Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists even an unprecedented quadruple could not convince him to backtrack on his shock decision to quit at the end of the season.

The German stunned the footballing world by announcing he will depart at the end of the campaign with two years of his contract still to run, having already communicated his plans to owners Fenway Sports Group in November.

What made the news so surprising is that the club are arguably close to being back to the peak of their powers, with a five-point lead in the Premier League and a Carabao Cup final to come next month, while they have qualified for the last 16 of the Europa League and are one of the favourites for the FA Cup.

But, unlike Sir Alex Ferguson, who in the summer of 2001 announced his retirement only to backtrack at the end of the season, Klopp will not be moved from his stance, whether his team win it all or finish empty-handed.

“No! Alex Ferguson did that? I respect Alex a lot and I don’t know what drove him,” said the 56-year-old, unaware of the former Manchester United manager’s U-turn.

“I really thought a lot about it and because of our relationship – mine with the club – the situation is always clear.

“I have to make the decision at one point, because nobody else will, because of the trust and respect we have for each other and the owners knew I would take the decision.

“I don’t want to hang around and do the job somehow. I thought it through properly.

“I want everything this season, but it wouldn’t change my mind – and if we don’t win anything it wouldn’t change my mind.

“It’s a decision I made independent of any kind of results.”

Klopp has cited his waning energy to lift himself for the daily demands placed on him as the reason why he is calling it a day.

After finishing fifth the previous season, during which Klopp looked physically and emotionally drained, the Liverpool manager returned after the summer insisting he was re-energised and refreshed.

But as soon as plans started to be made for transfer targets and the next pre-season the German knew something was not right.

“My managerial skills are based on energy and emotion and that takes all of you and needs all of you. I am who I am and where I am because of how I am, with all the good and bad things, and if I cannot do it any more, stop it,” he said.

“You have to be the best version of yourself, especially for a club like Liverpool. I cannot do it on three wheels, it is not allowed, and I have never wanted to be a passenger.

“It was not my idea (to quit prematurely) when I signed a new contract, I was 100 percent convinced we would go until 2026.

“I under-estimated or judged it wrong because I thought my energy level was endless because it always was – and now it is not. Then we have to change.”

Klopp plans to take a year off and then see how he feels but has ruled out a return to management in England.

“Whatever will happen in the future I don’t know now, but no club, no country, for the next year, and no other English club ever,” he said.

“I can promise that, even if I have nothing to eat that will not happen.

Bayer Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso has emerged as the early favourite to succeed Klopp, although another former Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard, currently at Al-Ettifaq, has also been linked.

Alonso insisted on Friday his focus was solely on his current role and that he was in “the right place”.

Jurgen Klopp has promised Liverpool fans he will never manage another English club after he leaves Anfield in the summer “even if he has nothing to eat”.

The 56-year-old German has shocked the football world by announcing he will stand down as Reds boss after nearly nine years in charge at the end of the season, having steered the club to six major trophies including the Premier League title in 2020 and the Champions League in 2019.

At a press conference on Friday he also:

:: Said he would play no part in choosing his successor.
:: Insisted he would not make a U-turn on his decision to quit as Sir Alex Ferguson once did at Manchester United.
:: Talked about how he could not sustain the energy levels needed for top-level management beyond this season, insisting “you have to be the best version of yourself”.

Klopp allayed any concerns among Liverpool fans that he could return to manage one of their rivals.

“Whatever will happen in the future I don’t know now, but no club, no country, for the next year, and no other English club ever,” he said at a press conference on Friday afternoon.

“I can promise that, even if I have nothing to eat that will not happen.”

Speculation has already turned to who could succeed Klopp at Anfield, with Bayer Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso – a former Reds midfielder – installed as the early bookmakers’ favourite.

Alonso insisted on Friday his focus was solely on his current role and that he was in “the right place”. Former Reds captain Steven Gerrard, currently with Saudi Arabian side Al Ettifaq, has also been linked.

Klopp insists he will have no input whatsoever to Liverpool’s recruitment process to find his successor.

“The last thing they need is advice from the old man walking out, telling them ‘make sure you bring him in’ or whatever – I will definitely not do that,” Klopp said.

“I wish this club the very, very, very best.”

Jurgen Klopp will leave Liverpool at the end of the 2023-24 season.

In an emotional announcement, released via Liverpool's media channels on Friday, Klopp confirmed this campaign would be his last at the helm at Anfield.

