Rafa Benítez Delivers Opinion on How to Beat Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool

Former Newcastle United and Liverpool manager Rafa Benítez believes he has the blueprint of how to defeat Jürgen Klopp’s runaway league leaders. 

Liverpool are 25 points clear of Manchester City at the top of the Premier League and are in the midst of a 43-game unbeaten run in the competition, stretching back to January 2019. Benítez was glowing in his analysis of Klopp’s side but highlighted some area’s which the opposition could exploit to halt this unbeaten run. 

Newcastle United,Jurgen Klopp

Speaking about the previous meetings he’s had with Klopp’s team, Benítez told ​The Athletic: “When our Newcastle United team played ​Liverpool, our quick players weren’t faster than theirs were, so in the end the only way to get something from the game is to be really solid. 

“The problem is that you cannot keep this solidity up forever if they are on top of you all the time. Defending for 90 minutes is impossible, so you have to try to create something on the counter-attack, to be a threat, to give them something to be more worried about.”

The former Real Madrid boss continued: “You have to try and get away from their pressing. To beat Liverpool or City you need speed and skill in the wide areas up front; if not, it just comes down to passing the ball — you will not be better than them at that, and they will usually be faster and stronger than you.” 

Sadio Mane

Benítez likened this Liverpool side to Klopp’s previous team, ​Borussia Dortmund, who the Spaniard faced with Napoli in 2013. 

In preparation for that game Benítez reiterated the importance to bypass the high press employed by Klopp’s teams. He explained: “The biggest thing was to play with simplicity. We told the players, ‘when you regain possession, you have to play simple passes and get away from their press, which will allow you to get behind them’.”

Despite this knowledge, Benítez was never able to claim victory over Klopp’s Liverpool while manager of ​Newcastle, but the current Dalian Yifang boss has certainly provided something for their current rivals to think about.