Jürgen Klopp praised a ‘perfect’ performance from Liverpool after they recorded a 3-0 victory over AFC Bournemouth at Anfield on Saturday evening to maintain their quest for a top-four finish.

The Reds claimed a comprehensive win against the Cherries to consolidate third position in the Premier League table – and they were set on their way by Sadio Mane’s seventh-minute opener.

Mohamed Salah then notched his 40th goal of the season – his 30th in the league – with a magnificent glancing header from Trent Alexander-Arnold’s delivery from the right after the break.

Roberto Firmino completed the scoring at the finale, converting inside the near post after collecting Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s pass.

Afterwards, Klopp spoke of his satisfaction at his team’s performance, the impressive displays of Alexander-Arnold and Oxlade-Chamberlain, and the goalscoring exploits of Salah.

Read on for a summary of the manager’s post-match press conference…

On whether it was a ‘perfect’ game for Liverpool…

Yes, because of the performance I would say. In the situation now, with a lot of games around – and they are all unbelievably important – then controlling a game like this is the most important thing to do, to be honest. It was only 1-0 at half-time but we created a lot of chances and good situations. It looked really mature, fluent and flexible again. And then what you need in a game like this, against a side who want to have counter-attacks – which is normal if they are that much under pressure – the counter-pressing was outstanding from the boys. There’s a big misunderstanding; people always think it is the most intense kind of defending [but] it is actually the less intense defending because it’s the shortest way. The boys did fantastic. For around about 75 minutes a fantastic game and then somebody closed our power and the boys felt the intensity of the last few weeks. You saw we didn’t control it anymore and so Bournemouth came from time to time, we had a few blocks in the box, a few dangerous situations. It was good that we kept a clean sheet, with the little bit of luck you always need. [It was] a really good game and a very important result.

LFCTV GO: Klopp's post-match press conference

On how many goals Salah can score before the end of the season…

Ask him! He was very often in good situations and in the end he scored one goal. It’s all about him and all about us, how we finish the season. It’s completely normal that a boy in that situation wants to be top of the scoring list, the Golden Boot. We will not be in his way. But we cannot force it; so, pass, shoot, pass, shoot, that’s the normal thing to do. It’s good and impressive – what a number, wow! And what a number we scored as a team in the whole season, that’s crazy. That’s really good but we have to carry on, there are a few games to come.

On Alexander-Arnold’s development…

I think we have all seen him grow, altogether. You see the games, you see the performances. Because Clyney was injured, he was one of two options we had [and] we never thought about bringing in another full-back because both are very young and Joe [Gomez] is kind of a centre-half. He played one game, the next game rested, then played another game and then the next game rested and stuff like that. Now he had to deliver and he has delivered; he delivered a really good game. The problem with being that good at that young age is that your career is still so long, so on one hand side you have to improve a lot and that’s how it is. It’s all good, he is a good boy. It was an outstanding cross for the [Salah] goal. If you are talking about single players, that’s not too important because I loved the performance of all of them, but Oxlade-Chamberlain was outstanding as well. That was a midfielder today; quick, good decisions, good technique, good defending, wow, I liked it.

On Salah becoming the first Liverpool player in 31 years to reach the 40-goal mark…

Thirty-one years ago since Ian Rush scored over 40 goals? Ian doesn’t look that old! Was he 14 when he scored them!? Yes, it’s extraordinary. He knows that the kind of [football] we play suits him. You saw the boys looking for him, searching for him a little bit too much. It was like ‘give him the ball’, so we had to mix it up. He is the threat, but it’s all good – that’s for analysis. You show it and the boys listen, they see that but in the game it is difficult to change. It is a win-win situation – the boys for him and him for the boys. It’s fantastic. He didn’t look like he doesn’t want to score for the next few games! It’s all good.

On whether the Golden Boot could become a distraction for Salah…

It’s important for the boys and you need to make that – you cannot put Easter and Christmas on the same day! We need his greed, we need him to want to score. Weeks ago, I said to Mo after a game, ‘that’s a situation where you have to pass’ and sometimes it’s so obvious that he knows it of course. It’s a normal job to do. He is not distracted or whatever about the Golden Boot; he wants to have it like he wants us to be successful. If he gets the Golden Boot it’s pretty likely that we are successful, so no problem with that. The boys are fine with it, all good. As a striker, you need to make decisions and if you score everybody loves that, if you don’t score then people start discussing. It’s all fine.

On Liverpool’s improved defensive record…

It’s good. It felt like this. I really didn’t count clean sheets but it felt like [we have been keeping clean sheets]. We want to win games and in the end, if it’s a 3-2, I take it. I don’t want it but I take it, of course. 3-0 is absolutely better. The development is really good as a side, as a team. To be honest, [it’s a] kind of difficult season so far – it’s not like it’s easy, we’ve gone through it and everything is fine. We’ve had to really work hard for all that stuff. Now we have a full week, which feels like kind of a summer break. We don’t play in between, so now we have to recover and then West Brom. We fight always for Champions League – in the Premier League and in the Champions League. That’s the situation. For being successful, we always knew you need a good defence, but we defend as a team better – it’s not only the last line, it’s not only Loris [Karius]. All together it gives the boys confidence and helps massively.

Salah up for for PFA Player of the Year prize