Klopp, who is under contract at Liverpool until 2026, claimed he is running out of energy, and after nearly nine years in charge, he will be leaving the club as a legend.

While Liverpool will hope to round off the German's time in charge with a second Premier League title, and possibly further trophies – they are already in the EFL Cup final – the Reds will also have to face the daunting prospect of what comes next.

Regardless, Klopp is set to leave as one of the club's most successful managers. 

With the help of Opta data, we break down Klopp's time in charge.

An Anfield giant

Bill Shankly, Bob Paisley, Kenny Dalglish. Klopp will take pride and place among the list of great managers to have taken charge of one of England's most successful clubs.

Since replacing Brendan Rodgers in October 2015, Klopp has taken charge of 466 matches, winning 283 of those. His win percentage of 60.7 makes him the best Liverpool manager in that metric, at least as far back as Opta's records go.

Klopp has lost just 78 games, while drawing 105. His team have scored 972 goals, an average of 2.1 per match.

Not that it has always been easy. In his first season – 2015-16 – his win rate was 44.2 per cent. However, it has never dropped below 50 per cent in a single campaign since then, with the low mark coming last term (50 per cent).

Klopp is the only Liverpool manager to win each of the top-flight, European Cup/Champions League, FA Cup, and League Cup with the club, while he has five major honours as it stands, which ranks him behind only Dalglish, Paisley (both six) and the great Shankly (13).

 

His Liverpool side peaked between 2018 and 2020. After reaching the Champions League final in 2017-18, the Reds won their sixth European Cup the following season, before then breaking their Premier League duck in 2019-20, albeit they wrapped up that title behind closed doors. They had also won the Super Cup and Club World Cup earlier that term.

The FA Cup and EFL Cup were both won in 2022 en route to what could have been a historic quadruple.

Liverpool still have four trophies left to play for this season. They sit top of the Premier League as it stands; they will face Chelsea in the EFL Cup final; they are into the knockout stage of the Europa League and they have a home tie against Norwich City in the fourth round of the FA Cup coming up on Sunday.

Klopp's best season based purely on win percentage came in 2021-22, when Liverpool won a remarkable 73 per cent of their games in all competitions, only to fall short of pipping Manchester City to the title on the last day of the Premier League season, before losing to Real Madrid in the Champions League final.

A European master

Klopp started as he meant to go on when it came to European football with Liverpool, leading the Reds to the Europa League final in his first season in charge.

Though they lost to Sevilla on that occasion back in 2016, Liverpool have gone from strength to strength in continental competitions. They were undone by Gareth Bale's magic and Loris Karius' error in Kyiv in 2018, but left all in Europe in their wake when they overcame Tottenham in Madrid a year later, having signed Alisson to ensure they had a top-class goalkeeper between the posts.

Liverpool were back in the showpiece match three years later. Again, it was Madrid they faced, and again Los Blancos came out on top – Vinicius Junior's goal and Thibaut Courtois' heroics enough to deny Klopp his second Champions League crown.

 

Klopp will not manage Liverpool again in the Champions League, meaning his 61.5 win percentage (40/65) in the competition will be maintained. His Liverpool team have scored an incredible 144 Champions League goals - an average of 2.2 per game.

Unbeaten runs, Guardiola rivalry and dominating the derby

The rivalry between Klopp's Liverpool and Pep Guardiola's Man City has been the lifeblood of the Premier League over recent seasons. 

While Liverpool are not exactly cash-strapped, they do not have the state-backed wealth that City enjoy, yet Klopp has managed to keep the Reds highly competitive – on two occasions, they have finished just one point below City with points tallies that in almost any other circumstance would have surely seen them win the title.

Since Klopp's first Premier League game, Liverpool have taken 671 points, a tally that trails only City (716), while the Reds have a positive goal difference of 367 (675 goals for, 308 goals against).

As it stands, Klopp is the Premier League's third-most successful manager based on points per game, with his 2.12 ranking behind only Alex Ferguson (2.16) and Guardiola (2.34).

His next victory in the top flight will bring up his 200th as Liverpool manager, from what will be his 318th such match in charge.

Only Guardiola (18 with City between August and December 2017) has been on a winning run as long as Klopp has in the Premier League, with Liverpool having rallied off 18 straight wins between October 2019 and February 2020. The Reds had previously gone on a 17-game winning streak between March 2019 and October 2019, a run that was ended by a 1-1 draw with Manchester United. 

