Klopp: Tottenham didn’t play badly, we were just very good
PUBLISHED: 17:00 17 September 2018
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The Reds manager labelled their display at Spurs as their ‘best game of the season’
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp hailed the performance of his players after their Premier League victory at Tottenham Hotspur.
Georginio Wijnaldum opened the scoring for the Reds in the 39th minute and they made it 2-0 early into the second half through Roberto Firmino.
It was nothing less than they deserved and although Erik Lamela pulled one back for Spurs in stoppage time, it was only a mere consolation.
Klopp said: “It was a very good performance, maybe our best against Tottenham in all the years I have been here, so that helps.
“But if we were maybe five per cent less, we probably would have lost, so that’s really hard on Tottenham.
“They won’t be happy with the result or performance, but because we were so good, it was difficult for them. I don’t think Tottenham played badly, that is why we deserved to win.”
Liverpool started strongly and had a goal ruled out for offside in the opening minute before the game settled down.
A good chance occurred in the 22nd minute when Eric Dier’s pass was poor and Mo Salah raced into the area, but couldn’t beat Michel Vorm.
Tottenham then began to get into the encounter with a Christian Eriksen free kick saved and Dier having a shot deflected wide.
The opener arrived with 39 on the clock, however, when Spurs gifted Liverpool a corner and Vorm could only flap at James Milner’s cross.
Although Dier headed the ball away, Winjaldum powered a header back towards goal and it crossed the line despite the best efforts of Tottenham’s deputy goalkeeper
It remained 1-0 at half time, but Mauricio Pochettino’s men almost levelled with 50 played when Lucas Moura cut inside and drilled an effort against the post.
Unfortunately for Spurs, it would prove costly as another sloppy piece of play resulted in Liverpool going 2-0 up.
Mane got in behind Kieran Trippier and Jan Vertonghen could only deflect his cross onto the post and the ball slipped through Vorm’s hands and allowed Firmino to tap in from a yard with 54 on the clock.
Liverpool created further opportunities to extend their lead, but squandered them and nearly paid the price.
Lamela brilliantly volleyed home from a tight angle for Spurs in stoppage time and Heung-min Son then appeared to be fouled by Mane inside the penalty area.
No spot-kick was given, however, and the Reds left London with all three points to stay perfect after five matches.
Klopp added: “For me the performance was better than the result, but result is the most important thing and the result is perfect because winning here is so difficult.
“You need a really outstanding performance to win and that’s what the boys delivered. “We could have scored more and we controlled the game and let me say this - it was our best game of the season for sure. In all the games we had really good moments, but we had 85 brilliant minutes here.”