Belfast Telegraph

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp proud as Reds keep wind in their sails

Liverpool 1-0 Swansea

By Carl Markham

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was pleased his side's momentum was not blown off course as his team ground out a 1-0 win over Swansea.

The German felt the football was affected by winds gusting up to 50mph but his side recorded their first Premier League home victory since he took over - and their first at Anfield since September 26 - thanks to James Milner's 62nd-minute penalty.

"The wind was crazy because it changed all the time. It was really difficult for both teams," said Klopp.

"In this time you cannot take this game and say 'This is how football should be'. Wind is the biggest enemy of football but we did okay.

"Players can usually play better passes but it is not that easy.

"This wasn't our best performance but it was our best performance in a strong wind.

"It was good in many parts of the game. We played against opponents who were very well organised.

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"I think it was our best game in terms of defensive organisation.

"We scored the goal and defended really well. Simon Mignolet didn't have that much work. It was a big plus for the whole team.

"We were deserving winners. In this moment we have to fight in really difficult circumstances and that is what the boys did and everyone can be proud."

Liverpool received a further confidence boost from the returns of captain Jordan Henderson, out since mid-August, and Daniel Sturridge, making his first appearance since Brendan Rodgers' last game in charge on October 4.

"It's good news for the big Liverpool family," added Klopp (pictured), whose side moved up to sixth, just six points behind leaders Manchester City whom they beat last weekend.

"Two very important players for us are back in the race and they did well in their situation, where they have come from after a long break."

Under-pressure Swansea boss Garry Monk was defiant in defeat, insisting his side did not perform like a team which has won just once since the end of August.

"From minute one we were excellent, from start to finish we limited a good Liverpool side to virtually nothing, we were never in danger," he said.

"We could have done a bit more in the final third but I can't complain at all, I feel gutted for the players who were excellent and deserved a lot more than they got.

"At the end of the day it is my responsibility for results and results haven't been good enough in this period but that did not look like a team in trouble did it?"

Monk was unhappy about the award of the penalty, which came when Neil Taylor was adjudged to have handled Jordon Ibe's cross.

"The penalty was extremely soft," he said.

"It hits his elbow, Neil is facing the other way. I thought handball had to be intentional and it clearly wasn't but the linesman put his flag up quickly.

"To lose the game on a decision which was out of our hands is extremely disappointing.

"It has kind of been part of the problem in this period in that the decisions you need to go for you go against you but it isn't an excuse.

"I'm not looking for excuses. I accept full responsibility for this run of results."

Liverpool: Mignolet, Clyne, Skrtel, Lovren, Moreno, Milner, Can, Lallana, Ibe (Toure 90), Benteke (Sturridge 71), Firmino (Henderson 64)

Subs not used: Allen, Origi, Bogdan, Randall

Goal: Milner 62 pen

Swansea: Fabianski, Naughton, Bartley, Williams, Taylor, Britton (Cork 65), Ki, Routledge (Montero 72), Sigurdsson, Ayew, Eder (Gomis 69)

Subs not used: Nordfeldt, Grimes, Rangel, Fernandez

Man of the match: James Milner (pictured)

Match rating: 7/10

Booked: Liverpool: Milner, Skrtel, Mignolet

Swansea: Bartley

Attendance: 43,905

Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire)

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