After his team’s 2-1 comeback win against Fulham in the first leg of their League Cup semi-final, manager Jurgen Klopp remarked that Liverpool’s self-belief has allowed them to battle back from losing situations this season.
Willian gave Fulham the lead in the first half, but Curtis Jones and replacement Cody Gakpo tied the score three minutes apart.
This season, Liverpool has won seven times in all competitions after giving up the opening goal—more than any other team in England’s top four divisions in 2023–2024.
“Quality is the first and most important need for winning a game; belief is plainly necessary for winning a game. That’s the most important thing, and attitude sums up everything else,” Klopp said to reporters on Wednesday.
This season, we had a situation where we had to overcome significant obstacles very early on, and nobody was sure how we would respond because you can’t prepare for it, you can’t practice for it—you can only watch it happen.
“The youngsters had several moments of success against Newcastle away and Bournemouth at home. We don’t accept justifications or the like in the current circumstance, when many players are absent, but it’s clear that something has to change.”
Gakpo’s victory was the 30th goal this season that a Liverpool replacement has contributed, 12 more than any other Premier League team. Klopp said that it’s important to seize chances when making substitutions.
“That’s how it is, but it must be the right moment,” Klopp said. “When we have all available, the quality we can bring on then is pretty good, I have to say.”
Liverpool, who lead the Premier League, will play Bournemouth, who are currently in 12th position, on January 21. On January 24, the second game will take place at Craven Cottage.