imperious centre-back partner Virgil van Dijk was well beaten by Hwang for his goal and failed to stop the cross that led to Haaland's equaliser.

Holloway said on talkSPORT: "Van Dijk got turned inside out, first time I've ever seen it."

But the Dutchman told Viasport after the match: "We're not talking about goals that we concede (in the dressing room). We just want to do better."