Jurgen Klopp was delighted with Liverpool’s defensive focus as they earned what could be a vital 3-1 victory over title rivals Man City on Sunday evening.
In what was a frenetic start on Merseyside, Liverpool found themselves 2-0 up inside the opening 13 minutes, defensive midfielder Fabinho unleashing a thunderous 25-yard strike before Mohamed Salah nodded past stand-in ‘keeper Claudio Bravo from a sublime Andrew Robertson cross.
Six minutes into the second half, the Reds went 3-0 up through Sadio Mane, before Bernardo Silva pulled one back with 12 minutes to play to give Man City hope.
While the scoreline looked comfortable, the game was far from it, the reigning champions carving out a whole host of hugely presentable chances throughout the game, Sergio Aguero missing a number of opportunities to finally score a goal at Anfield at his 10th attempt.
Speaking after the game, Jurgen Klopp was delighted with his sides’ defensive focus and concentration, while also praising the performance of the visitors.
“They were good. Oh they were good and we had to defend with all we had but we scored incredible goals,” Klopp told the BBC.
“It was so tough to play, the intensity of the game was so clear. It was all worth it, really great. They pass the ball from outside, Sterling. How good did we defend him until then? Because you saw what happens when we don’t defend him anymore.
“The boys were completely focused and concentrated. It was so good. It is the only way we can beat City, maybe other teams can do it a different way but this is the only way we can beat them.”
Klopp has an impressive record against Pep Guardiola since taking over at Liverpool in 2015, particularly at Anfield, the Catalan suffering more defeats at the Merseyside stadium than at any other ground in world football, four. Comparing Sunday’s game to their previous meetings, Klopp was delighted it followed a similar pattern to what had gone before.
“All the games against City were pretty much like this apart from last season’s home game. That was more controlled. This was not the most beautiful and most controlled but it was very lively, I like that.”