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Klopp Backs Adrian After Saints Clanger

Klopp Backs Adrian After Saints Clanger

Jurgen Klopp jumped to the defence of goalkeeper Adrian and says he can be forgiven for his mistake in the win at Southampton. The Spanish goalkeeper was the hero during the penalty shoot-out win over Chelsea in the Super Cup in midweek but dropped a clanger as the Reds returned to Premier League action on the south coast yesterday.

Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino goals had put Liverpool in control, but Adrian then handed Southampton a lifeline as he dallied on a backpass which was charged down by Danny Ings and ended up in the back of the net.

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The Reds had to hang on in the end, recording a club-record 11th successive Premier League victory and making light of their midweek jaunt to Turkey, where they played 120 minutes and did not arrive back home until 4am on Thursday.

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Adrian has been thrust into Klopp’s side after an injury to first choice Allison, who made a similar mistake in his first few months at the club last season. And the German said it was only right that Adrian made an error. “Minute 83, Adrian thought, ‘I’ve played really well so I have to make a mistake like Alli did’ and kept the game a little bit open,” he said.

“I said to him, ‘Finally, it arrived, welcome’. Alli did the same, obviously, it is a goalie thing at Liverpool. I have no problem with that as long as we win the game.”

Southampton were the better side in the first half and had two fine chances to lead through Maya Yoshida and Che Adams, but Mane’s clinical strike in first-half stoppage time put them in front and then Firmino doubled the lead in the 71st minute after a host of other chances went begging.

Ings should have delivered the ultimate penalty to his former club, but he somehow missed from four yards. Klopp insists his side’s midweek exertions had nothing to do with their afternoon on the south coast. “Southampton is a good team. They defend well, they had good counter-attacks, good organisation,” he said.

“This afternoon it was difficult again, nothing to do with the game midweek. I said before the game if we had come here with two weeks’ preparation it would have been difficult. “I liked the game a lot. It is not allowed to think too much about Wednesday but I know it, so I was really impressed with how fresh we looked, at the start especially, just how good we were. We deserved to win.”

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