Jurgen Klopp praised his side’s performance in Sunday’s 1-1 draw away to Manchester United, and mocked Jose Mourinho’s long-ball tactics.
Klopp watched on as Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s late header cancelled out James Milner‘s first-half penalty, consigning the Reds to their fourth game without a victory in 2017.
Liverpool were the better side for much of the evening, but struggled to cope when Mourinho sent on Marouane Fellaini in the second half.
With United besieging the Liverpool penalty area with a barrage of long balls, it seemed only a matter of time before the home side notched the leveller.
But despite this, speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Klopp hailed his side’s display, insisting they “deserved three points” against a cynical United side.
“What can I say? A very positive performance,” he said.
“[We were] the better side, played better football, had the best plan. We could’ve been a bit more clinical.
“In those last 20 minutes, Man United only [played] long balls. We would have deserved three points but now we take one.
“We take a point at United, and that’s absolutely OK.
“But it’s nicer when you have this work rate and you get all three points!”
Asked by Geoff Shreeves about “When United where coming on strong in second half…”, Klopp muttered under his breathe: “With the long balls” – referring to United’s use of Fellaini and Ibrahimovic up front.
In his post-match press conference, the boss said: “Over the whole game we were the better side, but then they came with the long ball, Fellaini, like this.”
Dejan Lovren, who picked up Sky Sports’ Man of the Match award, took a similar stance when interviewed by Geoff Shreeves.
“It was really tough, especially the second half,” he proffered, speaking outside the Liverpool dressing room.
“It was proper high-intensity football today. We could have scored more.
“We’re disappointed. We knew we could take more from today, but we need to keep going on and concentrate on the next game.”
The draw leaves Liverpool third in the Premier League table, now seven points behind leaders Chelsea, and with up to five more games to play before the end of January, they need to respond quickly.
Next up is a trip to take on Plymouth Argyle in a replay of their FA Cup third-round clash, and taking heart from their performance at Old Trafford, they can be confident of sealing a win.