If you looked at them from the right angle, the match away to Huddersfield Town—Liverpool’s third consecutive to one of the top flight’s basement dwellers—may have resembled something akin to a banana peel.
In the immediate aftermath of the shuddering end to an 18-game unbeaten streak to the tune of back-to-back losses to Swansea City and West Bromwich Albion, Liverpool fans could be forgiven for coming into the vital league fixture with some degree of trepidation.
Instead, the hosts decided it would be better to put up nothing in the way of resistance until the final few minutes of regular time on the way to a comfortable 3-0 win for Jürgen Klopp and his Reds.
“It was exactly what we needed,” the 50-year-old said in his post-match interview. “It was not a brilliant performance, but it was very mature and exactly what we needed at the right moment.
“We could have done better, but we scored the first goal, we maybe gave one situation away, but it was difficult for Huddersfield to counter-attack. It was very mature and exactly what we needed.
“You need to win all the time, we know that. Coming back on track is the most important thing and now we have a few days to prepare for another difficult game against Tottenham. There is an open bill and we need to pay that back.
“Tonight we were better and the midfield did well with the counter press and that helped the back line. It was nearly perfect, not the performance, the result.”
Emre Can opened the scoring with a long-range strike and to put a cherry on a man-of-match performance from midfield despite swirling rumors of a move to Juventus in the summer.
Klopp was diplomatic when asked for an update, commending his compatriot for his attitude in spite of the turmoil:
”Sometimes you want to keep a player and sometimes you want to sell a player,” he admitted. “As long as people behave like Emre is and delivers, that’s all you want.
If he goes we shake hands and say goodbye and if he stays we shake hands and say hello again.”
However, the Liverpool manager was more definitive on the status of backup striker Danny Ings who’d been rumored to be going out on loan prior to Daniel Sturridge’s own loan to the end of the season with West Brom:
“No chance [Danny] Ings is on the market, only if I am unconscious”.