Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp was delighted with the fighting spirit his team showed as they held on to win 1-0 at Wolves on Monday night.
Former Wolves player Diogo Jota scored the only goal of the game to give Liverpool a much-needed three points. The win moves Klopp’s men back within five points of Chelsea and that coveted top-four spot in the Premier League.
Liverpool had to battle hard for the win, especially in the second half, as Wolves came looking for an equaliser. However, Nat Phillips and Ozan Kabak were particularly impressive in central defence and dealt with everything Wolves could throw at them. Fabinho, of course, also provided an extra layer of protection for the defence from his more familiar ‘6’ role.
At his post-match press conference, Klopp was asked for his thoughts on how Phillips and Kabak had played:
“They played now the second game in a row together and did really well. You can imagine the Leipzig game was difficult, but tonight was difficult for completely different reasons because the speed of Traore is actually undefendable in moments. The first situation was, I think, a pass pretty early in the game… I didn’t like the start of the game too much, to be honest, [because] we were not active enough, but that pass in behind you cannot avoid all the time. It was clear offside but because of the rules they let it run and that had an impact on our last line for a few minutes, so we had to get settled again. From that moment on, they played really, really well and I liked it a lot. It was a massive task from a concentration point of view, but they did really well and I’m really happy.”
Klopp was also asked about the impact Jota’s return from injury was having on the squad:
“Diogo is just a class football player but we don’t, we cannot take it for granted that a boy who’s been out for three months – or maybe even a little bit longer – is coming back and has an immediate impact again. That’s pretty rare, to be honest, but he has since he’s back. That is really helpful and tonight makes it even more special that he could score that goal, which was a nice goal and good play, passing situation from us. And the perfect moment to score the goal, to be honest, like a second before the half-time whistle. So that was really good but the rest of the game was obviously a lot of defending and I’m completely fine with that because that’s exactly what we wanted to do and that’s exactly what I wanted to see – that we show 100 per cent that we understand the situation right. It’s not about being Liverpool on a duller night, it’s about being Liverpool and being ready for fighting with all we have for a result. That must be possible even on nights when we are not at our absolute best. I’m really happy about the performance, it’s all fine, but obviously the game, I think Robbo called it an ugly three points and I called it a dirty three points. I couldn’t be more happy about these three points.”
Klopp also wished Wolves goalkeeper Rui Patrício well after the Portugal international suffered a head injury following an accidental collision with his own teammate, Conor Coady.
Liverpool now have almost three weeks before their next fixture, away to Arsenal, on Sunday, April 4th.
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