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Jurgen Klopp admits Liverpool "needed" Southampton victory

Jurgen Klopp admits Liverpool
© Reuters
Liverpool stumbled over the line against Saints for only a second league win at Anfield in 2021.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admits the 2-0 win over Southampton kept their Champions League qualification hopes alive but knows there is plenty more still to do if they are to sneak into the top four.

Klopp’s side stumbled over the line against Saints for only a second league win at Anfield in 2021 thanks to Sadio Mane’s first-half header and Thiago Alcantara’s first goal for the club in the 90th minute.

It moved them to within six points of fourth-placed Leicester with a match in hand – the postponed game against Manchester United – but the task is still tough.

“It was a big one for us, we needed that. We did a really good job and I’m happy about that,” said Klopp, who in their previous two matches had seen his side concede late equalisers to seemingly derail their top-four challenge.

“We scored the first goal but obviously twice in a row we had a similar situation and scoring that second goal was a big relief.

“What it means for our top-four hopes is that that they are still alive, nothing else.

“Our situation changed but the other teams not so much. The only thing we can do is win our games, which will be tough.

“Winning four games is pretty much the only chance we have. It will be difficult but we will try anyway.”

At his pre-match press conference, Klopp had to defend Thiago’s performances as the Spain international has had an underwhelming start to his Liverpool career having joined from Bayern Munich in September.

So the manager was delighted to see the midfielder finally get off the mark.

“I am pleased for him. He played really well, not the first time but he looked really good, helped us with top passes. All really good.

“We all had to work hard and he had a lot of good situations but the most important situation was his finish.”

Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl was left to rue a number of missed chances, with Reds goalkeeper Alisson Becker making the most saves (six) in keeping a clean sheet in his 96 Premier League appearances.

“We had big chances today, definitely. This was the difference between the two teams,” he said.

Ralph Hasenhuttl rued Southampton's missed chances
Ralph Hasenhuttl rued Southampton’s missed chances (Phil Noble/PA)

“One team is two times clinical and we have several chances, one against one, and we cannot score.

“This is very disappointing for us and when you don’t score, you cannot take something.

“We tried to be brave, tried to play football and we tried to create and things looked quite good but in the end you end up with nothing.

“When you want to win here, you must have a perfect game and this we didn’t have.”

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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City38275683325186
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd382111673442974
3Liverpool38209968422669
4Chelsea381910958362267
5Leicester CityLeicester382061268501866
6West Ham UnitedWest Ham381981162471565
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs381881268452362
8Arsenal381871355391661
9Leeds UnitedLeeds38185156254859
10Everton38178134748-159
11Aston Villa38167155546955
12Newcastle UnitedNewcastle38129174662-1645
13Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38129173652-1645
14Crystal Palace38128184166-2544
15Southampton38127194768-2143
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton38914154046-641
17Burnley38109193355-2239
RFulham38513202753-2628
RWest Bromwich AlbionWest Brom38511223576-4126
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd3872292063-4323

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