Football

Klopp: 'We were absolutely spot-on'

Liverpool boss Klopp says performance against Arsenal is a reminder of what they are capable of

When his players trudged off the field at the King Power Stadium following a 3-1 defeat by struggling Leicester City last Monday, Juergen Klopp was fearing the worst for their next match.

His worry proved unfounded, however, as Liverpool yesterday morning (Singapore time) put up a superb home performance to down Arsenal 3-1.

The victory propelled the Reds back into the top four at the Gunners' expense, and the German was clearly delighted with his side's display.

He said in the post-match press conference: "We were absolutely spot-on from the first second in the game. We played a wonderful first half. It was clear it would be a very intense game, you could see it already with the line-up of Arsenal.

"Okay, Mesut Oezil was not in, (Alexis) Sanchez was not in, but pretty much the rest…

"We played really good, created wonderful chances and scored only two times, and could have scored more in the first half."

In the immediate aftermath of his side's horrific display against Leicester last week, Klopp could not have imagined this result against Arsene Wenger's men.

But he could sense a gradual change of the mood in his camp as the days passed.

He said: "In 17 years as a manager, I've seen the worst training weeks in my life and the best performance at the weekend - and the other way around, unfortunately.

"It's not a law. I didn't, but if I would have thought after Wednesday if we could win against Arsenal, the answer would have been 'no'.

"If you would have asked me on Thursday, I would have said 'not sure'.

"And then if you asked me on Friday, (I would have said) 'yes we can'.

"Reactions, especially for football teams, are not always the same, but even then it was not clear it would happen.

"The performance tonight should not be a surprise because the boys have played already a few times like this."

Against Arsenal, Liverpool's fluid attacking quartet of Philippe Coutinho, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Adam Lallana cut the north Londoners to ribbons in front of an impassioned Klopp at a buoyant Anfield.

Firmino and Mane scored Liverpool's first two goals in a blistering first-half performance. Georginio Wijnaldum added a late third after Danny Welbeck had pulled a goal back for the Gunners.

"We should not forget that we are able to do things like we did today and we will work on it," Klopp told BT Sport.

"It was clear we should not forget what we did well (at the beginning of the season). I said to the boys that at this moment we are kind of through the roller coaster of the league - up and down, up and down. But now mainly up, still.

"The whole thing is a long-term project. You can understand that sometimes people lose a little bit of patience but we can't.

"Development generally is inconsistent and until we are the team we want to be - then you will be consistent.

"That's where we want to go. We will try hard and do everything for it and today we showed our nicest face again against a strong opponent."

- WIRE SERVICES

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