Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp twisted the knife into a dismal Chelsea side by admitting his side could have scored more in their 4-1 thrashing of the Blues. In the Reds’ first Premier League outing since Klopp announced his shock decision to quit at the end of the season, the German’s side emphatically proved their top-flight title credentials with a dominant victory.
Diogo Jota and the 20-year-old right-back Conor Bradley put Liverpool 2-0 ahead in the first half. Dominik Szoboszlai and Luis Diaz completed a big scoreline in the second period, with Christopher Nkunku bagging a consolation for the visitors.
Liverpool should have scored more goals. Darwin Nunez endured a frustrating night, hitting the woodwork a remarkable four times.
On a frustrating personal night for the Uruguayan, he slammed a penalty against the post and saw a further three efforts bounce off the post or crossbar. Despite the missed chances, Klopp was delighted with his side’s high-energy pressing.
“The counter pressing was top. We had them in places they didn’t want to be,” the 56-year-old told TNT Sports. “The high press was really good. It is fair to say we could have scored one or two more.”
Academy graduate defender Bradley was excellent in only his second Premier League appearance. He drove forward before clinically finishing across Chelsea goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic to put Liverpool 2-0 ahead.
The Northern Ireland international, whose only previous first-team experience before this season was a loan spell with Bolton in League One, also grabbed two assists. It followed an assist on his Premier League debut against Bournemouth on January 21.
Klopp revealed that assistant Pep Lijnders has been behind the decision to give Bradley more game time.
“[Bradley] has the biggest advocates in the club,” Klopp continued. “It’s three years already that Pep Lijnders is in my ear, ‘Put both hands and my feet in the fire, he will be [ready]’.
“Vitor Matos [development coach] and Pep are very integral in this department. They really are advocates for the club. My job is the easiest one, I just have to put them on the pitch.”
The Liverpool head coach added: “What a wonderful kid he is. Outstanding finish, the whole game, the contribution, the involvement. It’s a job to play against [Raheem] Sterling, that’s not easy. I’m really happy for him. He’s a very serious young man and that was pretty special I have to say.”