Jurgen Klopp was “really happy” with the performance of his Liverpool side on Sunday, as the Reds sealed a 1-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion.
A dull first-half was punctuated by two near-misses from crosses by the Baggies, before Roberto Firmino scored his second winning goal in as many weeks.
Indeed, the in-form Brazilian followed up his spectacular strike at Stoke City with an equally-important header from close range, as Liverpool punished West Brom from a set-piece.
The Merseyside giants improved in the second half but couldn’t kill the game off, while a frantic final few minutes saw chances at both ends, once goalkeeper Ben Foster had ventured forward to help the hosts push for a late equaliser.
Reflecting on his side’s three points, and the passionate celebration of the manager and his players, Klopp told his post-match press conference:
“Absolutely [this feels like a huge win].
“One of the most difficult games, because you can’t feel comfortable. Only 4-0 after 86 minutes [would have kept me calm].
“With West Brom, it is not only set-pieces, they have really good footballers on the pitch and if you’re a little bit less aggressive, they use their threat around set-pieces to play football.
“You need to be at your highest concentration level – but we have been. In the first half, we didn’t play too good football and in the second half we did much better. I am really happy about the performance.
“I can understand why [Liverpool traditionally struggle against Tony Pulis’ teams away]. It’s a difficult place to come.
“I hope you are not surprised [by the celebrations]. I don’t think we made crazy things. I’m very happy.”
On a late chance for Alberto Moreno, which saw him miss an open goal, the German coach added:
“Everybody thinks he could have played Daniel Sturridge, but I’m not sure he knew, because he may have been offside.
“Maybe there was another option that I didn’t see, I’d have to watch it again, but it’s completely normal in a situation like this, you think you have to [shoot].
“He’s a good boy, really. I would have been happy for him, actually, if he’d scored this goal, but excitement until the end, which is pretty much always the way when we are involved.”
Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet coped well when called upon, following an exceptional set of saves to secure the victory at Stoke last weekend.
“An important save,” Klopp said of a stop from Matt Phillips in the closing stages, when the Reds’ defence crumbled.
“In the end, it doesn’t look that spectacular, but he was really present around the set-pieces. I think three, four, five fists, which was really good, I have to say. He was really lively, front-footed, all that stuff. Very important again.”