Jürgen Klopp on LFC 1-0 Fulham: 'We had to show big fight to get the result'

Press conferenceJürgen Klopp on LFC 1-0 Fulham: 'We had to show big fight to get the result'

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By Joe Urquhart and James Carroll at Anfield

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Jürgen Klopp praised the 'big fight' shown by his Liverpool squad after they secured an important 1-0 win over Fulham in the Premier League at Anfield on Wednesday night.

The Reds earned a fifth victory on the bounce and returned a second three-point haul in just four days on home soil in L4.

Mohamed Salah's 39th-minute penalty provided the difference between the two teams, following good work from fellow forward Darwin Nunez to earn the decisive spot-kick.

Liverpool 1-0 Fulham: Watch highlights

Klopp reflected on the battling victory, Salah's penalty and much more in his post-match press conference.

Read on below to see what the boss had to say...

On how he reflected on the game...

Really pleased with big parts of the game. First half, controlling, creating, not finishing the situations off but we saw for analysis reasons a couple of games of them. Especially their last game against City, you could see City couldn't create chances like they usually do - it was counter-pressing, direction, wing-balls [from] deep and counter-attacking themselves, or quick attacks. So, we were prepared for that, we knew they close the centre extremely well, but I couldn't respect more what Marco [Silva] is doing there because they had to make five changes from the last game. Before that game already they had injuries, so that's a really tough task.

This team is set up in a sensational way, really good. They caused us a lot of problems, but we could have scored more often. The penalty I liked a lot because it was a counter-pressing situation, Darwin is fully in the situation and gets the pen for that. Mo finished it off, which is good as well. We then don't close the game early and we have to fight until the end - and we needed Ali, obviously. The last situation I think it was a sensational save and he was really happy about the clean sheet more than anybody. So, five wins in a row is super-difficult; if it was easy, everybody would do it - we would have done it earlier. It feels like ages, ages, ages ago that we did it - and probably it is. The more I like it, to be honest.

On whether he was pleased with Nunez's performance...

Absolutely. I think for us it's super-important. You could see in the beginning, defending the centre against Fulham is really important because Palhinha is there and that is their connector, get [him] on the ball. We were a bit too early out there from Darwin, we tried to fix that, but he wanted and he was like a race horse - go, go, go, go for everybody. We opened up and that's where we struggle slightly, where they could control it for moments. We could sort that and apart from that he played a really good game, he was always a proper option for us and we needed that. One of the main things we had to do tonight was offer in behind, we had three really quick players there and I liked the situation pretty early in the game when Mo received the ball deep, chipped it in behind and Darwin can go there. I don't know exactly what was the result of that, but maybe a corner, which is good as well. Yes, he played a good game.

On being able to field Nunez, Salah and Luis Diaz together...

I thought they did well. We should not forget, you can see with Luis after 30 minutes it's really tough for him. It's tough for everybody, we played a lot of games. We had a discussion with the coaches, who shall we rest? Is it Cody? Diogo couldn't train again and I think in the first situation when he was on the pitch tonight, again a knock on the back. I hope that's now better because he had a proper, proper bruise at the ribs, so it's really painful. Anybody who had that before knows that. So, shall he start? Cody? How do we do it? That was the outcome - this line-up. I thought [Luis] did for long spells really well. As I said, Darwin like a race horse, really motivated, really on fire. That's important to us and all of them, when Cody and Diogo came on, they were really in the defensive work. They were extremely involved and we had then a few sensational situations where the last pass didn't go through. Curtis to Mo and stuff like this, where everything is nearly perfect and then the last pass on the foot it is only an inch but in the end it's maybe half a metre. There we could have done better, but that's fine. I liked what I saw.

On whether Alisson Becker has been his most consistent player this season...

Absolutely, I've said [that] a couple of times. He was really touched that we got a clean sheet tonight, it's that long ago. He kept a clean sheet for us, especially in that situation, there were a few others, but especially in that situation. So, yeah, he is for sure the most consistent player we have this season. That's actually not bad news, it's good news, because if we are not in a great shape and the level of the goalie drops as well then we would have been completely lost. So, that's fine. A lot of moments were really good tonight, but then there are moments obviously where we still have to adapt to the set-up. You can see that when Trent cannot be everywhere, it's not that he can be in midfield and in the next situation is directly in the right-back position. That has to be covered by Ibou and there were a few situations where Ibou was a bit too far away and then they could turn and have the attack. We have things to improve, definitely, but in a lot of moments it looked already really good.

On how satisfying it was to secure the result...

Super-satisfying. It's exactly what you want... I got asked the question if I feel not great about the chances we missed; not really, because I know the boys can score goals, but we have to fight for a result. The situation we are is when you are 1-0 up and the watch said 87 minutes it's not that you think, 'OK, we will bring that home.' It is a little bit, because we had our history this year, where you think there is maybe another opportunity for them. That's the situation. You have to build this confidence again, and to start with a 1-0 and getting it over the line with a big fight is super-helpful.

On whether it was an easy decision to keep Salah on penalty duties...

We had a conversation and he wanted to stay the penalty taker. We had a normal conversation about it. I said, 'OK, yeah, you are.' You don't feel great in that moment, that's what he said: I don't feel right in that moment because the pressure obviously increases with the penalties you miss. Then Fab, or Trent, or whoever is two and three, give the ball to them, but that's now he smashed the jigsaw, or whatever, the destiny again, and turned it around. This today was a super penalty I would say - that's really clear. So, I think with all the goals Mo scored, we cannot just judge it with two missed [and] go away from it. That's what I meant when I said we will talk about it. I know you understand when I said we'll talk about it [that] I tell him, 'You are off.' But it was a conversation between two grown-up men.

On the pressure of taking penalties in general...

He enjoys these situations, the problem is before he missed a penalty we didn't have [one] for 28 games or so. We train that, obviously, we have people for it, but that's a special situation. You cannot [prepare for it], 28 games is like four years... it's forever. And you cannot remember any kind of pedal and stuff like this. You go there, and then you miss it, you can still finish it off, but then you miss it and that doesn't feel great. So, this little break after the Arsenal pen, we talk, shake it off, if you want, and we go from there. I think that's absolutely the right thing to do.

Alisson Becker

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