‘Difficult’ – What Premier League rivals have said concerning Liverpool this season

Here’s a review of what teams have said about Liverpool in the opening few weeks of the new Premier League season.

The Reds have been forced to prove their resilience during their successful start to the new campaign.

Klopp’s men have won three of their first four Premier League matches and join a quartet of teams to sit on 10 points heading into the international break.

The Reds began with a draw at Chelsea but it was what came after which has led to suggestions that Liverpool could be the team to challenge Manchester City’s recent dominance.

The Reds came down to 10 men in their wins over Bournemouth and Newcastle United – recording a comeback victory against the latter, despite being without Virgil van Dijk for more than an hour.

The Reds signed off with a comfortable 3-0 win over Aston Villa to maintain their unbeaten start heading into the first international break of the new campaign. Here’s what the opposition have had to say about Liverpool so far this season:

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino
“I am so pleased with the performance, we deserved to win because we only conceded one shot on target against a team like Liverpool,” he said.

“It’s only the start, only the beginning after six weeks together, I say thank you to all of the staff in all of the areas of the club and the players, they are the principal actors.”

On Chelsea beating Liverpool to Moises Caicedo’s signature: “I saw Klopp said I will not be in the business and then they offered £100m and he says, ‘oh I made a mistake and something changed’.”

Bournemouth boss Anadoni Iraola
On Alexis Mac Allister red card and Alisson challenge: “For me the red card was more kind of orange. And the Alisson situation was kind of orange. It is a difficult decision for the referee. I understand. They are not easy decisions.

“Before the penalty we were competing,” Iraola admitted.

“This penalty was important for them and after, when they were with 10 men, the next play they scored.

“I’ve seen it. We see everything on the bench, we have the chance to see it. I think it is a very, very soft penalty. It is contact. It’s a penalty that once the referee whistles, I don’t think the VAR is going to call him.

“Even if it is very light, there is contact. But in that moment, it was important for us. We were unlucky that the ball went to Salah and it’s 2-1.”

Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe
“Absolutely that is as painful as the game at Anfield last year. I thought we played really well, the opening stages can’t be forgotten by me,” he said.

“I thought we were excellent, individual performances were very strong and the sending-off almost harmed us. The second goal changes everything and we didn’t get it. When Nunez comes on they are looking for one moment and they got two.

“It is hard to take, the deflection of Sven Botman’s back and into Nunez’s path (for the equaliser) is not something you can describe but it is a great finish. We should really accept in that moment we won’t win the game but don’t lose it.

“Think back to the game last season we played very well with 10 (Newcastle lost 2-0 at home in February). When they have players like Salah and Nunez on the pitch they are a huge transition threat,” Howe added.

On potential Trent Alexander-Arnold red card: “At that moment I thought it was a clear second yellow card but the referee didn’t agree.”

Aston Villa manager Unai Emery
“It is difficult to win here and the first half was the key because after the first goal we were not bad, we had the chances, we trying to play imposing our positioning but it wasn’t easy to do it,” Emery said.

“When we were breaking their pressing we were getting into the box and we had chances, but we were not clinical and 2-0 was not really the result we deserved for the first half. Second half we said we would continue our gameplan and if we scored one we could get back into the game.

“We had two chances at the beginning of the second half but didn’t score, and they created one in transition and they scored the third goal and it was match finished.”

Villa captain John McGinn
“The corner (for the first goal) comes from us – we allow them to get the ball in the box and it’s a terrific strike from (Dominik) Szoboszlai,” explained McGinn.

“They’ve got players that can hurt you and have the quality to score goals like that. If you allow a team like Liverpool that head start it becomes a difficult afternoon.

“We had chances for people like me to get back into the game, but we didn’t take them. Liverpool proved that they’ll be a real force this season.”



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