Jürgen Klopp Labels David Moyes’ Sunderland As The “Most Defensive Team” He Has Ever Faced
Posted by Bryan | Published on November 27, 2016
Reds boss Jürgen Klopp has labelled David Moyes’ Sunderland as the most defensive team he has ever faced. Liverpool managed to grind out a comfortable 2-0 win in the end, but not after they spent large parts of the game dominating possession and finding a way to break down a resolute Sunderland defence.
The Black Cats were set out to frustrate the Reds from the first whistle and they did very well in that, stifling the linking play between Liverpool’s attackers and keeping them on the edges of the penalty box.
Sunderland forward Jermain Defoe hardly got any touches in Liverpool’s area, with most of his teammates stuck in their own half and there were many instances in the game when Liverpool’s centre backs Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip were threading passes in the Sunderland half.
Klopp’s side however kept on knocking on the door even after creative star man Philippe Coutinho suffered an unfortunate injury that saw him stretchered off, and were eventually rewarded when substitute Divock Origi broke the deadlock with what appeared to look like a low cross, which took a bounce past everyone and into the back of the Sunderland net. Moyes’s side loosened up after the goal as they look poised to take the game back to the hosts, but it was James Milner who sealed the three points after Sadio Mane was felled in the area.
Speaking after the match, and with comparisons drawn to last week’s frustrating goalless draw at Southampton, the Liverpool manager said, “I’m not sure I’ve ever played against a more defensive team than today.”
“Man-marking against Phil Coutinho, Anichebe left full-back, I don’t know how many touches Jermain Defoe had, so that would not be nice to Southampton.”
“Sunderland always play a defensive style and that is OK. We forced them to be that. But we had our moments, had our chances, we stayed cool, stayed concentrated.”
The Liverpool manager also said that his side had to find solutions when faced with tough defensive teams like today, and that in such matches it came down to the small details that would prove decisive. He also lauded the atmosphere at Anfield, citing it as a crucial factor for Liverpool.
On the other hand, Sunderland recorded just 22.5% possession in the game, but manager David Moyes felt that his team did a good job in frustrating Liverpool, albeit only until the later stages of the second half.
“For long periods, we had frustrated the crowd,” said Moyes
“We did a really good job on them.
“If you look at the quality of Liverpool going forward, you do need to think about how you stop them.”
Liverpool rose to the top of the table immediately after their victory but were soon overtook by Chelsea who were victorious against Tottenham. Klopp’s team now lie just a point adrift of the Blues and ahead of Guardiola’s City on goal difference, while Moyes’ Sunderland return to the foot of the table after Swansea’s dramatic win at Palace.