Jurgen Klopp loved the way that the Liverpool crowd remained patient against Everton last Sunday.
Writing in his programme notes transcribed by liverpoolfc.com for the game against Villarreal tonight, Klopp thanked the supporters for their ‘total understanding’ with the players.
“What was key is that in the face of high pressure and an opponent giving all they had, we didn’t lose belief in ourselves and we remained patient,” writes Klopp.
“We trusted ourselves. This was the case on the pitch and in the stands. I loved it, actually. It was a group of players and supporters showing a total understanding of the situation in front of them.”
Liverpool needed the crowd with them as they battled to break Everton down. Thankfully, supporters and players stuck to their task to see Liverpool over the line against their neighbours.
Supporters make the difference
So much was on the line on Sunday afternoon. Anything other than a win would surely have seen The Reds’ out of the title picture in the Premier League.
In the face of time-wasting and overly aggressive tactics from Everton, there could have been some frustration in the crowd as the game ticked towards the last half-hour.
Instead, the fans stuck with the Liverpool players, who duly scored twice to win a tense game.
Klopp has called on the home support to do the same in what could be another tricky encounter against Villarreal tonight.
“We are going to need to be exactly the same tonight,” he writes. “As a team and as supporters we can ensure that when the final whistle goes around 10pm this evening we have done all we can to win on the night.”
The Anfield effect
It’s not coincidence that since the return of full stadiums, Liverpool have only lost once at Anfield. That loss came in the second-leg of the Champions League last 16 against Inter Milan, a result which didn’t stop The Reds’ progress.
When it has really mattered, Liverpool haven’t let their fans down even once in 2021/22. That’s in sharp contrast to the dismal run of six home losses on the spin last season – a club record.
If Klopp and his players had needed any proof that the Anfield crowd can make a difference, that should have provided it.
The atmosphere will be raucous as Liverpool look to make it three Champions League finals in the last five years. The players must use that energy to do all they can to take a good lead into the return leg in Spain next week.
Villarreal man Etienne Capoue described playing at Anfield as ‘hell’ earlier this week. Liverpool must make sure he and his teammates feel that again this evening.