Liverpool might have played even better if Alexis Sanchez had started for Arsenal, says Jurgen Klopp

James Benge
Getty Images

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insisted he was not surprised by Alexis Sanchez’s absence from the Arsenal lineup in his side’s 3-1 win at Anfield.

And Klopp claimed that the presence of Sanchez in the starting lineup might have brought an even better performance out of the Reds, who leapfrogged Arsenal in fourth with an impressive win against their Champions League rivals.

Arsene Wenger kept Sanchez on the bench for 45 minutes at Anfield by which time goals from Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane had placed the hosts firmly in the ascendancy.

Sanchez’s arrival from the bench brought the best out of Arsenal, who came close to equalising following Danny Welbeck’s goal early in the second half but were forced to settle for defeat when Georginio Wijnaldum struck at full-time.

Wenger admitted after the game that he had erred in leaving out his top scorer to the surprise of many, though the Liverpool manager claimed Sanchez’s absence was not a decisive factor in the match.

Klopp said of Wenger’s contentious decision: “I’m 17 years a manager and I’m really not surprised about any line-ups in my life… only if somebody broke their leg last week and then he starts. Then I’d think I’d want to meet the doctor!

“We always make the analysis without knowing who is playing. You can imagine, we did it with Alexis Sanchez in the line-up, but then when [Olivier] Giroud is on the pitch, it’s a different game because they cross more often.

“For us, it was not a big advantage; as I said, Alexis had a big impact on the game, but because we had to adapt to it. If he starts, then we could have already a better solution from the beginning.”

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes