Love hurts — Klopp fails to feel the emotion at briefing

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp arrived in Russia looking forward to his first visit to Moscow - but his first evening in the capital left him agitated and frustrated.

Love hurts — Klopp fails to feel the emotion at briefing

The Reds boss labelled his pre-match press conference at a hotel five minutes’ drive from where the team landed at Sheremetyevo Airport a “waste of time” and cut short his appearance after a bizarre line of questioning.

His mood was not helped by the constant clicking of photographers’ cameras and the Russian translator who then began translating his questions before he had finished them.

His patience almost snapped when he was asked whether he was in love with any of his players, a reference to Tottenham coach Mauricio Pochettino saying he loved striker Harry Kane.

“I am really impressed that we’re in a Champions League press conference and we’re talking about things like this,” he said. I really don’t understand the business any more.”

When the translator began to recount his answer in Russian, Klopp stopped her mid-sentence, saying: “It’s not important.

“The question and my answer were not important for Russia - it was just an English thing. Pochettino loves Kane and who do I love, that’s the question. A waste of time.”

With that he walked out and headed off to the team hotel.

Meanwhile, Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius insists there are no worries over the team’s defending and the fact they concede goals is down to the risks manager Klopp asks them to take.

The defence has come under scrutiny in recent weeks, having kept just two clean sheets in 10 matches, but Karius insists the focus should not be placed solely on the back four, and in particular the two centre-halves whomever they may be.

Instead he put it down to a collective failure, which he said was partly as a result of the attacking ethos Klopp has instilled.

“We’ve score a few goals up front and conceded a few but I don’t think that is just down to the defence,” said Karius, who is back in goal as Klopp’s preferred choice for Champions League games.

“We take a few risks and it works well for us in most of the games.

“We know we can defend better and we practise in training. We know where we can do better in defence. There are no worries.”

Karius intends to use his Champions League chance to prove to Klopp he is good enough to be contesting for a regular place.

The German has been given the responsibility for all the Reds’ European games after Klopp decided Simon Mignolet would be his Premier League goalkeeper.

Karius’ first outing saw him concede twice as Sevilla scored a late equaliser at Anfield a fortnight ago, although neither goal was his fault.

He will make his second appearance in Russia against Spartak Moscow and is determined to seize every opportunity.

“I want to prove to him (Klopp) I want to play in the Premier League but for now I use this game and then also I’ll hopefully be involved again, that is my goal for the future.

“It is good healthy competition. If you are at a big club like this you know there is competition.

“I see this as a chance when I get to play to show myself to the manager and use the Champions League as a chance for myself to show I am ready for the competition.

“But I am happy to play in this competition, it is something you dream of as a footballer.”

Klopp may not be happy but, on the plus side for Liverpool, all is not well with Moscow.

The first warning signs that Massimo Carrera - the former assistant to Antonio Conte at Juventus - might not be able to replicate last season’s surge to a first Spartak title since 2001 arrived in August.

Following back-to-back draws, the capital club were thrashed 5-1 at Zenit St Petersburg before losing derbies against CSKA Moscow and Lokomotiv Moscow. They now sit seventh in the league table.

In a further blow to their prospects of turning round an ailing campaign, star striker Quincy Promes - the scorer of six goals this term - sat out the weekend draw with Anzhi Makhachkala.

Head coach Carrera expects the injured Dutchman to miss out against the Reds, too.

He said: “We are waiting for more detailed information from the medical staff. But I think at the moment that (Pedro) Rocha is more likely to play than Promes.

“We are missing not only Promes, but also Ze Luis and Jano (Ananidze), who got injured too.”

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