Jurgen Klopp insists the number of points Liverpool have is more important than returning to the top of the Premier League following a 4-1 win over Cardiff.
The Reds remain unbeaten in the top-flight this season and went three points clear of title rivals Manchester City, who face fellow high-flyers Tottenham at Wembley on Monday.
Chelsea, Arsenal and Spurs are all two points behind City so Klopp was delighted to put some breathing room between themselves and the chasing pack.
He said: “The number of points makes a massive difference. The difference between 23 and 26 feels like 20 points, but it is only three.
“It is really important to stay on track, we will all need each other. It is unbelievable that five or six clubs have such a big number of points.
“It makes it even more intense, good for the people and for the supporters of all different clubs.”
Mohamed Salah scored for the fourth time in his last three matches and Sadio Mane bagged a brace either side of Xherdan Shaqiri’s first Liverpool goal.
Liverpool had 80 per cent possession and 19 attempts at goal against a side that were happy to sit on the back foot for prolonged periods.
The only blemish came when Callum Paterson got the final touch to a scrappy goal – dashing Liverpool’s hopes of extending their run of clean sheets in the top-flight at home to 10 matches.
Klopp said: “I have a lot of respect for what Cardiff is doing, it’s just so difficult to play against. The goal they scored, they deserved it.
“We conceded a goal. That is never something you want, especially when you can get a record.
“Now Cardiff thought there is a bit more in this game and then we were immediately there and finished the game off. I’m really happy about that and we can recover and prepare for the next game.”
Klopp had warm words for Mane, who has played the last two games despite a broken thumb on his left hand.
Klopp added: “He has a broken thumb and plays with a brace. I wouldn’t feel comfortable with it but he ignores it pretty well. The first goal he gets the assist and the goal. It was a very good performance.”
Cardiff boss Neil Warnock had claimed on the eve of the game that his men faced a “virtually impossible” task at Anfield.
Giving his assessment after the contest, Warnock – whose side are 17th in the table – said: “I thought we gave a good account of ourselves really in the circumstances.
“We were struggling this week body-wise. I thought the lads were alright.
“When we went down so early, I think everybody might have expected the floodgates (to open).
“We just made so many bad decisions in the first half when we were attacking. I thought we were a lot better in the second half.
“It was eerie at 2-1, because it was so quiet. If we could have just hung on for another five next minutes, it would have been interesting. But they were just too good for us in the end.”