Liverpool's impressive display in beating Premier League champions Leicester City 4-1 is the level that Jürgen Klopp wants to see from his team in every game.
The Reds rose to the occasion of the first fixture in front of Anfield’s new Main Stand in the most thrilling fashion, claiming three points courtesy of Roberto Firmino’s brace and strikes by Sadio Mane and Adam Lallana.
Aside from the blip of handing a simple finish to Jamie Vardy before the break, Klopp’s men were fully worthy of a handsome result against the reigning title-holders.
And the manager wants that standard of performance to become the norm for his side, who have now taken seven points from their opening four league fixtures.
Read on for a summary of Klopp’s post-match press conference.
On his team rising to the occasion…
It’s a really exciting moment. We were here Thursday night for training because I thought it made sense that we show the new Main Stand to the boys earlier so we didn’t come in and be shocked because it’s really so different, it’s so nice, so big. We’re all football players and we all love wonderful stadiums. It was really good but we knew we had a job to do today and that’s what we did, against a strong opponent.
It was a deserved win, we were physically strong, we were clear, we were hard, flexible, quick, creative – all that stuff. We scored wonderful goals… and conceded a not-too-wonderful goal! We had a few minutes when you saw what can happen in a football game – West Ham were 2-0 up today and lost 4-2 so that sort of thing can happen, not only here. At half-time I told the boys ‘This is our challenge’, because when we are good we are really good.
This is our challenge, not only today, for the whole season. Today we had a wonderful opportunity to show it [that the team have learned from coming through difficult moments] and we did it. Leicester are really difficult to play against. It’s not about pressing, it’s about the second balls.
They’re so tuned – apart from one player they played with their champions from last year. [It was] very difficult, and we were not tuned because we had to change a very decisive position yesterday. Maybe you’ve seen Dejan Lovren around? Nice! He looks really good! He can’t see at the moment so we had to bring in Lucas. He, of course, is a wonderful character, but it’s the most difficult game for a centre-half, especially when you don’t play 500 games in a row. But we came through it together and in the end it was more than deserved, I would say.
On the standards of the attacking players…
We had a minimum of 30-35 minutes at Arsenal which I hadn’t seen until then from us, in the kind of movements and clearness. We were really so strong and quick and clear. What can I say? We had now two weeks and I met a lot of you and I hear nearly in each question a little bit of doubt – are you really sure? When we spoke about the transfer window – are you really sure? You don’t say it but I can hear it, even when I’m not a native speaker. It’s our job to prove that we are as strong as I think we are. Today we showed it in a few moments, of course. But I hope we can do better. I’m not interested in setting standards until we have reached the final standard. It was good and especially good enough for today. We really deserved the three points. And now Friday, Chelsea, it’s pretty much clear it will be a real challenge too. Chelsea plus the Italian manager – not a lot of space, I’m pretty sure. So we have to be prepared and we will be prepared.
On the performances of Mane and Firmino…
I love these players. [But] what about Lallana? What about Matip? I’m really on the side of the players. I really am. I’m responsible for our bad performances, they are responsible for our good performances. That’s quite an easy deal. But I don’t like too much after a game where everybody could see that we were good that we celebrate it like something really special happened. That’s what I expect from us. What we did today, those are the things I expect. We have to show it and we will see how often we can show it, but why should we think about our absolute standard or negative things? This league is so strong, so unbelievably strong and competitive and you have to be there every day.
Today we were good. Phil [Coutinho] didn’t start, Divock Origi didn’t come on, there were a few players injured, but it was still a good team [performance], so that’s the good news but we have to show this and we have to perform. We need to have atmospheres like this, not only when it’s the champions and we score four goals. What we have to do in the season [is] to create our own atmosphere for us and nobody else. When I speak about this, I have to say because I have no idea about who I could say [it to], please don’t sing my name before the game is decided. Immediately when the Kop started singing ‘Jürgen Klopp’, they [Leicester] were alone in front of Simon Mignolet. It’s a little bit like celebrating a penalty before you’ve scored. I don’t play, but if they like me, it’s nice – I like them all. But please don’t sing my name before the game is decided. It was the same at Arsenal. It’s something that depends on each other – it’s nice but not necessary. It would be really nice if they could stop this.