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Jurgen Klopp unfazed by Liverpool’s defensive lapses

Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool have not changed their defensive approach despite their record of only one clean sheet in their eight games so far this season.

Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool, Manchester City
Jurgen Klopp

The European champions are five points clear at the top of the Premier League after five straight wins but the backline has been breached in four of those matches.

And two late goals conceded in Naples in midweek meant their Champions League campaign started in disappointing fashion.

Klopp’s men started last season’s league campaign with three clean sheets and conceded just 22 Premier League goals all season, missing out on their first top-flight title since 1990 by a single point.

But Klopp said at his pre-Chelsea press conference on Friday that the change was down to circumstances rather than system.

“No, there is no difference,” he said at Liverpool’s training ground. “We didn’t focus more on offensive things and forget the defensive things.

“The goals happened completely strangely. There would have been a second clean sheet against Southampton if we don’t concede that goal, there could have been different clean sheets in other games.

“Of course it’s not exactly what we wanted but we don’t collect clean sheets. We want to win football games and we are still early in the season.”

Klopp, whose side travel to Frank Lampard’s Chelsea on Sunday, was asked about the importance of Virgil van Dijk and whether he had concerns about any potential injuries ruling the Dutchman out for a period of time.

“That’s the reason why we have four centre-halves,” he said.

“It’s not easy for the ‘in the moment number four’, not playing and sometimes not involved in the squad, but in the moment if something happens, like it was last year, not only one thing happens, a couple of things happen and then you end up with one centre-half and a defensive midfielder, which we did against Bayern.”

“We all need luck to be really successful, injury-wise first and foremost,” he added.

“I can imagine something like that is not easy but the other guys, I have said it a lot of times, from my point of view we have four world-class centre-halves. They can play together in each partnership and hopefully that will be enough for a season, to be honest.”

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