Jurgen Klopp is very pleased that Liverpool is able to grind out results when the going gets tough.
While you could argue that there was a degree of spectacle to Liverpool’s 4-2 victory over Cyrstal Palace, there is no denying that the overall performance was a far cry from a perfect display.
Liverpool have shown, with ground out victories over Chelsea, Swansea, West Brom and now Palace, that they have the ability to win ugly. This was last shown when the Reds went 14 games unbeaten in the 2013/14 season and games were won late on like the 3-2 drama at Carrow Road.
Title-winning teams need to be able to play great football and then, in an instant, show their resilience and stick it out until the end of a game, regardless of whether or not it’s entertaining or attractive. At the end of the day, fluid attacking football doesn’t necessarily win you titles, neither does having a solid defence. A combination of the two, a balance of sorts is needed in order to top the table after 38 games.
Jurgen Klopp, in discussion with Liverpoolfc.com, spoke about the need to win the games that are more of a battle.
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“In the stadium, we felt a change in the atmosphere in the moment [Palace scored],” the manager told Liverpoolfc.com after the final whistle.
“Then you know how difficult it will be from that moment. Crystal Palace came back and scored a second, we scored a third and were better in the game again.
“At the beginning of the second half, Crystal Palace tried everything – not really clear but made kind of pressure. We didn’t play football. We tried to shout from outside ‘Please play football again’.
“When we did that, we had our moments and scored a wonderful fourth goal. All good.
“That’s how football should be. You cannot only win the perfect games. You have to win all the other games too. We showed a few things which I’m really happy with and a few things I knew before we had to work on.
“So we don’t have to make too big a thing of the good things we did, and we don’t have to make a big thing of the not-so-good things we did.”
Liverpool will look to stretch their 11 game unbeaten run to 12 when Watford come to Anfield on Sunday. The Hornets’ visit will be a test of Liverpool’s ability to keep up with Arsenal and Manchester City at the top of the league as they are in very good form and are seventh in the league.