Liverpool had a commanding 4-0 lead at half-time during a memorable clash with Manchester United in October, but Jurgen Klopp was not entirely happy with the performance
Midway through a North-West derby which will be remembered for decades to come, the Reds disappeared down the Old Trafford tunnel with an astonishing 4-0 lead over their bitter rivals.
Naby Keita and Diogo Jota put the visitors 2-0 up after just 13 minutes before Mohamed Salah struck twice to secure three points by the time the half-time whistle blew.
Despite the breathtaking scoreline, Liverpool were by no means at their best in the first half – and Klopp informed them of that during the interval.
Oxlade-Chamberlain, who was introduced in the second half, remembers the team being told by the German manager they “need to do more”.
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“The message was we need to do better, we need to do more,” the midfielder told Sky Sports . “That shows that everyone takes responsibility and accountability for when we’re not performing, regardless of the result.
“If we keep that attitude, we’ll get more good results. That is what shows that the team has moved forward, but the Premier League has also moved forward and it’s getting tougher and tougher.”
Klopp’s message was certainly heeded in the early stages of the second half and Salah took just five minutes to complete his record-breaking hat-trick.
With the victory already wrapped up, Liverpool’s task was made even easier as Paul Pogba, a half-time substitute, was sent off on the hour mark for a horror tackle on Naby Keita.
The Reds took their foot off the gas at this point and saw out the remaining half an hour, with their only slight concern a Cristiano Ronaldo strike which was subsequently ruled out for offside.
Klopp echoed his half-time team talk as he spoke the week after thrashing United, insisting his players “have to improve” in a fiercely-competitive title race.
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“The world is like this – you win 5-0 against United and everything is perfect. Well, it was not,” Klopp said.
“United had clear-cut chances, which we gave them. We should not rely on luck or Ali (goalkeeper Alisson). We could have done better. This is how we spoke at half-time, even though we were 4-0 up.
“It is really important you believe you have to play better, otherwise you open up the gate for them. I saw the first half, we gave too much away. We have to improve, in general.”