Sunday 20 May 2018

'We played football like hell!' - Jurgen Klopp was in peak form after Liverpool's all-action display

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, left, celebrated with goalscorer Jordan Henderson after their win at Chelsea
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, left, celebrated with goalscorer Jordan Henderson after their win at Chelsea

Andy Sims

Jurgen Klopp claimed Liverpool played "football like hell" after they inflicted Chelsea's first defeat of the Premier League season.

The Reds ran Chelsea ragged in a blistering first half and led thanks to goals from Dejan Lovren and Jordan Henderson.

They then showed their defensive mettle to hang on for a deserved 2-1 victory after Diego Costa halved the deficit.

Read more: A Liverpool midfielder had a hilariously stunned reaction to Jordan Henderson's wonder strike

And Anfield boss Klopp beamed afterwards: "The beginning was brilliant. We played football like hell! It was very intense, very lively, very flexible, our build-up was brilliant in the first half.

"I was really happy with the style of play, and the confidence we had."

Chelsea handed a second debut to deadline-day signing David Luiz, in place of the injured John Terry, but defensively they did not impress.

They should have dealt better with Philippe Coutinho's cross, which could have been put in by any one of four unmarked Liverpool players with Lovren doing the honours.

Henderson's goal was a stunning strike from 30 yards, but it came from a poor clearance by Gary Cahill after Chelsea failed to deal with a throw-in.

"In the first half we gave away two goals," admitted Blues manager Antonio Conte.

"When you give away two goals in this way it's very difficult. Against Liverpool these are tough games. You must pay attention in every second of the game because details make the difference.

"We paid a lot. We were losing 2-0 and it was difficult. We scored the goal in the second half and we had the chance to draw but it was late.

"It's not important that it's my first defeat, it's our first defeat - a Chelsea defeat.

"It's important to understand that every game is tough and we mustn't forget last season. Last season was a bad season and I don't want to repeat it.

Read more: Miguel Delaney: Liverpool have raised a bar - this could be a very special season

"When you finish the season in 10th place it means you have to work very hard to improve and not repeat the bad season. This season the manager, the players, all the people at the club must take responsibility. We win together and we lose together."

Costa had been feeding on scraps for an hour until he tucked in his fifth goal of the season from Nemanja Matic's pull-back.

Yet it was Liverpool who came closest to scoring the game's fourth goal when Divock Origi's header was kept out by Thibaut Courtois.

Klopp may have got carried away with his side's first-half display, but he was not making the same mistake about his side's prospects this season.

"Are we title contenders? Someone asked me that when we won 3-1 here last season. My answer was: 'Are you crazy?'

"We have 10 points. That's fantastic. I'm really happy with that after these difficult fixtures. We know we can play good football, we're convinced about our quality. We just have to do it every week, every three days."

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson echoed his manager's words and believes that their performance is a confidence boost for the club.

He said: "It's a big victory, it keeps our momentum going, I think we've been brilliant the last few games. I had a good feeling going into the game and I think we produced.

"We knew it would be difficult against Chelsea and got to defend well but I thought we defended excellently throughout the game and deserved the three points.

"It gives good confidence but we have to keep doing what we keep doing."

Lovren was equally impressed with the Reds' first-half display, adding: "I think we did brilliant especially the first half, we played some of the best football this season. At the end, a deserved win.

"We are acting like a team and the spirit around the club is perfect so we need to keep working stronger and stronger."

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte felt his side's slow start condemned them to their first league defeat of the season.

"We started too slowly, they start 2-0 up and this game is very difficult to score. It is a pity because we tried to win," he told Sky Sports 1.

"With Liverpool when you concede the space it's very difficult because they have three strikers who are very fast and have good technique and that is the reason why we tried to create less space between defenders and midfielders.

"We need to give attention to the details if you want to win."

Press Association

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