Press conferenceLiverpool 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur: Jürgen Klopp's reaction
Jürgen Klopp acknowledged Saturday evening's 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur left he and his players disappointed, but felt the point could still yet prove 'important' in the Premier League title race.
Liverpool 1-1 Tottenham: Highlights
The Reds had to settle for a tie at Anfield, but the result did move them to the top of the Premier League on goal difference, with Manchester City not in action until Sunday afternoon at home to Newcastle United.
Heung-Min Son gave the visitors the lead with 56 minutes on the clock, before a deflected Luis Diaz strike in front of the Kop drew the hosts level, but they were unable to summon a winner.
Read on for a summary of the boss' post-match press conference...
On the result and Liverpool's performance...
The expected game. It was always clear Tottenham would show up like they showed up. With all the individual quality they have and with the game plan they have, it was clear it would be incredibly difficult. It didn't get easier when we conceded the goal. I was really happy with a lot of things in the game, to be honest. First half, the first 25 minutes, wow, crazy start, really, really good, put them under pressure, direction in our game, the passing in the game, the speed of the passes, it was really good but we didn't score. Then it was always clear, you make one mistake and they are there. This next 20 minutes, around about, we said at half-time we could have shown more initiative in moments, just a little dribbling here, getting closer to their formation to keep them busy. We passed a little bit too early and these kind of things. All fine, but we could have caused more problems.
I thought we did that in the second half; we started immediately again [with] high energy and then we conceded the goal. Everything can happen in a situation like this. After the weeks we had, I'm not sure how many games more we had than Tottenham but there were a few, and then a moment like this really anything can happen. But nothing happened. The stadium was there, boys kept their calm, increased the pressure without opening up too much. We scored the goal and then all these little moments, you might not remember them but [a] diagonal ball, Thiago to Hendo, in behind the last line. Hendo square ball, great, but we don't anticipate it right, so we don't have anybody.
This is the moment where when we are there, it is exactly the same game but you can have at least a shot or Lloris has to make a save. [A] diagonal ball, Kostas, mishit the header, heads it back where we were. Then the biggest one probably because of the quality of Thiago, when he has his little shuffle and chips the ball to the second-post area, where Trent is completely open, and in the end misses him by two yards. That's an inch on the football boot of a world-class player. These moments, they hurt them, but they were flying with everything they have, they blocked the ball, they do everything, they were here for a result.
I know you all think the game plan of Tottenham worked perfectly, that's what we have to accept. We have a different game plan, obviously. Even when we play at Tottenham we have a different game plan. That's how it is and that's why it's really difficult to play them. For them, when they face a team with more possession than them then it works out pretty well, but they don't have these opponents all the time.
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On how he views the result and whether it is an 'important point'...
It is an important point because we have one point more than before the game, so that's how it is. But we all know the situation. We are now top of the table. If you ask me, my favourite situation, it just stays like this with the same points tally, and City and us, we lose all the rest of the games in the Premier League and it stays like this. That would be great, but we all know it will not happen. So in this moment, we are disappointed. The boys are more disappointed than I am – it might be because of my age, because I saw pretty much everything already in my life.
But we will go again. There were so many good things tonight in a situation like that. The counter-press we played today, you can record it and sell this stuff, it's unbelievable. Honestly, it's unbelievable. I am so proud of that but, in the end, how I said, in the little moments, a little bit better decision-making... it's easy for me to say because I don't run and I didn't run four days ago, but we all know the boys are able to do that and then we could have won. But, of course, we know we could've lost as well because they are obviously insane in their counter-attacking. That's what they want to do. I saw a lot of the things we want to do but not the result we wished for.
On Ibrahima Konate 'getting better and better' throughout the season...
I am delighted with all of the boys, to be honest. I really think they all became better over the last year. From a centre-half point of view, he is a kid pretty much in this position. You get world-class usually a little later but he can obviously do that earlier. Yes, I am very pleased with what he is showing.
On whether the reason to start Konate was to combat Spurs' pace on the counter-attack...
Yes, that was the reason.
On whether he feels there are more 'twists and turns' in the title race...
Look, I would love to sit here and say, 'Yes, City will drop points.' The only problem is I can't see it. This is the problem. I would wish I would think differently about it, it's just I can't see it. But we will see what happens. My problem in the moment is not how City smashes Newcastle tomorrow. My problem is that we play on Tuesday against Aston Villa and, again, we do like we won this game already – but that's, of course, not the case. It's the toughest 95 minutes in between now and the final whistle – that's crazy. So again, we have a point more than before – that's good – and from the situation we were in when we were 1-0 down, it's massively better, to be honest. The goal counts really. But it was not exactly what we wanted and now we have to deal with it and we will – that's clear. So again, we will try to prepare as good as possible – as we always do – and try to be ready for Aston Villa. Villa Park, oh my God, that will be tough as well, but we will give it a try.
On what he's said to his players...
First and foremost, we should stop behaving like we're [in] a funeral. I didn't say that to the boys but it's a little bit the mood here. We still talk about football and these kind of things can happen. In my life, much worse things happened, to be honest, and I'm still here. So, you overcome things and that's not a general problem. If we would only be ready for that we try everything as long as it works, we are really happy, and in the moment when we get the first little stone thrown in our way, that moment we stop doing it – I wouldn't like that too much, to be honest. It's just we have to show resilience – we will.
But if we would have won tonight, it wouldn't have increased the probability to win against Aston Villa, not at all, so then maybe there it would've happened. That's how it is. We have to go, we will prepare, we will try. The only chance we have that something goes our way in the end is to win now all the football games we play. Imagine City would lose at one point – I can't see it or imagine that – and because we don't believe anymore, we then cannot use it. That would be really insane. No, no. So the boys are absolutely in the mood they should be now – very disappointed. That's fine. But from tomorrow on, I heard the spring is coming to England, so maybe we can use the weather a little bit for being in a good mood and we will try.