By Ece Toksabay
ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp says Chelsea will present a real challenge to his team in Wednesday’s Super Cup, despite their 4-0 loss to Manchester United in their Premier League opener.
Lampard’s competitive debut on the bench turned sour with United scoring three times in the second half but Klopp is under no illusions that the Europa League winners are quality opponents.
“If people think Chelsea aren’t a challenge then I can’t help these people,” Klopp told a news conference ahead of the game against Frank Lampard’s side at Vodafone Park.
“We respect Chelsea a lot. If you saw their result against (Manchester) United you’d have no idea how the game was.”
Klopp said Chelsea have a clear way of playing.
“It’s a football-playing side, it’s flexible, they have different formations and I like what I saw to be honest, but yeah, they lost 4-0 – that’s then a really hard lesson,” he said in comments to Liverpool’s website.
“United was pretty clinical and that’s how football can be, but of course we don’t have lesser respect because they lost 4-0 against Man United. No, it’s the other way around – especially in the first 60 minutes they were just really good,” he added.
Lampard had just one year as a manager — in charge of Championship side Derby County — before taking over at the club he played for with such distinction and success, following the departure of Italian Maurizio Sarri.
But Klopp said Lampard had shown in his first season what he is capable of producing.
“I think Frank showed last year with Derby that he’s a very, very, very good manager because he changed Derby pretty much overnight,” he said.
“So, proper football, really high intensity, all that stuff, it’s all there, what you need. Good defending and high defending, so it will be a challenge. It will be a really interesting game and for us a proper job to do,” he said.
“They are different (from last season), that’s clear, because I think Maurizio Sarri has a very dogmatic style and that’s exactly what they had. Now the set-up is slightly different but it’s still a proper plan there, you can see it,” he said.
(Writing by Ece Toksabay, editing by Ed Osmond)