Jürgen Klopp spoke of his huge satisfaction after Liverpool battled their way to a sixth consecutive Premier League win by beating Brentford 1-0 at Anfield.
Mohamed Salah’s 30th goal of the season earned the Reds all three points on Saturday afternoon, and took the Egyptian level with Steven Gerrard in joint-fifth in the club’s all-time leading scorers list on 186 goals.
A close-range finish from Virgil van Dijk’s knockdown after 13 minutes was Salah’s 100th strike at Anfield and saw him become the first player in Reds history to net in nine consecutive home matches.
Liverpool’s pursuit of Champions League qualification goes on and they now sit one point adrift of fourth-placed Manchester United and three behind Newcastle United in third, although both of those teams hold two games in hand on Klopp’s side.
Read a summary of the manager’s post-match press conference below.
On Liverpool’s performance and grinding out the victory...
It’s great, it’s great. I said now a couple of times it was the best defensive set-piece session I ever saw. Brentford have a lot of qualities, but the set-pieces are super-special. I told the boys directly after the game, the focus and concentration we showed today against the best set-piece team I’ve ever played [was great]. We or them created 50, 60 set-pieces - throw-ins, corners, free-kicks, goalie takes it from the halfway line or in his own half and eight players line up. Super-difficult. Everybody in this line of eight what we had there as well stepped up today, was really fully aware of the need in these moments. That was great. First half, a lot of good football moments until, I think, when Trent lost the ball in that area, that was maybe one reason [that] all of a sudden we didn’t play anymore.
When we played, we had super moments. We came between their lines, mixed it up, in behind, in between, I liked it a lot but that was a moment which we have to learn to react much better [to] and keep doing the right things. Second half, when you are only 1-0 up then it is clear, they knew we cannot avoid set-pieces. Always when the ball rolled over the line, whichever line it was, it was red alert. We all probably had in our minds the game against Nottingham Forest where that looked completely different. In a super-intense period for us, the week with Sunday, Wednesday, Saturday [games] and they have a full week off, all makes an impact. I am really happy, I have to say I am really happy with this hard-fought 1-0 win. The goal was great, the defending was great and in parts the football we played was really, really good.
On Salah achieving yet more goalscoring milestones…
The numbers he creates, we all know that after his career he will be seen as one of the all-time greats, that’s clear. But now he is still in the career and some people might not appreciate him enough, but we do. As long as he’s playing he needs to work as well and he did that today, I like that a lot, how he is really aware of all the things we need to do. In the moment it’s really, really important for us and really good. So, I liked it a lot.
He deserves all the praise he gets already and he will get even more after his career, that’s how it is, because in a club with the all-time greats we had in the past, being the first one who scores in nine consecutive home games is super-special. Scoring again 30 goals this season is super-special and setting up a lot of goals as well - he is so often involved in our goals, not only with the assist or the finish, very often with the second- or third-last pass as well, which is as important. So, yeah, absolutely great.
On now having nine days before the Reds’ next game at Leicester City…
Great news, absolutely. Imagine we would have played now on Tuesday again, we would be completely knackered. It’s really fine. You could see that today, there was one team who had a full week and one team who played only three days ago a super-intense game as well, and before that three days ago a super-intense game as well. Winning three in a row at home is absolutely special. I really think the people who saw the game today in the stadium, it will not be a game they tell their grandchildren about but it’s a game [where] there was a lot to enjoy because the fight was exceptional. The focus level the boys showed was exceptional, the concentration top and again a lot of good signs for us, how we could look in the future. We have to do that more consistent, we have to learn, we have to adapt, but a lot of good signs and I am really pleased with that.