Liverpool’s reaction to conceding against Cardiff City pleased Jürgen Klopp, who was left satisfied by a 4-1 win that put his side top of the Premier League.

The Reds eventually ran out comprehensive victors at Anfield on Saturday, thanks to goals from Mohamed Salah and Xherdan Shaqiri, along with Sadio Mane’s brace.

Salah put the hosts ahead after 10 minutes of a first half they dominated from start to finish, but they had to wait until midway through the second period to increase their advantage courtesy of Mane.

Callum Paterson then pulled one back for Cardiff - the first top-flight goal Liverpool have conceded at Anfield since February - to set up what looked likely to be nervy ending for the home support.

However, a late surge that featured Shaqiri’s first Reds goal and Mane’s second of the afternoon secured a win that moved Klopp’s team three points clear at the summit of the table.

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

On Liverpool’s performance…

Very good moments, a lot of very good moments and of course periods where we could’ve done better, that’s how it is. But we played Wednesday, we played today, we had to create and to create and to create and to create - that’s really hard work, to be honest, and that makes it so difficult. We could’ve done, of course, better in a few moments. I’m not sure if we could have done because of the Wednesday game, but for your most creative football you need fresh legs and fresh players. But you cannot change a full team because you need rhythm as well. It was a similar game to the Belgrade game, possession-wise it was today a massive number of possession I think. 

The start was really good in the game and then when they had their first set-pieces, these throw-ins that are really a threat, that gave them a little lift and we lost one or two balls too much in the wrong situation, like the last situation before half-time for example: it was a long ball from us, this kind of chipped ball which is difficult to defend, we won the second ball, I think Mo won it, Bobby passed to Alberto, chip to the second post and there is Adam with a good header. So situations like that, where you force it a bit, we could’ve done more often like that, but I’m completely fine. We scored the second goal and then we conceded a goal, that’s never something you want - especially not when you can get I’m not sure exactly which record, but any record - but it’s always possible and in this moment today it even helped a little bit because Cardiff thought there was a bit more in that game and in these moments we were immediately there and finished the game off. So I’m really happy about that and now we can recover and then prepare the next game.

On Shaqiri’s influence after he came off the bench…

Good. He played four games nearly 90 minutes now in a row - in the international break both games for Switzerland, for us Huddersfield and then Belgrade I think 70 [minutes] so it was clear… we don’t know Shaq long enough and good enough to know how he reacts. Not performance-wise, that’s not important, [but] sometimes you have to protect players until you know them a bit better, and I thought that the line-up we chose for today was a good one. For Adam it was good to start, he was really involved in a lot of things, especially in the first half - of course a bit less in the second half, that’s completely normal - so that helped.

Then Shaq came in and was involved I think in two nice goals, that’s always good. That made it so hard to leave him out for that game, only you have to think a bit about it whether it’s really the right thing to do. We decided differently but that’s how it is: football games are 97, 98 minutes and you need 14 players for that. OK today, we only had 13 as we only changed twice, but bringing on that quality what we can bring on is a massive difference.

On Mane’s performance…

Absolutely [it was impressive], that’s how it is. He has a broken thumb and plays with a brace - I wouldn’t feel comfortable with it, to be honest, but he obviously ignores it pretty well! The first goal he gets the assist and the goal actually, I think he prepared it by himself. All good, a very good performance.

Read Mane's post-match reaction>>

On whether Cardiff produced what he expected…

Pretty much, actually. I have a lot of respect for what Cardiff are doing, they are just a difficult opponent to play against, to be honest. I don’t think they don’t have a lot of clear results when they lost because they stay in the game, being 1-0 doesn’t change anything. When they scored to make it 2-1, we controlled it immediately again and we used the space. Usually you could get under pressure again, but we defended their throw-ins really well today, which is really difficult, especially the second balls. We did it well, but the goal they scored, they deserved it.

I thought in that period we had to be more clear in what we did, we passed the ball a bit around, we passed the ball to a player who didn’t show he wanted the ball and then was under pressure immediately. It was absolutely not necessary, but most of the time we did really well. I heard we had 85 per cent possession and that’s a crazy number - after Wednesday, a Champions League game, having the ball 85 per cent of the time means you cannot rest, everyone is involved. In offensive football, everyone needs to be involved and that makes it then really quite a challenge. The boys did well and I am fine.

On whether Liverpool going top of the table at this stage of the season is significant to him...

Not really. The number of points makes a massive difference because the difference between 23 and 26 points feels like 20 points, pretty much! But it’s only three, so it’s really important to stay on track. We will all meet each other and stuff like that, so it’s unbelievable that five or six clubs have such a big number of points - it makes it only even more intense. It’s good for the people and the supporters of all the different clubs. For today, it was clear if we won it would be like that - now we have won the game and that’s really good. For us, it’s just the next step, so that’s cool. Now we have time to recover - first time for a lot of the boys that they don’t play in three days again and our international players haven’t had that since I don’t know when - so we will use the time to recover and prepare for the Arsenal game, which will be another nice challenge.

On Roberto Firmino’s position behind Salah…

I don’t have to make the decision [on whether it’s his long-term plan for Firmino]. Bobby is a very flexible player. Today was obviously not his most genius game but things like this happen; in games like today he is important, so important for us. We have not only two systems, we can play different systems and that’s good. He is so smart in defending that it makes absolute sense that he is in a game where the second balls are the most decisive thing. If there is a player around always chasing the guy, it helps. Different positions are possible - he’s played the wing, the nine and the 10. I don’t have to make a decision today and that’s good.

Liverpool 4-1 Cardiff: Talking points>>

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