Liverpool went on a 44-game unbeaten streak, meanwhile, between January 2019 and February 2020. Arsene Wenger (49 games between May 2003 and October 2004) is the only Premier League manager to have gone more successive matches without defeat.

Klopp has gone up against Guardiola on 24 occasions, making City the team Liverpool have faced the most in his time at the club. He has claimed 10 wins (41.7 per cent), lost six times and drawn eight games.

 

Of the four other 'big six' clubs, Chelsea rank as Klopp's least favourite, with just a 27.3 per cent win record from 22 matches (six victories). Klopp has faced Manchester United, meanwhile, on 18 occasions, winning seven times (36.8 per cent).

Meanwhile, Klopp has dominant form in the Merseyside derby. From 18 such meetings, Liverpool have lost just once to Everton, with that defeat coming at Anfield, behind closed doors, in 2021. The Reds have beaten the Toffees 11 times under Klopp (61.1 per cent).

Of the current Premier League sides, Klopp has claimed 12 victories over Bournemouth from 15 meetings, with that win percentage (80) his best against any side he has faced over six times.

Superstar Salah, fearsome front threes and flying full-backs

The story goes that Klopp was not initially in favour of signing Mohamed Salah from Roma back in 2017, but his arm was twisted by Liverpool's then-recruitment guru, Michael Edwards. If that is indeed true, then Klopp will no doubt be thrilled he was swayed to bring in the Egyptian.

Salah has scored 204 goals in 332 appearances for Liverpool, 84 goals more than any other player under Klopp (Sadio Mane – 120 goals from 269 appearances).

 

Only Roberto Firmino (355) has played more times for the Reds in Klopp's tenure than Salah, whose 306 starts puts him out in front. The 31-year-old has totalled up 27,037 minutes, over 2,000 more than next-best Firmino (24,903).

Salah also tops the charts for goal contributions (286), having added 82 assists on top of his strike tally.

Firmino and Mane, Salah's partners in crime in what was arguably the most feared forward line in world football, chipped in with 182 and 157 goal contributions respectively.

Meanwhile, Klopp has given more debuts to teenagers than any manager in Liverpool's history (42). One of those teenagers was Trent Alexander-Arnold, who along with Andrew Robertson, became pivotal to Klopp's heavy metal football.

The flying full-backs have been assist machines: Alexander-Arnold has created 78 goals in 298 appearances, while Robertson has crafted 63 from 275 games.

Just Firmino and Salah have played more minutes under Klopp than Alexander-Arnold (24,323) and Robertson (23,498). 

What's next?

Whoever replaces Klopp has big shoes to fill, and this might well end up being Salah's last season at Anfield too, as Saudi Pro League clubs circle.

Xabi Alonso and Julian Nagelsmann have been some early names touted around, but until the end of May, it will be all about the Kop bidding goodbye to Klopp.

He deserves a hero's farewell.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp joked his close friend David Wagner asked him to make major changes for Norwich’s visit to Anfield in the FA Cup.

Klopp and Wagner have known each other more than 25 years – Wagner was best man at his wedding – after being team-mates at Mainz but more recently have found themselves on opposite sides of the technical area.

Wagner was manager for Huddersfield’s brief stay in the Premier League but lost all three matches against Liverpool.

Now he brings the Canaries to Anfield for a fourth-round tie on Sunday looking for a favour he knows he will not get from his long-time friend.

“We had already conversations about it. He asked me for massive rotation. I told him that doesn’t help, obviously,” said Klopp of Wagner’s request to face a weakened team.

“It’s cool to have the game. When he worked at Huddersfield, he watched a lot of games here in the stadium, when they didn’t play he was here, and now he’s back.

“We didn’t see each other for a long time, the next time probably would have been in the summer, so now it’s good to catch up and to lock horns again.”

Wagner has a 40 per cent win ratio since taking over at Carrow Road last January but, after a sticky patch between September and November when his side won just twice, he has got them back in form.

Wednesday’s defeat to fellow Championship promotion-chasers Leeds was only their fourth loss in 16 matches.

“(He did a) really good job but a really difficult job. I think the start of the season was really good and then they lose more or less their offensive department and that’s when they struggled a bit,” said Klopp.

“Now they are in touching distance of the play-off spots and they obviously have big games coming up.

“The Championship season itself is already pretty intense but if you have a longer FA Cup run in it, it’s obviously very similar to a very successful Premier League season with international football or something like that, because of the amount of teams in the league and the amount of games you have.

“I follow it as much as I can because I’m just interested in everything he is doing.”

