Liverpool (AFP) – Jurgen Klopp was happy enough with Liverpool’s low-key 2-0 victory over Watford at Anfield after goals from Joe Allen and Roberto Firmino sank the Hornets.
This contest failed to capture the imagination as both teams have virtually finished caring about the Premier League this season.
Watford are mathematically safe after a wonderful season, whereas Liverpool are focused on the Europa League final against Sevilla in Basel on May 18.
The Reds cannot do anything of real note in the Premier League and it showed as they barely got out of first gear against Watford.
Klopp acknowledged that it was a drab day at the office, but was happy enough nonetheless.
“It was not brilliant but we did what was necessary. It was professional and we deserved to win.”
The German added: “I want us to be really consistent in all the games. When I came here it was not too easy to win here. It’s good but Anfield is a special place.
“It wasn’t the highest intensity or the most brilliant performance from the team or the crowd but it was nice to enjoy a Sunday afternoon.”
– ‘Not too smart’ –
Klopp was more interested in apologising for some comments he made in a press briefing last week about that upcoming Europa League final.
Basel’s St Jakob-Park ground only holds 38,000 fans and Liverpool’s allocation is a mere 9,000.
That means the rush for tickets will be intense, but Klopp originally told Liverpool fans to head to Switzerland anyhow for a party.
European governing body UEFA and Liverpool have both intervened though, and the Merseysiders’ manager rescinded his invitation in crystal clear terms after Sunday’s match.
“I just learnt this is the 49th game (of his Liverpool career), you usually need one-and-a-half years for that — and that’s about 5000 press conferences!,” Klopp said.
“I’ve said lot of things in this press conferences, I don’t remember them all, but the last time I spoke, I spoke about Basel, and I spoke like a supporter. I do it sometimes, because I like this game.”
The former Dortmund boss added: “I invited all Liverpool fans to Basel, and that was not too smart to be honest, and it is a nice city but it’s not ready for us. And that was my mistake.
“So I have to take back my invitation to the fans, and please only people with tickets should go there, because everything else will be chaos.”
Allen opened the scoring in the 35th minute of an uninspiring contest on Sunday.
After the interval, Watford showed more attacking intent, but they lacked the class to make Liverpool pay.
Their most notable chance fell to Odion Ighalo who watched his fine close-range shot somehow brilliantly saved by Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.
And as the end approached, Firmino added a small amount of gloss to the scoreline as his low, rasping drive was too strong for Heurelho Gomes to hold.
From a Watford perspective, their only concern now is whether or not manager Quique Sanchez Flores remains in charge come the end of the season.
A run to the semi-final of the FA Cup plus a comfortable season in the top-flight are not expected to be enough to ensure his future at Vicarage Road, but the Spaniard cut a relaxed figure after full-time at Anfield.
“Speculation is normal, rumours are normal, you have to learn to live with these kinds of things,” Flores said.
“Sometimes life is ridiculous. I’m not in control of anything. I don’t have any problem. I’m very proud of the players and Watford.
“It’s been amazing. It’s important to enjoy the journey –- that is important.”
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