Jurgen Klopp wants Liverpool to continue to “show our true colours” after they secured a third successive win to move up to sixth 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 Lucas Paqueta’s early start.
West Ham boss David Moyes was left furious after a late handball appeal against Thiago Alcantara in the penalty area was waved away by referee Chris Kavanagh and the VAR.
“I really liked the performance,” Klopp said at the post-match press conference. “The first half, I think we were exceptional. Controlled the game from the beginning a lot, made one mistake and bam – 1-0 down. A great goal, I have to say – a screamer – but [we] Stayed calm, kept playing, scored our scrum too and controlled the game.
“I liked the second half as well. 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] I had a huge chance after set pieces, I have no clue how we didn’t take them – I only realized it then [we] scored a great goal from a set piece.
“Now I’ve heard about handball [but] we were on the other side of that. I thought he dropped the ball but I understand that Moysey sees it completely differently.
“In the end, if you look at the game, I think we deserved the winner and that, for me, is very important. If we got a point, I’m still happy with the game, not with the result – [but] now I’m happy with both.”
The win brought Liverpool within six points of the top four, although they have played two more games than fourth-placed Manchester United and one more than third-placed Newcastle United.
On the race for Champions League spots, Klopp said: “I can’t see the race yet, because we can’t race. The only thing we can do is football games win, if that puts pressure on other teams. that’s not in our hands because we don’t play them [United and Newcastle].
“I want us to finish the season as well as possible in some way. I want us to take something from this season for next year, if that is a European competition, great, if not, we have accept it as well and go from there..
“I want us, at least for a few weeks, [to] show our true face – and not the nice one, the ugly one, the nice one, the ugly one. It is very difficult to do that. So now we’ve done it for three games in a way – three and a half, the second half against Arsenal was also brilliant.
“We’ve played here many times, it’s always tough. According to the results, it looked better from time to time but the goals we scored there were counter-attacks, things like that, quick reaction, these kinds of things. the game in a way we never did before against West Ham and I really liked that.”
Klopp told BT Sport earlier how pleased he was once again with Trent Alexander-Arnold’s performance in his new hybrid role between right-back and midfield, with the 24-year-old claiming the assist for Gakpo’s goal, and making extra passes in the opposition. half more than anyone else on the field (62).
The Liverpool manager refused to entertain the idea that West Ham had a chance down the right because of Alexander-Arnold’s new role, and responded to a question about one specific chance that ended with Virgil van Dijk narrowly denying Michail Antonio in the first half: “ That had nothing to do with Trent’s role.
“We had three players on the other side in a challenge, so we don’t win the ball. That means we move to the side of the ball, that’s the risk you take, you should win the ball then.
“By no means do we win the ball, then the other end is open … it has nothing to do with Trent Alexander-Arnold.”