Boss gives verdict on Burnley drama, Mane ovation and Lallana return

Jürgen Klopp admitted Liverpool's 2-1 win over Burnley could have gone either way but happily welcomed the luck which helped his team triumph for a third successive game.

The visitors broke the deadlock on the hour at Turf Moor through a Sadio Mane blast and remained on course for a narrow victory until Johann Berg Gudmundsson converted a back-post header with 88 minutes on the clock.

Klopp’s men refused to give up, though, and when Dejan Lovren diverted a free-kick delivery across goal, his defensive teammate Ragnar Klavan was there to score and snatch three points.

Read on for the manager’s assessment of what turned into a dramatic thriller in Lancashire, the performance of Mane, Adam Lallana’s first start of the season and more…

On Liverpool’s performance and the result…

It was the most difficult circumstances for both teams, I would say, playing 48 hours ago. Both teams had an opponent which was motivated on the highest level, ready for these difficult circumstances with rain, wind and cold for the players. You need first of all concentration, readiness to work really hard, you need good organisation, discipline and stuff like that – and, of course, a little bit of luck. We deserved the three points but a draw would have been absolutely OK as well and if we don’t score then even Burnley would have deserved it, it was just an open game. We had more of the ball, we played more, but the main job was to deny all the strengths of Burnley. When they win the ball, they are so tuned in these balls in behind – kind of channel balls – and Barnes running, Hendrick running, it’s really difficult to defend.

Watch: The best of the win over Burnley in 90 seconds

We wanted to have a high last line to help a little bit, but that means we need to be even more concentrated. As long as the game is open, one goal can be the winner. It looked for a while like that until Burnley scored and then we scored pretty much the twin of that goal, very similar. It is just difficult to defend when you lose the first header, which we did and which Burnley did, it’s an open ball in the six-yard box and is really difficult. You need to be there – and both teams were there. We were the lucky side, but – as I said – I am really happy about attitude, character and all that stuff. You need to win your average games, you need to win with your attitude on your not 100 per cent best days. Character-wise we were at 100 per cent, performance-wise I’ve seen us already better football playing… but who cares?

On the manner of his team’s victory…

We didn’t have too many of these wins. If you’ve watched us a few times this year, you’ll know that in all of the draws we would have pretty much deserved to win more than tonight. That’s how it is. You need that to be successful and to stay in this region where we are – you need the wins on the not sunny days. It feels really brilliant. It was a fantastic moment when we scored.

On the character of his defensive players to win the game…

I was never in doubt about the character of my boys, I never thought we had a proper defence problem. That doesn’t mean we didn’t need an extra player like Virgil [van Dijk] now, which will help a lot. But it was never in doubt. The boys showed it a lot of times that we are on a good way. I don’t think we could be better after this matchday than fourth in the table but that’s absolutely OK for the moment. We need to keep the distance not bigger, and if we can make it a little bit smaller that would be good, but at least the same distance with the teams ahead of us.

That’s all that we can do, all that we try. I know you all know it a little bit because you have to work as well twice in this period now, 48 hours, but the physical part of it is really hard for the boys. Just to be ready again. The whole year we are not used to it, that’s the problem. The second day in pretty much all football teams is kind of a second recovery day and out of the blue, a full-throttle, 100 per cent opponent in Burnley. We are a little bit like artists in a circus and you can all watch, but it’s not cool, and then reacting like this is top-class.

On Mane’s performance…

It’s obvious Sadio is unbelievably important for us. In so many moments he is strong and quick. In the other moments it doesn’t click and then he scores a goal like this and you think, ‘wow!’ When he came into the dressing room the whole team got up and gave him [a round of applause] because they know. He will be back on top. He makes steps, that’s why I took him off. It’s a situation where sometimes you get an injury, and we need him so much for all the things coming. That’s it. I am happy. I had a lot of players in moments where it was not clicking, if you want, but they never scored. Sadio still scores, so that’s really cool.

On Mane and Mohamed Salah attending the CAF Awards later this week…

Everything is organised. We have two of the three best African players in our squad. Now can we sit at home and say, ‘they have something to celebrate and we are not interested’? That would not show the respect we have to show in a situation like this. If it were a matchday they wouldn’t have asked. It’s the night before; we are in the hotel and train before. They sleep on a plane. That’s the modern world. That’s all the difference. They will be ready or not. If Mo is not ready, it’s nothing to do with this. We can send physiotherapists and everything, we have everything organised. That’s no problem. [They have] to be physically there, one of them [gets the award], a few interviews and then go home. From our side it is just a sign of respect. [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang is the third one. I trained all of them – cool! There is nothing more important than to go there, that’s how it is. So I try everything to help that we make it possible. Is it ideal? No. Will it disturb [us]? No.

On Lallana’s performance…

Outstanding – to be honest, outstanding. I thought a few times it was over but he came back, he came back and he came back. Especially after 1-0 he played really good football, preparing the moments for the rest. If we would have had a little bit more freshness in the other positions he maybe could have used it. He was really enjoying the game – that was nice. The beginning was really strong and then of course a little bit average part of the game. But then he came back again. He is so important for us, it’s really good news for all of us.