Press conference

‘We’re not happy, but we’re optimistic’


Unai Emery’s gameplan worked for a while at Anfield, but ultimately he was left to digest a 3-1 defeat.

After the game our head coach faced the media. Here’s what he said:

on what he made of the performance…
Good evening. Really I’m disappointed with the result. It’s the first analysis we can do but after 90 minutes we did different situations with the players, tactically and spiritually. I think the team showed in one moment good character and it’s one step ahead we want to do. The result means we’re not happy today, but we can be optimistic for another situation.

on the defensive mistakes… 
Yeah, but for example in the first half we were very deep defensively because they used their two wingers and they were giving the ball close to our box. But we were thinking it could be an opportunity to play in the match with Pepe and Auba. Also, our moment was in the transition and they are two very strong players to do that. We made two or three chances to score and these were from moments when they were pushing in our box with a lot of crosses. It’s not all we wanted to do in the match because we wanted to keep the ball and keep possession better, but their pressing was very strong and we didn’t break their pressing of the ball as much as we wanted. But we had the possibility in the match to show our moment and to score and the result can be closer to us. They finished the first half 1-0 and in the second half the key was the penalty. I think it was soft and I think usually it’s not enough for holding, but it was decided like that and we continued in our way. We opened more and they gave us more space to keep the ball and to keep possession for attacks against them - and in the transition they are a very strong team. That’s how they scored their third goal. It was in this moment we needed to show something different, not frustration, not going down, and keep our moment in the match and hold our moment. It was a bad result but we are working for progress. I think we showed character and also the impact from Lucas Torreira with Alex Lacazette and Micki was good. Also some players today made one step ahead like Willock, and I also think it was a good match for Pepe and Matteo. Ceballos today struggled more than last week, but this is one more experience for him. We need to be realistic but also confident in each training and the next match. Now we need to show how we can be different with other teams. Really, I think now we have reduced the difference with Liverpool over the 90 minutes. We’ve reduced the difference from last year, but at the moment it’s not enough. I think we can be positive.

on how you can solve players being ‘frustrated’…
I think we showed character when we were losing 3-0 and not going down. We scored one goal but really we were looking forward for chances to score. In the first half it was the same. We did more in transition than other tactical actions, but also in the transition here against Liverpool we (need to) take chances we made. In the second half the match changed. In the first half for example we didn’t do one offensive corner, but in the second half we took four of five. I think this is when the match can change because really the result was good for them and they gave us space to do more possession and to be closer to their box, but I think we made some steps ahead for our next matches. Today we showed something.

on rumours around Nacho Monreal’s future…
He made a very big match and he’s a very big professional for us. This is one issue we need to speak in the next few days because in Europe they don’t finish the transfer window yet, but we are going to speak about all the situations and the possibilities. It’s the reason I was speaking about it not being normal that we finish two weeks ago in Europe because the squad is not completely closed for us at the moment. Some players can leave but we cannot sign another and it depends a little over the next days how we can decide about some circumstances with some players. With Nacho one possibility is open and we are going to speak about that.

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