Belfast Telegraph

Klopp happy for Reds to win ugly

Liverpool 2 Tottenham 1

Late twist: Liverpool’s Mohamed Sala and Roberto Firmino celebrate after Toby Alderweireld scored an own goal
Late twist: Liverpool’s Mohamed Sala and Roberto Firmino celebrate after Toby Alderweireld scored an own goal

By Andy Hampson

Jurgen Klopp admitted Liverpool had won ugly and got lucky - but was happy to take that after their last-gasp victory over Tottenham.

The title-chasing Reds reclaimed top spot in the Premier League - albeit having played a game more than Manchester City - thanks to an injury-time own goal at Anfield.

Toby Alderweireld was the unfortunate player to turn into his own net after Hugo Lloris failed to hold a Mohamed Salah header, handing Liverpool a 2-1 win.

Manager Klopp said: "Of course it was a lucky punch, the header and the ball rolls in. But I told the boys after the game, there are 500,000 different ways to win a football game and today was rather ugly. No problem, we take that!

"Without a bit of luck you cannot be in the position we are in. It's not possible. The boys work so hard, I think they deserve a bit of luck."

Liverpool had led at half-time after a 16th-minute header from Roberto Firmino but Spurs recovered after the break and claimed an equaliser in the 70th minute through Lucas Moura. Klopp felt he learned more about his side winning in the manner they did than if they had enjoyed a convincing victory.

The German said: "If you win 5-0 - I don't think that would have been possible today - it can lead you on the wrong path.

"People always the 100% package. We have to find a way to win games much more often than in the past. Until now it worked. It is all good.

"If you go through the season of other teams, you will find these moments as well.

"For all the points we have now, we worked really hard. It is not important when you score but what it is on the scoresheet afterwards. Today it is a nearly perfect result for us.

"Momentum is not a coincidence, it is something you take, you keep and you use. That helped today obviously."

Defender Virgil Van Dijk appeared to suffer a knock in the latter stages and will be assessed.

Klopp said: "I don't know if he twisted it or it was a knock, but he was walking into interviews with a big ice pack. I hope it is nothing serious but I don't know yet."

Spurs' defeat was their fourth in five games and left them hanging on to third place in the table on goal difference only with two other teams just a point behind.

Manager Mauricio Pochettino, however, was pleased with his side's performance.

Pochettino, who only saw the winning goal on TV due to a touchline ban, said: "My reaction is that is football. I think you should win the game but if you don't score and after you concede, what can you do? Nothing.

"The most important thing was to recover our feelings. The second half we dominated and we played much better than Liverpool. Overall I think we were better than Liverpool.

"I am very disappointed but, in the same time, I am proud of the performance. We deserved a little bit more but playing that way you will be rewarded for the football."

It was sheer elation for Liverpool, who are now two points clear of City having played a game more, but misery for Spurs, who are in a real fight for a top-four place and were left to regret Moussa Sissoko's glaring miss when through on goal minutes earlier.

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