/Brighton 0-1 Liverpool: Jürgen Klopps reaction

Brighton 0-1 Liverpool: Jürgen Klopps reaction

Jürgen Klopp praised Liverpool’s most mature performance of the season after the 1-0 win at Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday.

The Reds registered their first success of 2019 with a controlled display at the Amex Stadium, the second-half penalty from Mohamed Salah ultimately enough for three points.

Victory increased the lead held by Klopp’s men at the top of the Premier League and provided a response to the previous defeats against Manchester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

After the game, the manager spoke to the media at his post-match press conference about the manner of Liverpool’s performance, the result’s importance and more.

Read on for a summary…

On Liverpool’s patience and mental strength in the game…

How I said, the headline before the game was ‘be ready’. The headline after the game is ‘very mature’. You saw the game and it’s obviously a big challenge for everybody to stay calm and to stay concentrated because each little situation can be a massive threat or counter-attack. And don’t make any fouls because Brighton are unbelievably strong around set-pieces; we don’t make harsh fouls but if you step too late – this kind of concentration level is difficult to keep, the boys did it. In the first half, we had four or five situations, which is absolutely enough usually, if you score in a situation like that – when we came into the box or won the ball back or pressed them and won the ball. If you can score in a situation like that, it’s all good. In the situations where we played around, that was OK as well, but in the moment when we chipped the ball and went for second balls, we had nobody for the second balls. We had runners but no guys for the second ball. The sixes and centre-halves were a bit too close together, we were a bit too wide, everybody offered the run in behind and nobody in between.

The second half was better. I really liked half-time – we could readjust a few things and the boys reacted on that. In the second half, we won the ball back, nice little counter-attack – Mo, Shaq I think and then Mo again in the box, clear penalty. We finished it off, which is good. Then, keep calm again, stay calm, keep the ball, play around, create, try to create without taking any risks because it was clear today was not a day for a massive result. Brighton didn’t change a lot because we were so dominant; it’s not that Brighton opened up completely and said, ‘From now on, we’ll try to attack everything’ and we could have a bit more space. They defended like they defended because they knew one mistake from us and they are back in the game. Not making mistakes is a difficult thing in football, it’s actually impossible. But not making decisive mistakes should be possible. We won it and I’m absolutely happy about that.

On Salah’s ability to win the penalty…

It was a brilliant situation. It makes sense for a striker to go dribbling in the box because it’s difficult for the defender to defend it clear. He was in a brilliant position in that moment – if he could shoot, for sure it was a big chance as well. That’s cool. Sadio had moments, Bobby always. We speak about maturity after the 1-0 but how they defend then, if you see it in their face – how Bobby is talking to everybody, bringing Sadio into position and all that – that’s the massive difference. That’s really cool. The boys worked really hard and deserved these three points, I think, absolutely.

On whether the performance was secondary to the result…

I faced these questions at the beginning of the season pretty often. We had results and people obviously thought the difference between the City game last year in the Champions League, or the Roma home game, was too big. That’s absolutely OK but we are not the Harlem Globetrotters, we have to deliver results. For that, we need to perform. The performance was good. It was not the best performance of the season in a few departments but I would say it was the most mature performance of the season. It’s so important. On good days, everybody can win football games. On an average day, not a lot of teams can win football games. On a bad day, only a few can win football games. Today was not a bad day but it was a difficult day for us. It was a difficult game because Brighton are doing really well. We played a lot of times against a 4-5-1 system but how they do it is different and it’s really difficult. Propper, Groß and Stephens in the centre; March and Locadia do really well; Murray is always a threat, if he gets the ball he can keep it for two hours and they can push up and stuff like that. It’s really, really good. It was clear before the game it would be difficult, so I’m really happy that the boys took the game like it is and were not waiting for it to click in the game somehow, and if it’s not clicking you get annoyed or frustrated and the performance drops. We had a constant level in a very difficult game and I’m fine with that.

On Fabinho’s performance at centre-back…

He’s a brilliant player and I was happy he could play today. It’s not that Brighton had one attack after the other – we had the ball most of the time so it makes sense to have a good footballer in that position. Brighton tried a little bit to bring the long balls to Murray and around him, which they did, by the way, against Joe Gomez in the home game as well. But he did well in these situations and with the ball. He has a defending brain and can do that in different positions. It’s good.

On the importance of winning the next league game after losing at Manchester City…

Not because of Man City, to be honest, it’s just important. If you fall from the horse, the best thing to do is go immediately back on it. It’s good and important but we didn’t make a big fuss of the two defeats, to be honest. Especially the City game was an open game and you cannot a week later, only because you lose then against Wolverhampton and your manager makes 10 changes or whatever, start talking about losing football games or whatever. We never really speak about the games before, we concentrate on the game. We knew it was really difficult to take all three points here. I’m completely happy even with the way we did it because I saw pretty early in the game that it was a harsh one, really tough that we would come through. The scoring momentum we didn’t have today. The creating was OK but finishing, we were not at our best. All the rest – defending and all that stuff – was really good and so we deserved the three points.