Thursday 23 January 2020

'We have to be honest with ourselves' - Jurgen Klopp demands more from Liverpool despite victory at Spurs

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp on the touchline during the Premier League match at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London. John Walton/PA Wire.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp on the touchline during the Premier League match at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London. John Walton/PA Wire.
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was frustrated by his side's performance at Tottenham, on a night when they moved a massive 16 points clear at the top of the table after a 1-0 victory.

Klopp's champions-elect set a new record for the best start to the season as they won a 20th game of their remarkable Premier League campaign thanks to Roberto Firmino's first half winner against Spurs, yet they rode their luck in the second half as Son Heung-min and Giovani Lo Celso missed big chances to give the home side a point.

Those second-half chances for Tottenham led perfectionist Klopp to conclude his side must do better, as he gave somewhat downbeat interviews to Sky Sports and the BBC.

"First and foremost the result is the most important thing," said Klopp. "One team deserved to win and that was us. To win at Tottenham is pretty special. That the game wasn't decided after 50-60 minutes was our fault.

"It was very intense for us. You can expect them to defend deep in this stadium, but it was 4-6-0 in the first half. If it was easy to win here, a lot more teams would do it.

"I'm over the moon about the result, but we have to talk about the performance. We should have scored more goals – that's the truth. We have to be honest with ourselves. We could have scored more and we have to, especially in this stadium against a team like Tottenham. We can do better.

"We were on the ground towards the end and they were coming forward. The spell we've had, it costs you rhythm. In the second half, a couple of our players were slightly exhausted, but we fought through that.

"We needed Alisson for today. We had a few dips defensively. Some games he has not a lot to do with winning the ball high early. It is good but there is no other chance to win games than to defend well."

Klopp insisted his side's record-breaking start to the season was unimportant, as he insisted Manchester City and their manager Pep Guardiola would not surrender their title without a fight.

"It doesn't feel somehow special," he said of the record. "We know about it and it is special, but I can't feel it. When someone gives you a trophy it is done but until then you need to fight.

"It is only the start. We need to continue because our contenders are so strong. Pep will not give up. I will do the same. So far, so really good."

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson insists his side are not thinking about winning the Premier League title just yet, as he insisted any title dreams have been put on hold for now.

"We don't want to think about what has happened or the position we are in," said Henderson. "The manager keeps ramming it into us that we can't think about where we are and all we focus on now is the next game.

"We made hard work of this win against very good Tottenham team and that always happens when you don't get the second goal. There is still a lot to improve on, but we have to be delighted with the win."

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