'It isn't like riding a bike!' - Klopp excuses Liverpool rustiness in Premier League opener vs Leeds

Jurgen Klopp Liverpool 2020-21
The Reds boss knows his side weren't at their best form but in their first game back in league action, was relieved to see yet another win

Jurgen Klopp says football ‘isn’t like riding a bike’ after Liverpool showed some signs of rustiness in their 4-3 opening-day win over Premier League newcomers Leeds.

Mohamed Salah looked close to his imperious best with a match-winning hat-trick, but the home side were made to work for the three points by the second-tier champions.

Virgil van Dijk was at fault for Patrick Bamford’s goal and Trent Alexander-Arnold was fortunate to see an unusual own goal ruled out for offside.

Liverpool have already been beaten by Arsenal in the Community Shield but, after six weeks out of league action, Klopp was satisfied to see his side get the result they wanted.

"What a game, what an opponent, what a performance from both teams. A proper spectacle, I loved that,” Klopp told Sky Sports.

"It is pretty rare you see that many goals in a game; we have left space for improvement in our defending but that is not unusual for a first game. Our players have played a few days ago for their countries so it is possible.

"It is not like riding a bike, you can lose something in pre-season and it takes time to all come together again. I am really positive about this game.”

There was plenty of interest in visitors Leeds ahead of the game, ending their 16-year Premier League exile under the much-travelled tactician Marcelo Bielsa.

They certainly lived up to their pre-match billing, and Klopp sees no reason why they can’t go on to enjoy a successful season.

"The opponent forced us to make mistakes, we can do better, we will do better but I loved a lot about the game against a well-organised, passionate side like Leeds,” he said.

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“We used our skills to cause them problems, we could have scored more and in the end, we used set-pieces which is fine by me.

“Leeds will have a good season if they can keep up that intensity and they did it in the Championship with more games so why not?"

Liverpool’s next game looks equally as intriguing as Klopp takes his side to face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Leeds host Hull in the Carabao Cup before playing fellow promoted side Fulham, who were beaten 3-0 by Arsenal on their own return to the top flight.