Jürgen Klopp: ‘I thought we’d have been a bit more nervous’ against De Zerbi’s Brighton

Moving to the top of the Premier League table was no easy feat for Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool, as they welcomed Brighton & Hove Albion to Anfield on Sunday afternoon.

The Seagulls soared into an early lead through a Danny Welbeck opener after just 87 seconds, but goals from Luis Díaz and Mohamed Salah salvaged an important win for the Reds – and Klopp was keen to praise the performance in his post-match press conference.

‘It was, from my point of view, the best performance we had against Roberto [De Zerbi]’s Brighton,’ he explained, going on to add that ‘we didn’t have enough shots on target in the first half and the few we had were rollers. We had to do that better, but we still scored an equaliser after a set-piece, which is always a good and very helpful asset.’

‘We showed the boys a couple of situations at half-time and told them what we should keep doing, where we had to calm down and our defending we could improve. We tried that and again controlled big parts of the game, as much as you can against them. It is not always possible because it is super intense to deny them. It is real hard work.’

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‘We scored a wonderful second goal, [and] a wonderful third goal but [that] was unfortunately slightly offside – but still a good goal. Then you have to bring it over the line. To be 100% honest, we [haven’t been] in that situation for 10 years with this team, so I thought we would have been a bit more nervous, but actually I thought the boys were really calm and I liked that a lot.’

‘Yes, they still had moments [of being nervous], that’s how it can go and you cannot deny them completely. We won the game, I think we all agree we deserved to win the game, so a really good afternoon.’

Klopp praised the role that the experienced players within his squad had during Sunday’s clash, explaining to reporters that ‘it is sometimes nerve-wracking, and the heart rate will be at 180 or 200 or whatever from time to time if you watch it or if you play in it. But if we all together enjoy this, then we have a chance. If we don’t, we still have a chance, it’s just really much more difficult and that’s why we try to stay positive in all these moments.’

Klopp is looking to bow out on a high, having announced earlier this year that he will be leaving Liverpool at the end of the season. With the Reds pushing the title fight to the wire, the German couldn’t hide his joy.

‘I don’t even know exactly the points tally but another three [today]. So, we are there with two other teams fighting for the biggest prize in English football and we will see how it will end up. But I decided I will really try hard to enjoy it.’