Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool, once again, laid down a marker in a 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge, displaying a class and the same sensational level of play that did not suffer in the face of such a quality opponent.
The German manager was quick to acknowledge in the post-match interview, both the excellence displayed by his side as well as the resilience of the Londoners, who attempted to claw their way back into the game in the second half after wilting under the Liverpool blitz in the first period:
Anyone who’s ever played against Chelsea in all times knows that it is really difficult to play against them. Especially with Antonio Conte, they were well organized. We created space, we found them, we played in them, but we didn’t score the goals in this moment but we were quick in mind.
It was satisfying of course, especially the first half, it was brilliant. We started the game from the first second we were there, we had unbelievable good movements. After set pieces we did really, really well and we deserved a lead for half-time.
After [previously allowing a three-goal lead to slip against Arsenal in the season opener, Klopp was pleased in this outing how his squad managed the game in the second period after going up against such a good team.
We had these moments when Chelsea came a little bit better in the game, it was only because we stopped playing football. We need to get used to leading against a really strong side, where we learn how to manage a game with still a lot of power in our legs and 100% concentration. It was different in the second half.
Everyone who saw until now in Chelsea games how often they score in the last few seconds with a very direct style. [We] did not do too bad because I cannot remember a lot of chances in this moment, the biggest was to Divock Origi so it could have been 3-1, not 2-1, which I am completely fine with.
The beginning was brilliant, brilliant from my side. We played football like hell, it was really nice to watch, and we scored the goals in other moments. We were quick in mind after set pieces, which we didn’t do too often, but it was wonderful.
When asked to comment about how his team managed to come to the imposing grounds at Stamford Bridge and impose their fast-paced style of football against a normally well-drilled side, he emphatically answered:
We never thought about anything else [coming to Chelsea and playing the Liverpool style]. I told the lads before the game: anything can happen, there is no guarantee of getting a result at Chelsea. But if we lose our way, then [shrugs]. But the probability that we will get something, if we are really convinced about our style of play is bigger, but no guarantee!
With this win at Chelsea now meaning two wins on the bounce adding to quality results against Arsenal, Tottenham, and Leicester City, there does appear to be some measure of vindication of the Liverpool transfer strategy, which had come under fire for failure to recruit specialist upgrades in midfield and defense:
Two weeks ago everyone was asking: ‘What is wrong with Liverpool? Why [are they not exploring] the transfer market? Five midfield players, eight left backs, where are they?’ And now these boys starting the most difficult fixture in world football.
Home or away, this squad showed today how they mean to go on: a heart-pounding, defiant style of football, against which not even the crème of the Premier League will be safe.