Jurgen Klopp considered stability as the key to Liverpool’s prolific form, as title contenders scored 10 unanswered goals in a week at Anfield after their 4-0 win over Southampton.
Liverpool advanced to second place in the standings, one point behind Chelsea, who faces Manchester United on Sunday with their second consecutive victory 4-0 in the English Premier League at home. They have scored 39 goals in 13 league games this season – their highest level at this point in the Premier League season – and two or more goals in their past 17 games. This is the first time an English club has recorded such a sequence since Sunderland in 1927.
Klopp credited the return of many key players from injury, in addition to the full preparatory season of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, for the return of Liverpool’s rhythm.
“It is not easy to talk about matches when you lose them, as we did last season,” he said. “I knew what we were missing: we were lacking in stability because we hadn’t had middle halves for a while and had to find solutions.
“In the early stages we were shocked because we couldn’t play the football we wanted to play. Suddenly you lose your rhythm and that’s what happened to us last season.
“This year we had a pre-season that was right for pre-season, and it was very helpful, especially up front with Sadio and Mo who had the longest pre-season in ages. We can work on a lot of things and restore stability. Speaking of stability, to be honest, I wasn’t happy with the chances we gave up today.
“I have no problem if I have to save the ball in a match, but these balls were amazing, one-on-one with a goalkeeper shouldn’t happen twice in a game as often. We have to work on that to be stable, serious and defensively tough as much as possible. Possible so that gives us a platform to play football and then we can score. It won’t be like that forever, because we score two goals in every game but I am happy now.”
Diogo Jota scored the opening two goals, taking his tally for the season to eight in all competitions.
Klopp said: “Diogo is an exceptional player and an exceptional boy. He signed with us a year and a half ago and is the perfect signing because he has everything a Liverpool player needs in this team; he has the technical skills, he has the physical skills and he is very smart so he can learn all the tactical things quickly.
“He can also play the three front positions and number 10. He has the speed and the desire to finish things off. His scoring record is very good.
“Unfortunately he had a big injury last year and that doesn’t help at all but he’s back and he fits well into this team and I’m really happy for him. Today he could have made a better decision to score but he was smart enough to score the second time.”