Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp marvels at his Reds scoring their 300th goal — but insists only silverware REALLY matters

Stop and consider this statistic for a second.

With their third against Bournemouth on Saturday, Liverpool reached the 300 goal mark under Jurgen Klopp.

The German coach arrived on October 8, 2015.

So in two and a half years, while rebuilding a struggling team virtually from scratch, they have hit three centuries of goals.

To put that into some kind of perspective, Bob Paisley’s first three seasons as manager delivered 280 goals in a period quite possibly the zenith of the club’s history, as they won two league titles, a UEFA Cup and the European Cup for the first time.

Klopp’s Reds are scoring at an even faster than the great Bob Paisley-led 1970s side
(Image: PA Wire)

So when people wonder how Mo Salah has scored 40 goals in a miraculous season, the answer can be simply delivered in two words: Jurgen Klopp.

He won’t say it himself, but he hates the type of pragmatic, airless football the likes of Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte have used to win trophies — that Italian catenaccio approach which strangles football.

Yet the German insists he doesn’t want artistic football for the sake of it. Creating goals, lots of them, are a means to an end. And that end must ultimately be winning trophies.

For Klopp, doing that with Liverpool, who don’t have the budget or financial pull of the world’s truly rich clubs, that style – his philosophy – is the best way to challenge the world’s best, as the Champions League tie against Manchester City proved.

“Playing like this is great, it’s just great and scoring these goals is really good — 300 is really a massive number, to be honest,” he said.

Roberto Firmino scored the 300th goal of Klopp’s Liverpool reign on Saturday…
(Image: Reuters)
…a last-minute effort to cap a comfortable home win over Bournemouth…
(Image: PA)
…to keep his Champions League semi-finalists’ momentum going
(Image: Getty)

“I love watching that kind of football but I don’t just want to be the entertainer or whatever and it is like, ‘Oh, we had fun, but we didn’t win anything’. I know the reason is we come here together to win things but I think the way you try to do it is important.

“Where do you start first? You cannot be successful without playing good football, you cannot be the best side in the world, have the best players.

“Yeah, you can play defensive football – that’s possible. But we are not one and not the other (richest or best) so we have to find a way for ourselves. That is what we do step by step (with our style). It’s about winning football games. It’s about creating moments and the will to use them.”

Emre Can scores the first goal for Liverpool
Emre Can scored the first goal of Klopp’s reign in a Europa League game against Rubin Kazan
(Image: Reuters)

For Klopp the goals have been a constant in a tough learning process for his side. They always had a threat, but conceded far too many.

Now there is a balance, they proved with three fine goals from their front three against Bournemouth to take their combined total to 82 for the season, an all time Reds record.

And another clean sheet.

It was their 10th in the last 15 games, and for Klopp, that shows his side are now truly progressing.

“We scored a lot of goals before but nobody was really happy about not having clean sheets because it makes winning quite difficult,” he said.

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“We had the set piece issue, and step by step we sorted it. It’s not always easy, especially when you (get a reputation) for a set piece problem and it’s like that idea becomes set. But yes, its more and more mature.

“Even the fans (don’t panic now), don’t ask for the next fantastic pass, so they are happy. The last two games have been a big step… but it is only a moment, we still have a lot more to do.”

With Salah the front three on fire, with the back line secure and with the Champions League on the horizon, that philosophy could finally deliver the trophy that will justify Klopp’s beliefs.

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