There are wins and then there are wins. 3-1 against Manchester City with the Kop screaming You’ll Never Walk Alone and Pep Guardiola ...just screaming is definitely a night for the books. It was an incredible game all around, hard fought and harder won, and the boss is just as proud of the result as the rest of us are.
“Nice one, eh?” Klopp said in the post-match interview. “If you want to win against Manchester City, which is really, really difficult for each team in the world, you cannot play the way they play because they are definitely the best in the way they play. It makes no sense. So we have to try to push through our way. In the beginning, not only because of us, it was wild – pressing and pressing, not a lot of clear balls in behind. It was like everybody tried to come in the game but was always under pressure from the other team. But intense from the first second, you could sense it was really important for both teams. Both teams were ready to put a proper shift in and they did.”
The game did get a bit out of Liverpool’s control at the end, something which we’ve become unused to seeing.
“We scored two incredible goals, had to suffer in moments because of the way City play, but I would say until the 75th minute or around about, when they scored the goal, we could control it in some way,” Klopp added. But after that, you saw immediately our legs got a bit tired and then I don’t know how many balls were rolling through our six-yard box in the far-post area – it doesn’t feel too good. You always think there must be a blue player but, thank God, there was nobody. But that’s exactly what City are doing usually. Of course, in moments you need a little bit of luck. After they scored for 3-1 they had momentum and we had heavy legs. We tried to change it a little bit; we actually changed at half-time to 4-4-1-1, and changed back late in the game to 4-5-1.”
And now with the hardest game before Christmas behind us and all eyes eyeing a trophy we haven’t lifted in just about three decades, it’s easy to get carried away. Klopp, however, is focused on the now.
“The 100 per cent truth is we just don’t think about it,” he added. “The boys go now all over the world to play for their countries and hopefully come back healthy. Two days after they come back we play Crystal Palace – that’s what I’m concerned about, not how many games we won in the past. As you saw today again, it’s hardest work needed to win any football game but a game like this especially. So I’m really happy for tonight, but that’s it.”