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has been quick to play down early talk of another quadruple bid after booking their place in the Carabao Cup final.

The Reds were chasing four trophies two years ago when they beat Chelsea – who they will again face in next month’s final – at Wembley.

In that season Klopp’s side played every match they were eligible for but finished with only a domestic cup double after being pipped to the Premier League title on the last day by Manchester City and losing to Real Madrid in the Champions League final.

This time around they again have their sights on a four-trophy haul, sitting top of the Premier League having reached the last 16 of the Europa League and face Championship opponents Norwich in the FA Cup on Sunday.

“I didn’t think about it to be honest because we are far off having ‘four finals’,” said Klopp, less than 24 hours after their 3-2 semi-final aggregate win over Fulham.

“We have qualified for one. It makes no sense to plan the next one before you have played the first one.

“The competitions are not made so that someone wins all of them. It’s just the number of games. I saw that the final is on February 25 and if we win on Sunday then the next round of the FA Cup will be three days later.

“It’s very unlikely we reach all three finals, it’s just the nature of it.”

The disquiet continues over the decision for Mohamed Salah to leave Egypt’s Africa Cup of Nations base in Ivory Coast to return to Merseyside for treatment on a hamstring injury.

Egypt’s doctor Mohamed Abou El-Ela reportedly told African media Salah did not want to come back and claimed Klopp revealing he would be leaving before the national team had chance to announce it had caused problems.

While Klopp apologised if he spoke out of turn he stressed both parties wanted the best for their prized asset.

“Most people in Egypt understand the situation because we have exactly the same target as Egypt – make Mo fit as quick as possible,” he added.

“That’s all we want and that’s how it always is. If a player is injured we try everything to help him to get fit as quick as possible.

“All parties agreed that it makes sense he is doing rehab here. We have a season to play so we want him fit but if he is fit earlier then as long as Egypt is still in the tournament he will go back, that is clear. Then it’s a win-win.

“If I said something too early – I knew there were discussions that he might come home but I didn’t know if that was already sorted – and then someone tells me ‘How can you say that?’ then I’m sorry, it wasn’t intentionally wrong.”

Midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai is expected to return from a hamstring injury at the weekend after four matches out but Klopp does not yet know if right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold (knee) will be available for training on Friday.

Jurgen Klopp hailed Liverpool’s game plan and admitted his players “understood” the occasion better than Fulham after Wednesday night’s 1-1 Carabao Cup semi-final draw booked their place in the final thanks to a 3-2 aggregate win.

Luiz Diaz’s first-half strike was cancelled out by Issa Diop’s 76th-minute equaliser but the Cottagers could not find another at Craven Cottage as the Reds set up a Wembley showdown with Chelsea.

Klopp praised Liverpool’s second-half performance, where they soaked up pressure and frustrated Marco Silva’s men.

“They came out and they pressed for a while, but we understood the game slightly better,” Klopp said.

“I liked the second half as well. We should’ve scored, there were two situations.

“I think the counter-attack, everything was perfect and then Lucho (Diaz) doesn’t find the right player – which was a little bit of a shame – and when Harvey (Elliott) could shoot with his slightly-weaker right foot, we could’ve put the game to bed, but we didn’t.”

Liverpool were far from their best on the night and missed the presence of Mohamed Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Klopp knew the occasion would not be an easy one against their Premier League rivals but a solid team performance saw the visitors capitalise on their 2-1 first-leg advantage at Anfield.

“It was just a good game, a good cup game,” Klopp added.

“Whoever expected tonight that we just show quality and we get through and this will be a walk in the park doesn’t understand the game and doesn’t understand the importance of the occasion.

“Both teams wanted to go to Wembley – and we qualified and that’s all we could wish for.”

Joe Gomez continued to feature at left-back in place of the injured Andy Robertson and rarely put a foot wrong against Bobby De Cordova-Reid.

Klopp added: “He played exceptional today again. He’s a real defender and he comes inside. He’s doing that really well.

“He is a life-saver, to be honest, that he was here, that he could play and people forget how important Joey (Gomez) was in the best years we had.

“I don’t know how many games he played in the year when we became champions and how many games he played when we won the Champions League. A lot and rightly so because he’s a top-class player.”

Jurgen Klopp was delighted his Liverpool side matched Fulham’s desire to reach the Carabao Cup final after the Reds secured their place at Wembley with a spirited 1-1 second-leg draw at Craven Cottage.

