Winning ugly is hallmark of champions, as the adage goes, and Liverpool did their best to push the limits of that principle with an narrow 1-0 win over Huddersfield Town.
Xherdan Shaqiri and Mohamed Salah provided the solitary moment of composure in the final third when the ex-Stoke winger slipped an incisive ball in for the Egyptian to toe poke home in the 24th minute. The rest of the performance, however was characterized by sloppy touches, poor decision-making and offensive incoherence as the hosts—both winless and goalless at home this season—looked the more likely side for large portions of the match.
Jürgen Klopp cut an irate and exasperated figure on the touchline despite the score line, clearly unhappy with what he saw on the pitch and was critical of the performance in his post-match interview:
“It was a good game from Huddersfield and not so good game from us,” the German said speaking to BT Sport. “So we’ll take it.
“I sometimes look frustrated on the touchline even if were winning. The performance wasn’t 100% it looked like we could have scored in six or seven situations but we needed one better pass.
“We did lots of good things and then the last pass wasn’t good. How can I explain that? I need to look back at the game. The players weren’t great with their last pass.”
Though it wasn’t a resounding result, the win nevertheless returns Liverpool to the top of the table alongside Manchester City on points, granted Pep Guardiola’s rampant side banging five goals past Burnley earlier in the day ensured that the reigning champions maintained a +10 goal difference gap.
Although the Reds will be encouraged that they have kept pace after playing a significantly tougher schedule than the bottom half sides City have played so far, while also edging the Reds’ start to the campaign into the record books, Klopp will aware that there is much to improve as his side push on.