Jurgen Klopp tells Liverpool only ‘exceptional’ will do against Bayern Munich


Jurgen Klopp tells Liverpool only ‘exceptional’ will do against Bayern Munich

MUNICH: Jurgen Klopp has warned Liverpool they will need to be at their brilliant best if they are to beat Bayern Munich and reach the Champions League quarterfinals.
Three weeks ago the Reds drew 0-0 at home to the German giants to leave the tie poised on a knife-edge heading into the clash at Bayern’s Allianz Arena. Klopp’s side know a score draw will send them through on away goals, but he is only too aware that their hosts are feeling confident, unbeaten in all competitions since the start of February and on top of the Bundesliga table for the first time this season.
That all adds up to one thing for the Liverpool boss — a “normal” performance will not be good enough to go through.
“We are strong enough to give them a proper game and that’s the only thing you can expect in a situation like that, in a good situation,” the German said.
“That’s what I’m thinking about — how can we cause them problems they have never had so far against other opponents?
“They are, of course, really strong opponents. But if we are at our best we can be exceptional. But we have to be, actually — if we play a normal game there we have no chance and then we should go out.
“But if we can push ourselves in a special mood and play a
proper football game, then
we have a proper chance and that’s all I need.”
Liverpool looked back to somewhere near their best in their 4-2 win over Burnley at the weekend. That followed four draws in six matches. Ironically a draw could well be enough for them tonight, but despite not winning the first leg at Anfield Klopp admitted the result was not all bad, saying: “With a 0-0 everything is clear. You have to win the game. That’s what you always want. In this specific case, you can win the game with a draw as well, but it’s all clear — we have to play a really good game.”
Having coached Borussia Dortmund — Bayern’s big rivals in Germany — he knows all about the side’s most potent weapon Robert Lewandowski having coached him at Dortmund. The Polish striker is the top scorer in the competition this season with eight goals, but Klopp has told his team they cannot focus solely on Lewandowski.
“Robert is a world-class striker, no doubt about that,” he said.
“The more you can avoid the passes and crosses to him, the better it is. That’s what we are all working on and that’s what we have to work on actually.
“Of course, it’s not only Robert.
“What makes it so exciting, you go through the Bayern team and think, ‘Wow, they are really strong’ and then you think, ‘Ah, we are not too bad as well!’ That’s cool.”
One thing for sure is that Bayern will attack more than they did at Anfield when they showed a defensive discipline not normally associated with the German club. Niko Kovac has backed his players to do what they need to do the make the last eight.
“If we want to progress, we have to win,” the Bayern boss said.
“It won’t be 0-0. We will see support in the stadium that we haven’t seen for a long time.
“These are the games all of my team, especially a player like Franck Ribery lives for. He still has it in him to leave his mark on games like this.”

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