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Liverpool vs. Manchester United: Key Takeaways from Jurgen Klopp's Presser

Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp looks on before the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, north-west England on January 13, 2016.
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Matt JonesFeatured Columnist IVDecember 17, 2016

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has claimed he’s a more lively presence on the sidelines than Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal, as the two get set to square off on Sunday.

The German was addressing the media on Friday and was also quick to praise the form of summer signing Roberto Firmino ahead of what is one of the most volatile and bitter affairs in world football.

Talk naturally turned to the contrast between the two managers, especially after Klopp’s extravagant celebration when Liverpool scored a late equaliser against Arsenal on Wednesday. The German conceded there are personality and stylistic differences between the two, per James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo:

The man who shone brightest for the Reds during that pulsating 3-3 draw with the Gunners was Firmino, who notched a fine brace in the first half.

It’s been a difficult start to life at Anfield for the Brazil international following his summer transfer from Hoffenheim, but Klopp thinks that, given time, he’ll prove to be a tremendous capture:

Another performance of comparable standards against United would certainly aid the Brazilian in appealing to supporters.

It’s a game in which plenty of Kop icons of years gone by have made their name. Given the Red Devils’ troubles, there’s a chance for a Liverpool player to join that select company with a stellar performance.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 22: Steven Gerrard of Liverpool is shown the red card by referee Martin Atkinson during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield on March 22, 2015 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Ale
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

The Liverpool boss also revealed matches against rivals are one of his favourite things about football. 

Klopp compared the rivalry between Liverpool and United to that between former club Borussia Dortmund and Schalke, insisting these are the kind of contests he loves to be involved in, per Carl Markham of the Press Association:

He also posed an intriguing analogy for how he sees matches between two big rivals, per Juliette Ferrington of BBC Sport:

Klopp was asked about whether or not aesthetics are important in football. His opposite number for Sunday's game has been heavily criticised for the style of football United have played as of late, with the Dutchman choosing to deploy meticulous, slow tactics.

The Liverpool boss claimed it’s vital teams are enjoyable to watch because, fundamentally, we are all still fans of the sport:

Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson set the benchmark for entertaining attacking sides in the Premier League, something Van Gaal has struggled to live up to.

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - JANUARY 12:  Louis van Gaal manager of Manchester United looks on prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Manchester United at St James' Park on January 12, 2016 at Newcastle upon Tyne, Englan
Michael Regan/Getty Images

When asked about his opinion on Ferguson, Klopp hailed the Scot as one of the best managers the game has ever seen and conjured another interesting analogy:

Injuries have ravaged this Reds team in recent weeks, but there was some positive news from the manager when it comes to potential returns, although striker Daniel Sturridge still remains absent:

Friday was the 100th day of Klopp’s reign as Liverpool manager, but it's not a landmark the German was thinking too much about:

Klopp was also asked about transfers and recent speculation that the Reds have a pre-contract agreement with Schalke centre-back Joel Matip, per David Maddock and Alex Richards of the Daily Mirror. But the German was giving little away about that potential acquisition:

Under Klopp, the atmosphere has improved at Anfield, and you can bet this famous stadium will be rocking for the visit of their bitter rivals.

But Van Gaal seems to relish these contests, having won all three of his games against the Reds in charge of United so far, including a 2-1 triumph in the corresponding fixture last term.

The Liverpool players should be buoyed by the manner in which they took the game to Arsenal on Wednesday.

A win over an under-fire United side seems within reach for Klopp and his players, and it’s a result that could kick-start the second half of the season for the Reds.

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