Luis Diaz put the Reds in the driving seat in the first half and despite Issa Diop’s 76th minute equaliser giving Fulham late hope, Liverpool sealed a 3-2 aggregate win after their 2-1 victory at Anfield earlier this month.

Klopp lauded his side’s spirit in the late stages as they now ready themselves for a repeat of the 2022 final against Mauricio Pochettino’s Chelsea.

“We were just ready for this game and that’s the most important thing. I saw Marco Silva’s press conference and we know what this game meant to them and so I told the boys we have to also show it,” Klopp said.

“We had to show it to the outside world that we wanted it as much as them and I saw that.

“We had to get over the line and we did. It feels great, we are really happy, the boys wanted it and they got it and so we have 10 games to play before the final in four weeks or so. We are looking forward to Wembley.”

Liverpool defeated Chelsea in both the Carabao Cup and FA Cup finals two years ago and Klopp believes the Blues will be motivated to get their revenge.

He added: “It will be a big one but we all know it’s against Chelsea. They will want to put history right after playing us twice two years ago.”

Diaz was quick to react and beat Timothy Castagne in the air before a deflected strike got past Bernd Leno at his near post.

The Liverpool boss talked up the winger’s impact after his standout performance on the night.

Klopp said: “He was very good. He’s a fantastic player and I have absolutely no criticism of him but I wish he set up the second and scored the third.

“The speed and the power he can generate, the technique and the combination of that is outstanding so I’m really happy.”

Fulham dug deep to try and force the game into extra-time but their earlier missed opportunities frustrated Silva come full time.

Silva believes Liverpool’s experience in big games was the difference maker between the two sides.

He said: “Tonight I felt like they were much calmer than us and to them it was just another game. With most of our players it is new to them to play in a semi-final of this competition and it is what it is.

“I think the club is going to grow in these type of moments and the players as well.”

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has defended Jordan Henderson’s right to make his own career choices even if they are not always “perfect”.

Klopp’s former Champions League and Premier League-winning captain has left Saudi Arabian club Al-Ettifaq just six months after departing Anfield to return to Europe with Ajax.

Henderson’s lucrative move to a country where same-sex relationships are illegal was heavily criticised in the UK as he had previously been a high-profile supporter of LGBTQ+ rights.

And while Klopp avoided the controversy which surrounded that, he said the 33-year-old was entitled to go where he felt it benefited him the most.

“People are really critical of Hendo about the move, first there and now coming back,” said Klopp.

“I don’t know how we dare, always judging these kind things. We have one life and we have to make decisions and sometimes our decisions are perfect in the first case and sometimes it is different after you made them.

“He was there and it was 100 per cent an interesting experience and I spoke to him and 99 per cent of football things there were absolutely fine.

“There are many things to develop in the future but (he was) never really critical or saying: ‘It’s not possible that that’s not there’, but then he thought it is better for him and the family to come back to Europe and now he is at Ajax Amsterdam, a sensational club in a difficult moment.

“I’m happy for him as it looks like he is happy and that is the most important thing to me.

“He is going to Holland where he can enjoy his football definitely again. The family will feel wonderful because the city is absolutely outstanding.

“I will definitely talk to him in these few days but he has a few things to do which are more important.”

Norwich manager David Wagner is relishing the prospect of pitting his wits against close friend Jurgen Klopp after his side secured an FA Cup fourth-round tie with Liverpool.

Wagner has promised his team will “go for it” when they head to Anfield following their 3-1 win over League One side Bristol Rovers in their third-round replay at the Memorial Stadium.

His side had to come from behind after Rovers took a first-half lead through Luke McCormick but the Canaries ended up comfortable winners thanks to goals from Gabriel Sara, Adam Idah and Kenny McLean.

“I haven’t checked my messages yet but I wouldn’t be surprised if Jurgen has already been in touch now we’re through,” said Wagner, who was a team-mate of Klopp’s at Mainz and best man at his 2005 wedding.

“I haven’t seen Jurgen in person since his birthday party last year so it will be great to have a bit of reunion with him.

“But it’s not about us and above all it’s all about making sure my team go to Anfield and do Norwich City proud.

“A tie at Anfield is a really big prize for my team and I know my players will relish the opportunity to take on the Premier League’s best players.

“But it’s not something that should hold any fear for my players and I will be telling them that we will go for it.

“It will be a great game but there are important Championship games between now and Liverpool but I promise we will be ready and will give a good account of ourselves.”

