Liverpool were forced to settle for a goalless draw at Southampton on Saturday as they dominated the hosts without being able to find a breakthrough.
Despite the result, Jurgen Klopp was satisfied by the performance of his much-travelled Liverpool side as they were held to a goalless stalemate at Southampton.
The visitors created the best chances to win the game at St Mary’s but wasted several clear-cut opportunities to take three points and remain clear at the top of the Premier League table.
While Adam Lallana missed out on a return to his former club with an injury suffered on international duty, Liverpool started with Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho in attack.
That was despite the fact Firmino and Coutinho had been in action for Brazil, with former Southampton man Mane representing Senegal.
Firmino missed the best chance to take the three points for the Reds, who remain top by the virtue of goals scored – but Klopp was pleased with the display of his side following on from the international fixture window.
“The performance was much better than can be expected when you think of our preparation before the game,” he said.
“With players from South America it is more difficult because they have long flights and all that stuff. We got them back on Thursday but they couldn’t train.
“Sadio came back pretty early but Phil, because of the flight he had a little ill-effect but nothing big as everyone could see today. There was no risk. It was all thumbs up.”
Firmino poked an effort wide from in front of goal in the second half, while ex-Saints defender Nathaniel Clyne headed substitute Daniel Sturridge’s cross past the post.
Klopp was pleased his side did not lose a game they were in a strong position to win, even though a win for Chelsea on Sunday would take the Blues to the summit.
“We were much better in the second half,” he added.
“It was a really good performance against a good side, Southampton are a well-organised side and I think they adapted their style to our strengths.
“We had enough chances to win the game, especially in the second half, our reaction was really good and the body language was better.
“I am fine with the performance, we could and maybe should have scored, that is how football is and many times in my life we have lost games like this, when you are much better and have more chances, but we didn’t because we stayed concentrated.