The Reds fought back from a one-goal deficit to take the victory, with Klopp explaining after the game that “the dirty three points are very often the most important.”
His relief after a tough afternoon was palpable, and though he has little time to celebrate the manager will certainly be buoyed by his side’s seventh win in their last 10 games.
It also marked Klopp’s 100th league game since taking over in the Anfield dugout, and a win in Croydon ensured an impressive record for the German:
This is a remarkable tally for the Reds, as since Benitez’s departure in 2010 they have largely struggled for consistency, particularly under the manager of Saturday’s opposition, Roy Hodgson, who won just seven of his 20 league games in charge.
Last term saw a return to the top four, prompting this season’s Champions League run which could well be followed by the Reds’ first second-placed finish since 2013/14.
Klopp’s overall record in his first 100 games in the league also highlights the fourth-best win ratio of any Liverpool manager to reach that milestone:
Only Benitez (55.26%), Paisley (56.08%) and Dalglish (57.14%) boast higher, though the latter’s record is damaged slightly by his hit-and-miss second reign.
Naturally, a lack of silverware during Klopp’s reign is a major difference between him and his successful predecessors, with both Shankly, Paisley and Dalglish all delivering the league title to Merseyside.
It would be remarkable for his first trophy to come in the Champions League, as Liverpool’s first European Cup since Benitez inspired glory in 2005, but it is certainly a possibility.
The quest for a return to the pinnacle in the league is ongoing, but under Klopp it seems more likely than in years.