Manchester United 3-2 Liverpool: Jürgen Klopp’s reaction

Jürgen Klopp felt there were some positives to be taken from Liverpool’s performance, but acknowledged his side made ‘decisive errors’ as they were beaten 3-2 by Manchester United in the FA Cup on Sunday.

Jürgen Klopp felt there were some positives to be taken from Liverpool’s performance, but acknowledged his side made ‘decisive errors’ as they were beaten 3-2 by Manchester United in the FA Cup on Sunday.

Liverpool went in front after 18 minutes of the fourth-round tie at Old Trafford through a sublime dinked effort from Mohamed Salah.

The hosts leveled soon after, however, when Mason Greenwood finished a counter-attack before Marcus Rashford put them ahead after the break.

Liverpool equalised through Salah just prior to the hour mark, but Bruno Fernandes’ free-kick with 12 minutes to go settled the outcome of the contest.

Afterwards, Klopp said:

“It’s not what we wanted, so it’s frustrating. If you want to win tonight, you have to play at your absolute top. We weren’t on our absolute top, but we made a lot of steps in the right direction. The start of the game was good, but then we made decisive mistakes; around the first goal United scored, we had too many options offensively and no protection. We lost the ball and then there was a counter-attack. It was not the first counter-attack in the game, so we have to improve that. You could see the boys really wanted to change the fortune, they wanted to score goals and that’s good. We did that, we scored twice, which is good as well. That’s all OK but in the end they scored three, we scored two and they are through and we are not. That’s a fact as well. We can take positives out of this game, of course – I saw a lot of steps in the right direction and that’s all good. It was good preparation for the Tottenham game with their counter-attacking threat. We know exactly what we have to work on. If you are in a situation you don’t like, you want to get out of it. We want to get out of it and for that, we have to make steps. Tonight we made these steps – not the final ones, but we made steps and that’s for the moment OK.

On whether confidence is an issue, Klopp said:

I don’t want to make that every week now. Tonight I didn’t see any confidence problems. But what we said is when you don’t score for a while it’s not good for the confidence, obviously. The best strikers in the world can tell you they all had moments when they didn’t score with each chance. But it’s all about how you deal with it. We are on it, believe me, and we will sort that.

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The Commander, U.S. Africa Command, U General Stephen Townsend, wrapped up a three-day West African visit February 22-25, 2021, with a stopover in Nigeria to meet with the nation’s leaders and further the long-standing partnership and security cooperation between the two countries.

A press statement by the Embassy on Friday, said: “During the visit, Townsend met with the Nigerian President’s Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, and National Security Adviser, Babagan Monguno, to discuss regional security issues and to express the command’s gratitude for the assistance provided during a hostage rescue operation last year.

“When we asked for their help, the Nigerian government answered the call. Our hostage recovery mission in October would have been impossible without their support.

“They quickly provided assistance that helped the U.S. military to save an American life. That is a strong example of our partnership with Nigeria.”

Townsend also met with senior military officials, including the Minister of Defence, Bashir Salihi Magash, and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor, to talk about on-going cooperation in the region and greater maritime security and threat mitigation.

Nigeria is a key partner in countering violent extremist organizations throughout the Lake Chad Basin.

Townsend said furthermore: “The bilateral relationship between Nigeria and the U.S. is built on several pillars including security cooperation.

“U.S. Africa Command will do our part to advance the security cooperation pillar, so that Nigerians can enjoy the more secure future they all deserve.”

As close partners, the U.S. and Nigeria have worked at ensuring the collaborative relationship continues to grow to include a commitment to interoperability. Nigeria purchased 12 A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft, which will be delivered later this year.

“Nigeria’s purchase of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft is another example of their commitment to interoperability and security in the region,” he added. “Our economic relationship with Nigeria is already strong, and we look forward to the continued strengthening of security relationships. Nigeria’s leaders understand the importance of a collaborative approach to ensuring stability in West Africa and partnering on areas of mutual interest.”

The Commander also met with the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard.

Leonard said: “General Townsend’s visit to Nigeria demonstrates the strategic importance the United States places on our bilateral relationship with Nigeria.

“Our security cooperation partnership with Nigeria’s military will strengthen the country’s capabilities to secure land and sea borders, enhance overall security, and combat terrorism in the North East.”

As part of the visit, Townsend participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Nigeria Military National Cemetery to honour those who have given their lives in the service of their nation.

During the visit, the delegation expressed their condolences for the seven service men killed in the crash of a Nigerian Air Force aircraft in Abuja.