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Liverpool’s Klopp bristles at ‘sloppy’ criticism

But Klopp pounced on Keane’s comments.

“Did I hear it right, that Mr Keane said it was a sloppy performance tonight?” asked the German coach as he began a post-match interview with Sky Sports. “I could hear you already, did he say that?”

The Reds' defence puts Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang under pressure.

The Reds’ defence puts Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang under pressure.Credit:Getty Images

After Keane attempted to explain his remarks, Klopp continued.

“I just wanted to hear it. I’m not sure I heard it right, maybe he was speaking about another game … it cannot be this game, sorry!

“That is an incredible description of this game, that was absolutely exceptional. Nothing was sloppy, absolutely nothing,” said Klopp, to the delight of Liverpool fans on social media, who relished the strong riposte to an old rival.

“Alisson had to make one save, they had two balls in behind, you cannot avoid that. You need a goalie in these situations. Apart from that, the football we played was absolutely exceptional tonight,” added Klopp.

“About this game tonight, there is nothing bad to say. It was the opposite of sloppy.”

Arsenal had taken the lead through Alexandre Lacazette after a poor miscontrol from Andy Robertson in his own area and the French striker could have equalised in the second half when he was one-on-one against Alisson.

Keane, known as a tough-tackling player and tough-talking pundit, appeared a little amused by Klopp’s reaction.

“Very sensitive, Jesus. Imagine if he’d lost?” he said.

Liverpool created the early openings in the game, with Trent Alexander-Arnold causing Arsenal problems down their left. His cross was headed goalwards by Virgil van Dijk but David Luiz cleared off the line and then another ball from the full-back was volleyed straight at goalkeeper Bernd Leno by Mane.

However, in the 25th minute, totally against the run of play, Arsenal grabbed the lead when they broke down the left and Robertson miscontrolled Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ cross, the ball falling to Lacazette whose scuffed shot deceived Alisson.

Liverpool responded swiftly though, drawing level three minutes later when Mohamed Salah burst in from the left and Leno parried his shot straight into the path of Mane who made no mistake from close range.

Robertson then made up for his mistake when he was picked out by Alexander-Arnold at the far post, chested the cross down and flicked the ball past Leno to make it 2-1 after 34 minutes.

New Liverpool signing Jota, the Portuguese forward signed from Wolverhampton Wanderers, marked his debut from the bench with the goal that made sure of the win as he struck a well-taken volley from the edge of the box.

Diogo Jota celebrates his goal with Fabinho.

Diogo Jota celebrates his goal with Fabinho.Credit:AP

Elsewhere, Aston Villa moved into the Premier League top four after they strolled to a 3-0 win at Fulham thanks to goals from Jack Grealish, Conor Hourihane and Tyrone Mings in a lopsided contest.

The result left Villa, who narrowly avoided relegation last season, fourth on a maximum six points from two games while promoted Fulham are rooted to the bottom with no points after a third successive defeat.

Villa boss Dean Smith was pleased with a performance which also saw his side keep a clean sheet for the first time in 27 away Premier League games since a 0-0 draw with West Bromwich Albion in January 2016.

“We scored some quality goals,” he told Sky Sports.

“On top of all that, you have to find the balance in football, and that can be the desire to keep the ball out of the back of the net, and the players have found that at the moment.

“John McGinn being fit makes a massive difference. He’s a fantastic player, and he was terrific tonight.”

Villa displayed clinical finishing at Craven Cottage but their victory was made easier by continued shambolic defending from Fulham, who have conceded 10 goals in their opening three matches and look out of their depth in the top flight.

Reuters

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