Jürgen Klopp on title race, Gomez display and Watford win

Press conferenceJürgen Klopp on title race, Gomez display and Watford win

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By James Carroll and Chris Shaw at Anfield

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Jürgen Klopp says Liverpool want to enjoy the situation they are in after beginning the season's run-in with a hard-fought 2-0 win over Watford.

Liverpool 2-0 Watford: Extended highlights

The Reds moved to the summit of the Premier League, at least temporarily, on Saturday afternoon as goals from Diogo Jota and Fabinho gained three points at Anfield.

Post-match, Klopp analysed the key elements of the victory against the Hornets and the intensity being handled by his team as they compete for the title with Manchester City.

Read a summary of the manager’s press conference below…

On today being as much about the result as the performance…

Yeah, of course, no doubt about that. These games can go either way; if you score early, really early, then just get in kind of a flow, it can go in one direction. But it’s not very likely, it’s really unlikely that after the international break you see the best game of the season. So we had to work through this game against a very well-organised Watford side. Roy is doing a really incredible job. After [going] 1-0 down, nothing changed, going for counter-attacks. When the players came on, going for counter-attacks. It makes it uncomfortable. We had in the first half obviously the one scary moment when Ali had this incredible save. But we scored our goal, nice, and kept it controlled, which is the most important thing. Scoring the second was obviously kind of a relief. Winning the game is all we wanted, the boys delivered and so now we can carry on.

Joe does a Trent, Diogo's 20, awesome Alisson and more

Talking pointsJoe does a Trent, Diogo's 20, awesome Alisson and moreLiverpool resumed their bid for an unprecedented quadruple by beating Watford 2-0 at Anfield.

On his post-match celebrations and not being able to ‘give an inch’ in the title race…

No, you can’t give an inch. But it’s nothing to do with being on top of the table, I didn’t think about that in the moment, I was just happy to win the game and having now 72 points. Hopefully. To keep it a title race we have to win our football games, otherwise it will be really tricky. And the next Premier League game obviously is a big one, we do not hide from that. It’s all good. But now we have a Champions League game to play, which is as important, and three days’ time to prepare that. Then we go from there.

On an intense couple of weeks ahead…

It is but I really appreciate the situation we are in. I told the boys yesterday, the first time when we were all together, if somebody would have told us in the summer, in the really good pre-season which we had, that end of March, early April in the situation we are in – in all competitions, won one trophy and a full squad available, and hopefully this will stay forever – we all would have taken it, absolutely. The only better situation would have been – because in the cup competitions we couldn’t be further – is if we are 20 points ahead of City, but that’s not possible actually. It’s all fine like it is, so now enjoy the situation. We are not favourite in one of the competitions we are in, but who cares? We will give it a try.

On managing the situation by being relaxed and enjoying it…

Nothing to do with managing, it’s just I feel like this. It’s not that I pretend to be in the mood, I cannot change it. And the boys hopefully see it similar. It’s not managing the situation or the pressure or whatever. If people see the situation like pressure, not sure I can change that. If they see it as an opportunity, I think it’s the right way to do [it]. We created a basis, which we could use, but nobody knows. Because the opponents have their own targets and they really go for it. I know people said Watford is pretty much an easy game; we knew before, and we saw today, it’s not easy. Then probably people waved us already through to the semi-finals of the Champions League because Benfica are Benfica. I cannot see situations like this. Benfica are extremely strong, especially when you let them be. That’s what we have to think about now: how we can deny that. That’s it.

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On where Liverpool’s belief came from when they were 14 points behind Man City…

We didn’t have a lot of opportunities or alternatives to do it differently. Because we are 14 points behind City, that means you are in trouble with qualifying for the Champions League if the others are not 15 points away as well, or 20 points. That was the reason. If you cannot become champions, we have to qualify for the Champions League and that’s why there was no reason to think about anything different. And the rest came then. We had no influence in that, we had no chance to influence City’s games since then. I saw some of them; even when they didn’t win, the performance level was incredible. So we didn’t really think about it.

We wanted to qualify for the Champions League, we wanted to come in the cup competitions as far as possible and if possible win it, of course. The rest just happened while we were trying to play the best football possible. Today we didn’t obviously play the best football possible but it was good enough to be a deserved win of a football game and that must be sometimes just enough. I was really happy today with the whole stuff, we came through. I didn’t expect for one second we will be flying today but we had good moments, lesser-good moments, once where we needed Ali, two nice goals and all good.

On the decision to award Liverpool a late penalty…

I didn’t see the situation back. I asked and somebody said it was around the corner in the second-post area. So, I can now say I didn’t see it yet but I can tell you how often I’ve watched football games in my life and how often I said, ‘That must be a penalty’ because it should not be allowed. If the ball is going there or not, why wrestle in the 18-yard box? I think we all want to see goals and you can see more goals if we just say you have to defend set-pieces legally. If you take somebody and bring him down, it is a penalty for me – even when the ball is not around. It was always like this, I always saw it like this, but it never happened. Again, I didn’t see it back, I don’t know exactly how this situation was, but yes, I was surprised he went to the screen.

Joe Gomez defender
Joe Gomez
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On Joe Gomez’s performance and his mentality...

Not only this today, but this as well when we had now really from the bench a lot of game-changers in the games. Even when we rotated and the boys started, they never disappointed and Joey was the opposite of disappointing today. It was pretty clear Joey could, unfortunately, train with us the full week because he was not on international duty, but then we already knew it would be tight for Trent. At the beginning of the week we didn’t even know there was a chance, but obviously there was a chance, but because we saw Joey the whole week in training it was clear he would start there.

He did really well and he could have set up a second goal in the second half, the cross was an incredible one as well. Defensively we don’t have to talk, offensively some really good moments and some not-so-good moments because you see the positioning against a deep-sitting opponent, it is not so easy to find the right position in these moments and we are usually a bit more flexible, but it’s all fine. Joe is an outstanding football player and he will play a lot of games during his career, 100 per cent, he will play here a lot of games definitely. This season was tricky so far for him, but who knows how these things can change. He is obviously ready to use the opportunity when he gets it.

On whether Curtis Jones picked up an injury...

I’m not sure it’s a concern yet, he just wanted a strapping; he twisted his ankle and wanted a strapping, but we wanted to change anyway. He got the strapping but after he came off. He obviously could walk normally but I didn’t see him yet. I think that should be the only one [injury concern]. Joel Matip had a proper [knock], it looked like a golf ball here [on his head] but it was nothing serious, it was just a bruise and had swollen up a little bit. He said he was completely fine, that’s why we had the strapping there. That’s it, I’m pretty sure.

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