Wagner saluted his players after their second-half improvement.

“At half-time I asked them to be brave and be positive and so I could not be happier with their response,” he added.

“There are lots of positives we can take from this tie.

“The first 20 minutes we lacked energy but we needed to show more desire, aggression and hunger in the final third.

“When you’re 1-0 behind at a difficult place you can feel the heat and feel the pressure but we rose to the challenge.

“We showed lots of character and stayed strong and stayed together and we will have to show that again at Liverpool.”

Rovers manager Matt Taylor said: “This is a defeat that hurts because for me we’ve played a big part in our own downfall.

“Matt (Cox) was almost our penalty hero with the way he got a hand to the penalty (from Idah that made it 2-1) but that epitomises us in a sense.

“We’re an almost team and that’s got to change if we’re going to get anywhere.

“I’m proud of the players because we’ve gone toe-to-toe with a good Championship side.

“But overall it’s a big regret because we played well over the two legs. We shot ourselves in the foot in that little second-half spell which is frustrating.”

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists his belief is endless in his forwards whether they score or not after Darwin Nunez had an impactful but not ultimately decisive role in the 2-1 Carabao Cup semi-final first-leg win over Fulham.

After coming off the bench in the 56th minute, the Uruguay international provided the assist for Curtis Jones’ deflected equaliser and then the cross from which fellow substitute Cody Gakpo swept home the winner.

On another day Nunez, who has scored just once in the last 16 matches, could have had a late hat-trick after being denied by goalkeeper Bernd Leno which would have virtually put Liverpool in the final ahead of the second leg in a fortnight.

“He plays outstanding, I have to say it. There are so many things I love about his game,” said Klopp.

“The first year was a year to adapt and he scored here and there but now he contributes in all games.

“The boys don’t start because they score or not score. My belief and trust in them, as long as they behave properly, is endless. They deserve it because of the effort they put in.

“I don’t know how to explain the Darwin situation. I’m so happy about Darwin’s reaction and how he takes it but you cannot be more unlucky in these finishing situations, that’s not possible.

“He does absolutely everything right, yet ball not in. And then he still sets up the other goal. I think that is really special to do that again.”

Liverpool’s substitutes have contributed 15 goals and 15 assists in all competitions this season, 12 better than any other Premier League team, and Nunez has been responsible for three goals and four assists.

His contribution was crucial as Klopp had no other options as the six other outfield substitutes were all academy graduates, the oldest of whom was 21-year-old left-back Owen Beck, recalled from a loan spell with Dundee.

The players currently absent, either with injury or international duty, are Mohamed Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Thiago Alcantara, Dominik Szoboszlai, Joel Matip, Andy Robertson, Wataru Endo, Kostas Tsimikas and Stefan Bajcetic.

“We have more players available usually but the boys who came on have real quality, obviously, already,” added Klopp.

“That we can bring Cody and Darwin from the bench, that is a proper change. On top of that, we changed the system and the formation and the set-up.”

Fulham boss Marco Silva was grateful to still have a chance in the second leg after they failed to capitalise on Willian’s 19th-minute opener.

“Two different halves. It wasn’t our best performance, even so first half we had a plan. We were ruthless from the first moment and really good from Willian when we scored,” he said.

“The second half was different, we struggled a bit more. We should manage them in a different way.

“They were a bit lucky the first goal, a deflection that changed completely the game, and the only thing that is disappointing is the way we managed the next 10 minutes.

“In a competition where we are playing two legs we cannot concede a fast attack like that. Liverpool had one or two chances to score the third and the reality is that Leno kept us in the game.”

Trent Alexander-Arnold will be sidelined for several weeks with a knee injury, Liverpool assistant manager Pep Lijnders has confirmed.

Alexander-Arnold suffered the injury during Sunday’s 2-0 FA Cup victory over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.

Speaking ahead of Wednesday’s first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final with Fulham at Anfield, Lijnders said: “First of all, some not-that-good news, Trent hyper-extended his knee during the last game.

“So he has a little tear in the lateral ligament of his knee and he will need time to recover. He had a scan and he will be out for a few weeks, so let’s see after that.

“He will get some rest and then hopefully he can come back to where he was. Because this guy was decisive in all the games and was the one who created constantly for us from deep and gave the team a high level of flexibility.

“We will really miss him.”

Lijnders also revealed that Virgil van Dijk is available again after missing the Arsenal game due to illness, but Dominik Szoboszlai remains sidelined.

