Jurgen Klopp wants Liverpool to continue to “show our true colors” after securing a third successive win to move up to sixth place in the Premier League.
Liverpool came from behind to beat West Ham 2-1 at the London Stadium on Wednesday thanks to goals from Cody Gakpo and Joel Matip, canceling out Lucas Paqueta’s opener.
West Ham boss David Moyes was left infuriated after a handball appeal against Thiago Alcantara in the penalty area was rejected by referee Chris Kavanagh, as well as the VAR.
“I really enjoyed the performance,” Klopp said during the post-game press conference. “In the first half, I think we were outstanding. We controlled the game pretty much from the start, made a mistake and bam – 1-0 down. Great goal, I have to say – screaming – but [we] he kept calm, continued to play, even scored our screamer and controlled the game.
“I also liked the second half. We had to dig really deep because of the physicality of West Ham, they always have a chance to come back as long as you don’t kill the game – and we didn’t. [We] had big chances after set pieces, I have no idea how we didn’t take them – I didn’t understand it but then [we] he scored a wonderful goal from a set piece.
“I just heard about handball [but] we were on the other side. I thought he just fell on the ball, but I can understand that Moysey probably sees it completely differently.
“In the end, if you look at the match, I think we are the deserved winner and that is, for me, very important. If we got a point, I’m still happy with the match, not the result – [but] Now I’m happy with both.”
The win put Liverpool within six points of the top four, although they played two games more than fourth-placed Manchester United and one more game than third-placed Newcastle United.
On the race for Champions League places, Klopp said: “I can’t see the game yet, because we’re not in position for a game. The only thing we can do is win football matches, if that puts pressure on the teams.” other teams is not in our hands because we do not play them [United and Newcastle].
“I want us to finish the season in the best possible way. I want us to take something from this season for next year, if this is European competition, great, otherwise we have to accept it and go from there.
“I want us, at least for a few weeks, [to] show our true face – and not the beautiful one, the ugly one, the beautiful one, the ugly one. It’s really hard to do that. So now we’ve done it for like three games – three and a half, the second half against Arsenal was also brilliant.
“We’ve played here many times, it’s always tough. Results-wise, it looked better from time to time, but the goals we scored were then counter-attacks, things like that, quick reactions, all that sort of thing. Tonight we controlled the game in a way we’ve never done before against West Ham and I really liked it.”
Klopp had previously told BT Sport how pleased he was again with Trent Alexander-Arnold’s performance in his new right-back/midfield hybrid role, with the 24-year-old claiming an assist for Gakpo’s goal and making more passes in the opposition half of anyone else on the pitch (62).
The Liverpool manager refused to entertain the idea that Alexander-Arnold’s new role had moved West Ham’s chances to the right side, and responded to a question about a specific possibility which ended in Virgil van Dijk who narrowly denied Michail Antonio in the first half: ” This had nothing to do with Trent’s role.
“We had three players at the other end in a challenge, so we just don’t win the ball. That means we move to the side of the ball, that’s a risk you take, you should win the ball then.
“Three against one we don’t win the ball, then the other side is open… it has nothing to do with Trent Alexander-Arnold.”