Klopp ponders PSG's Manchester United blueprint

PSG is the only team to have beaten Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Manchester United but Jurgen Klopp is not sure how many lessons can be learned.

Paris Saint-Germain celebrate at Old Trafford   -  Getty Images

Liverpool will attempt to become the second team to beat Manchester United under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Sunday following Paris Saint-Germain's Champions League victory at Old Trafford.

A composed 2-0 win, featuring goals from Presnel Kimpembe and Kylian Mbappe for the Ligue 1 giant, won the admiration of Jurgen Klopp.

But the Liverpool boss is unsure to what extent the circumstances of that game can be replicated after United was derailed mid-match by injuries to influential attackers Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial – both of whom are in line to return as Klopp's men aim to avoid defeat and return to the top of the Premier League.

"Result-wise [PSG] were the only team, but Tottenham played a pretty good game against United to be honest," he told a news conference, referencing United's 1-0 win at Wembley where goalkeeper David de Gea excelled.

Read: Herrera the unsung hero of United's resurgence

"PSG were pretty cool with the ball, passed a lot, they were really confident, good positioning, passing through the lines and scoring in the right moment."

United returned to winning ways with a superb 2-0 triumph at Chelsea in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Monday.

Jurgen Klopp is still without the services of defender Dejan Lovren.   -  Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

 

Klopp felt that showed how much the injuries to Lingard and Martial hindered Solskjaer when he was forced into changes on the run, in contrast to the smoothly operating game plan he put together for the trip to Stamford Bridge.

“You saw against Chelsea that United could play pretty well without Lingard and Martial. That was a proper line-up with [Juan] Mata and [Romelu] Lukaku coming in.

"But changing in the game is different and you cannot really adapt. They played the last six or seven games before that with the same line-up and then they had to adapt in 15 minutes, and it didn't really work out.

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"PSG used that, it was a bit of luck for PSG but they played a really good game. They were very demanding, looked in charge in most situations and didn't give a lot of counter-attacks away, which is a very big thing against United.

"Whichever line-up they have, whoever they play will attack quickly on the offensive wings. You need to be 100 per cent concentrated, and PSG did well, scored good goals in the right moments and that always helps in football."

Also Read: United must be wary of Liverpool too, says Robertson

Klopp will welcome back Virgil van Dijk after his star centre-back sat out Tuesday's 0-0 draw at home to Bayern Munich in the Champions League through suspension.

Fellow defenders Dejan Lovren and Joe Gomez remain sidelined, but the former Borussia Dortmund boss reported fitness concerns are decreasing elsewhere in his squad ahead of a pivotal period in the season.

"Dejan is not in, Joe is not in, and I think pretty much all the rest are in training," he added.

"Rhian Brewster is only in little parts, Ox [Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain] is in bigger parts but not ready to play. The rest should be.

"Usually now I get a message that somebody is ill, so I am a bit nervous about that, but until now I didn't hear anything!"