Jurgen Klopp acknowledged his emotions were bittersweet in the aftermath of Liverpool’s 1-0 Capital One Cup semifinal, first-leg victory over Stoke City on Tuesday night — a game in which three of his players sustained injuries.
The Reds firstly lost Philippe Coutinho and then Dejan Lovren to what appeared to be hamstring problems after just over half an hour at the Britannia Stadium, before Kolo Toure also picked up a knock in the closing stages.
And though Jordon Ibe struck the contest’s only goal before halftime to give Klopp’s side what could prove to be a crucial advantage ahead of the second leg at Anfield on Jan. 26, the manager admitted the injuries had taken the gloss off a fine night’s work from his team.
“If we’d scored one or two goals more then maybe (it would have been perfect),” Klopp said. “In this part of the season after the last game, it is always easy to criticize things — you can say we have to make this better, or make that better.
“But as a football game with our start, how we continued, how we stood in the game and how we defended first the playing build-up of Stoke, then the long balls, and how smart we were in defensive things, with pressing, coming out and moving — it was really good.”
Thumbnail photo via LiverpoolFC.com
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