Jurgen Klopp gave reporters a new headline as his “‘Mentality Giants Were in Town’,” with Liverpool rounding off a difficult week with a third straight victory.
Before the campaign opener against Norwich at Anfield, Klopp urged his side to avoid a “banana skin” in the shape of the newly promoted Canaries, and they were able to do so.
And the manager recalled this phrase after goals from Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino sealed three points at St Mary’s—in a game where the Saints took Liverpool to the limit, evidenced by Danny Ings‘ comical consolation goal.
“Actually, it’s easy to be happy after a game and to be concentrated the next morning about the next thing,” Klopp said of the Super Cup win.
“It’s not that we now run constantly through the floors and celebrate, and don’t get our arms down, so that’s all OK.
“That’s why I like it so much. For us, we are not used to winning big things.
“And then coming to Southampton, I really loved how much respect we showed today.
“I said before the game, this looks like the biggest banana skin in history. Everybody’s waiting for it, probably all the headlines were written already.
“I told the boys the headline I would prefer is ‘The Mentality Giants Were in Town’, and that’s how I feel in the moment.
“The boys did an outstanding job for today. All good, let’s go home, recover, then start again.”
There were clear factors behind the Reds’ up-and-down performance on Saturday, with Klopp having made three changes and Adrian committing a big error after suffering an ankle injury in midweek.
But he was keen to stress that the game would have been tough regardless, highlighting Southampton‘s performance in the same fixture last season as evidence.
“We played here last year, I don’t know after which game, [and] it was difficult,” he explained.
“Southampton is a good team, they defend well, they are really just difficult to play.
“Good counter-attacks, good organisation, all that stuff. Last year, I don’t even remember the result but we were 1-0 down—was it 3-1?
“That was really difficult and this afternoon it was difficult again.
“Nothing to do with the game in midweek. I said before the game if we would have come here with two weeks’ preparation it would be difficult.
“So I liked the game, a lot. It’s not allowed to think too much about Wednesday, but of course I know it.
“And so I was really impressed how fresh we looked, at the start especially, just how good we were.”