‘It was a good example of how football should look’: Jurgen Klopp hails Liverpool’s performance in Watford victory as they stay top of the table
Liverpool swept Watford aside 5-0. Sadio Mane scored twice before half-time with Divock Origi crashing in the third goal; two late headers from Virgil van Dijk gave the scoreline a realistic look after the second half had been one way traffic.
With four draws in their last five matches, critics had wondered whether Liverpool were starting to run out of steam so this was the perfect response. Not only did Liverpool preserve their one-point advantage over Manchester City, they chipped into their goal difference, too.
Jurgen Klopp hailed a performance that was ‘exactly what he wanted’ as Liverpool stayed top
The next assignment Liverpool must tackle is the Merseyside derby and the emotion of that game will ask another big question of whether Klopp’s players can become champions but the German was thrilled with how they responded to Sunday’s 0-0 draw with Manchester United.
Klopp said: ‘In a game when you win 5-0 and everybody performs on a really high level, and still you have to say both your centre halves had an outstanding defensive game, the goalkeeper had to make two outstanding saves, then you see the quality of the opponent.
‘All the rest in the game was exceptional. The crosses were the most obvious thing because they were really brilliant, positioning in the box, heading, all the other things, the runs, the direction, the desire, the composure. Tomorrow is another day, we have to deal with all the other things.
‘But that was fantastic football game and I’m really happy for the boys because they deserve it so much. We draw against Bayern and against United and everybody talks about. I don’t know exactly what they are talking about but things I don’t understand.
‘It’s always about showing reactions but not reactions of the things we are talking about. We wanted to play like this every day but you have to be stable. The boys were always stable and fluent offensively. It was a good example of how football should look. Let’s try to do it again and again.’
An injury to Roberto Firmino, who remains a doubt for the trip to Goodison Park, meant Klopp had to tinker with his line-up and he deployed Mane as a lone striker with Origi playing on the left wing and James Milner asked to operate as a No 10.
Divock Origi (right), who played on the left wing, scored the third goal in Liverpool’s 5-0 win
Mane’s role at the front of the team took Watford head coach Javi Gracia by surprise but Klopp had no doubt that the Senegal flyer, whose tally for the campaign now stands at 15, could fill the role to perfection. His second strike – a back heeled chip – was exceptional.
‘The players were in my view, so I didn’t see it,’ said Klopp. ‘It was a back heel I heard but I didn’t see it. I loved the first one (a header) as well. Jumping that high, in a new position, how he played in that position, that was exceptional.
‘It was clear he would help us in the build-up as he is that type of footballer but we needed him in the box as well. Being there twice in really good positions, at least twice. Who can expect two goals from a player? But the performance? I’m not surprised. That’s Sadio’s level.’
Sadio Mane, deployed as a lone striker against Watford, scored a a back heeled chip in first half
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