Mikel Arteta admitted Arsenal need a psychological “reset” after they could not capitalise on chances in their 2-0 FA Cup third-round loss to Liverpool at the Emirates.

The Gunners dominated the first half but Jakub Kiwior conceded an own goal after 80 minutes before Luis Diaz’s neat finish in second half added-time was enough for Jurgen Klopp’s men to claim victory.

Arteta’s side now have just one win in seven matches across all competitions and the boss agreed his side risk falling into a mental slump after failing to find the finishing touch.

He said: “Probably it has (become a psychological issue). Especially after today, more than it was against Fulham or West Ham before that. That’s why I think we need to reset. This break is good. It comes in a good time.

“We’re going to as well feel how we feel and how I feel about them in difficult moments. Hopefully I can see that from other people too. When things are going well they jump on the train. Now things are difficult, let’s see where they stand.

“We haven’t capitalised. Not just today, but in the last few games as well. That’s why we’re not winning games. Merit-wise there is no question that we deserve to win the games but the results are very different.

“But when my team plays with that courage and attitude against probably the best team in Europe right now in terms of momentum what can I do but stick by them and support them?

“What we need to do now is stick behind those players, give them some love, train them and make sure they visualise something very different to what is actually happening now. They’ve done it. We’re not going to reinvent the wheel, because they’ve done it.”

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was delighted by his side’s second-half reply, but brushed aside any suggestion he might look at the result as a harbinger for the Premier League title race, or even a boost for the Reds’ confidence in that chase.

He said: “No. I can’t (read into it). It doesn’t mean nobody can, but I can’t. We don’t have a problem with belief and confidence, we are not really bothered about the things you are talking about because we can read the calendar.

“We see it’s January; it’s cold outside, stuff like this, and you just have to stay warm and play as good as you can, and that’s what we try.”

Klopp was more forthcoming about his squad, rattling off a list of injured and absent, including Virgil van Dijk, who was ruled out with illness before the contest but remains a “hopeful” return for Wednesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final first leg with Fulham.

He added: “It’s a tough game, nobody comes to Arsenal and wins just like this [clicks fingers], so in this game there will be difficult moments [and] if we start in these moments – which humans very often do – [looking] for excuses and then we realise who else is not here, it’s normal that we have these problems, then we are screwed.

“But if you know these kinds of things you can avoid it – and that’s what we did. The boys enjoyed the game, at least in the second half. That’s really cool. Staying in a game that looked in the first half like that, then growing into a game, is a pretty special thing to do.”

Trent Alexander-Arnold hailed Liverpool’s late victory after their 2-0 win over Arsenal in the FA Cup third round.

Jakub Kiwior conceded an own goal after 80 minutes before Luis Diaz’s neat finish in second half added-time was enough for Jurgen Klopp’s men to claim victory.

Liverpool struggled to get going in the opening 45 before they found their rhythm late on to book their place in the fourth round.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Alexander-Arnold said: “It was a huge win. We had a lot of players missing today. We came here with one objective, which was to win and to get into the next round and we have done that with two late goals.

“We had chances and we changed things at half-time internally. We came out and played football, created chances, the changes we made had an impact for us.

“There were times in the first half where we were a bit naive. We had mistakes, a sloppy pass here and there.”

Alexander-Arnold’s whipped corner led to Kiwior nodding the ball past Aaron Ramsdale and into his own net.

He added: “The inswingers (crosses) you want to make as difficult as possible and that’s the aim, to make it as hard as possible for them to clear the ball. Any flick from one of their players could potentially go in.”

Liverpool continue to battle on four fronts after Jakub Kiwior’s own goal and a stoppage-time strike by Luis Diaz sent them through to the FA Cup fourth round with a 2-0 win at Arsenal.

Jurgen Klopp’s side were without captain Virgil van Dijk and Mohamad Salah, but after they were able to ride their luck in north London, stand-in skipper Trent Alexander-Arnold’s excellent late cross forced the opener and Diaz was able to wrap up a hard-fought victory with a powerful late finish.

It inflicted a fourth defeat in seven matches on Arsenal, who fired another blank despite creating a plethora of chances at the Emirates to leave manager Mikel Arteta with problems to solve ahead of their short mid-season break.

The two Premier League title rivals – choosing not to wear red in support of Arsenal’s anti-knife crime initiative – played out a 1-1 draw at Anfield a fortnight ago and while both managers picked strong teams, a handful of changes were made with Aaron Ramsdale given the nod.

