Jürgen Klopp provided his analysis of the ups and downs of a frenetic Premier League clash with Tottenham Hotspur that ended with Liverpool 4-3 victors.
The Reds raced into a three-goal advantage at Anfield on Sunday through strikes from Curtis Jones, Luis Diaz and Mohamed Salah (penalty) by the 15-minute mark.
But Spurs chipped away at and eventually eradicated the hosts’ lead as Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and then Richarlison in added time responded for the away team.
Liverpool and Diogo Jota had the final say, though, with the No.20 pouncing to finish in front of the Kop and secure a win that lifted Klopp’s men to fifth in the standings.
Assessing the contest at his post-match press conference, the manager said: “Yeah, you all saw it – the start into the game was absolutely exceptional again, some of the best we have played this season for sure.
“Being 3-0 up against a pretty defensive set-up of Tottenham and the way we scored the goals, the way we played offensively and defensively was absolutely exceptional.
“Then the problem, being 3-0 up that early; we are not the first team who misunderstood that. Should not happen, happened anyway. Not immediately but the first goal of Tottenham is the first moment where we don’t defend properly, where we are not properly in the counter-pressing situation, like the distances were right or whatever. That’s why we end up with the long ball in behind, there’s no offside and Virg slips, which obviously can happen – we shouldn’t come into a situation like that.
“They scored their goal, credit to Tottenham, they are brilliant in these situations. Half-time was like that, I told the boys the positive stuff but of course already that we have to just pick up rhythm again because if we play how we started the game they have no way to defend us really.
“It’s tricky with the five in the back with our players in between, if we are flexible there, it would have been tricky for them. Unfortunately we couldn’t pick up rhythm properly anymore; it was not bad, it was more an even game than it should have been. But fine, then you should not concede. That was the situation.
“Again, credit to Tottenham, they only need one like these moments. They had more moments, crossbar and stuff like this. The hectic [feeling] you create with these situations if they don’t go in is difficult to deal with always – the team who is 3-1 down starts believing even more, the team who played super and is 3-1 up starts doubting a little bit and all of a sudden the game is open.
“[They] scored a second and then in the last minute more or less, the free-kick on that side. There is a situation before that, he [the referee] whistles a foul on Mo, we are alone in front of the goal, their defender slips but we are not allowed to play on. Ball goes back, there is a foul, free-kick in, goal.
“Meanwhile all the Tottenham strikers were on the pitch so could we have defended better? Probably yes, but it’s really difficult. The ball is in the air, it’s so difficult – this chaos – to sort it properly.
“3-3, doesn’t feel great but that’s what we got. But then Diogo Jota had a different idea and finished it off for us. That’s the best part of the whole afternoon obviously.”