Jurgen Klopp has urged his players to savour their ‘sensational’ Club World Cup success but admits they were left ‘exhausted’ following their extra-time victory over Flamengo.
Roberto Firmino’s 99th-minute strike secured victory for the Reds against the Copa Libertadores champions in Doha on Saturday, meaning the Merseyside club become just the second English side to lift the trophy in the competition’s history.
With the side currently 10 points clear at the top of the Premier League, a first league title since 1990 is also tantalizingly within reach next May.
After a game that stretched Liverpool to the limit, Klopp was full of praise for his side’s achievement in Qatar.
“We are all kind of exhausted from a very intense game,” said Klopp. “It was an incredible performance, an incredibly difficult game against a good opponent. We did so many good things it’s unbelievable, so many good football moments.
“Late goals – we don’t want to need them but they were necessary and important. The boys have improved a lot over these months and when you start believing you believe through the full 90 minutes and in this case 120 minutes.
“I saw so many sensationally good performances and I’m really happy. The atmosphere in the stadium was great.
“I think we deserved the win tonight, we were the better side.
“In this moment we have to look at a wonderful night for us, for the club, for everybody who is with us.
“Before the game I said I don’t know exactly how it would feel [to win the cup] but now I can say it’s outstanding. Absolutely sensational.
“I am so proud of the boys and couldn’t be better.”
Klopp also praised match-winner Firmino, who forms part of a prolific Liverpool frontline alongside Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.
“If one is not scoring the other one, or the other two, are scoring. We needed his (Firmino’s) goals here and I couldn’t be more happy for him,” added Klopp.
“Before the game we spoke a lot about how much this means to Brazilians, and it meant a lot to him. I am really delighted for him.”
Saturday’s victory was Liverpool’s seventh match in a packed December schedule, with two matches still to come before the month is out.
Klopp says his side have begun to look ahead those fixtures, starting with a trip to second-placed Leicester on Boxing Day.
“We play again in five days so it’s a tough period,” added the former Borussia Dortmund boss.
“But the boys game after game really show their desire to make the next step, show their desire to win the next game, show their desire to win the next challenge and I am really happy with that.”