Monday 19 August 2019

'This is so intense ' - Jurgen Klopp and Virgil van Dijk react after Liverpool's thrilling win at Southampton

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp salutes another victory (Getty)
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp salutes another victory (Getty)
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Jubilant Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp struggled to contain his delight as he gave his verdict on his side's thrilling 3-1 win at Southampton

Shane Long's opening goal for the home side threatened to derail Liverpool's title dream before Naby Keita snatched an equaliser, before late Mohamed Salah and Jordan Henderson goals won it for Liverpool.

The win put Klopp's side two points ahead of Manchester City at the top of the table having played a game more, with the Reds boss saluting his players as they recorded a fifth straight victory.

"People want us to play like Manchester City, we are unable to do that, we play our own football," said Klopp. "We have 82 points now, that is massive in this crazy league and everyone is waiting for us. I am really proud. It is incredible.

"It was brilliant, I told the boys we have a good mentality among us. We were well organised, high pressed, being everywhere, but each ball they cleared was almost a counter, we have to adjust that. They scored a nice goal, not world-class defending but we stayed calm.

"We work for the moment, not wait for the moment. After 1-1 at half-time, we went again, the game calmed down then was decided with two outstanding counter-attacking goals.

"Mo Salah could not pass for his goal, go, go, go and world-class finish. I am really happy with the performance, we knew it would be difficult so winning here is not easy but we did it.

"I knew it would be difficult. Southampton have been well organised. We scored two wonderful goals.

"This is so intense for everyone. You need to have 70-75 points for the Champions League and 90-something for the title. We are in the race and that is nice."

Liverpool captain Henderson believes his team need to win every game to have a chance of halting City's efforts to retain their title, with the reigning champions still in the driving seat as they will clinch the title if they win their final six Premier League matches.

"We've got to win every game. I thought we showed great character in the first half," said Henderson.

"This was very big. Every game is massive. It was a big performance in the second half and a big result. I haven’t got in those positions often this season because I've been in a deeper role. The manager felt I could get in the final third positions more."

Mohamed Salah celebrates his goal against Southampton (Adam Davy/PA)

Liverpool defensive talisman insisted he is relishing the Premier League title race, as he urged his team-mates to embrace the pressure.

"I do enjoy it, obviously I do not like conceding but we showed character and came here for the three points," said the former Southampton defender.

"We kept going in the second half and they did not have a sniff apart from a couple of set pieces that is credit to us.

"We are trying to break teams down, they play a 5-4-1 formation against us and when we lose the ball they are trying to counter-attack us.

"We have to be patient, there will be opportunities to go through them and no team can keep going for 90 minutes. With the quality we have, we will always be dangerous."

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