The Gunners goalkeeper was immediately into the thick of the action but in an attacking sense with a wonderful pass sending Reiss Nelson through on goal although he could only fire into the side-netting after rounding Alisson.

Nelson had been given a rare starting berth with Eddie Nketiah dropped and Gabriel Jesus out with a knee injury, which resulted in Kai Havertz leading the line.

Havertz tested Alisson with an early curled effort before the opener should have arrived in the 11th minute.

Bukayo Saka robbed Joe Gomez of possession and found the unmarked Havertz, who teed up Nelson and while Ibrahima Konate slide in, Martin Odegaard was first to the loose ball but he crashed an effort against the crossbar and Liverpool survived.

Klopp’s side waited until midway through the first half for their opening chance when Darwin Nunez headed wide from a Harvey Elliott corner.

It did not mark a shift in the ascendancy though with Havertz wasting a fine opening before Alisson tipped over a stinging drive from Ben White.

From the resulting corner Saka picked out Havertz at the back post, but the Germany international headed wide from six yards.

Not even treatment for Liverpool’s young defender Jarell Quansah halted Arsenal’s momentum with Havertz again denied by Alisson a minute before half-time.

Arsenal very nearly paid for their first-half profligacy when Cody Gakpo teed up Alexander-Arnold but the stand-in captain struck the crossbar with his superb 16-yard strike to ensure it remained goalless at the break.

Liverpool initially came out with improved intent for the second half and Curtis Jones curled over before Nunez flashed an effort wide.

Normal service soon resumed with Saka only able to hook over from a Havertz cross, before Alisson showed his class on the hour mark. Another Havertz delivery took a deflection off Quansah and looked to be heading in until the Reds goalkeeper brilliantly clawed the ball away, with Saka slicing wide on the follow-up.

Frustration was growing at the Emirates and as Klopp turned to his bench with Diogo Jota and Ryan Gravenberch introduced, Arteta made his first roll of the dice.

Gabriel Martinelli’s entrance injected renewed hope for an agitated home crowd, but Ramsdale was called upon with 13 minutes remaining to push wide a low effort by Diaz.

Jota headed against the bar from Alexander-Arnold’s resulting corner and yet his next delivery produced the breakthrough.

Odegaard fouled Gravenberch close to the byline and Alexander-Arnold’s fine inswinging cross was headed beyond a diving Ramsdale by the unfortunate Kiwior.

Arsenal pushed for a late leveller but Liverpool’s place in round four was confirmed when Diaz smashed home after a slick counter-attack in the fifth minute of added-time.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta believes it is time for FA Cup replays to be scrapped.

The Spaniard was speaking ahead of his side’s crunch third-round tie against Premier League leaders Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium.

Following Sunday’s match, the Gunners – who have slipped five points behind Jurgen Klopp’s side in the race for the title – are set to be out of action for 13 days.

But a draw at the Emirates would force the two sides to meet at Anfield during what would be a rare and crucial near-fortnight off for Arsenal in their challenge on both domestic and European fronts.

When asked if the Football Association should consider pulling the plug on replays, Arteta, whose side will also contest a rejigged Champions League next season if they finish in the top four, said: “I think so.

“We will see what happens because with the new format of the Champions League, there will be more games (to play) so I don’t know how we are going to fit them in.

“The (mini) break will be minimal and we have plans for both scenarios. We want to win the game and we will try to win the game, but that (cancelling replays) has to be considered.”

With just one win from their last five outings, Arsenal will head into Sunday’s mouth-watering fixture against in-form Liverpool as marginal underdogs.

In contrast to Arsenal’s drab defeat against Fulham, Liverpool fired four past Newcastle on New Year’s Day to allow them to take top spot in the league.

Arsenal’s free-scoring form of last season has dried up following just four goals in their previous five league outings – with half of those coming in a 2-0 home win against Brighton.

None of Arsenal’s frontline have managed to break into double figures for the season so far with Bukayo Saka leading the way on nine.

“What they (the forwards) did last year was exceptional and we knew that to maintain those numbers would be extremely difficult because it was a one-off,” added Arteta.

“Not just for us, a one-off in the league. We know that we need all the resources and all those kinds of goals to maintain the level that we want in the league.

“When it comes to those spaces, the timing and the definition of the action (in front of goal) that becomes trickier to coach and certainly to replicate as an action in the game.

“It’s very tricky but it’s something that we have to improve, especially in the way we have not transformed recent chances into goals.”

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