Jurgen Klopp said he never doubted Liverpool’s unity after a 2-0 win at Sheffield United ended a four-game Premier League losing streak and Curtis Jones dedicated his goal to bereaved team-mate Alisson.
Alisson missed the game following the death of his father Jose in Brazil, and young midfielder Jones dedicated his opener to the goalkeeper and his dad during an emotional post-match interview.
Asked whether Jones’ words summed up his squad’s unity, Liverpool manager Klopp said: “I was never in doubt about the togetherness of this team.
“The world is like this. We win a game and we show togetherness, everybody speaks.
“We don’t win a game and [people say] we are not together. It’s not as easy as that.
“It was another special week, it’s a very nice touch from Curtis, of course, but it is clear we try our everything not only for Ali.”
But the victory, which was confirmed by Kean Bryan’s own goal – Liverpool’s 7,000th goal in their top-flight history – moved them to within two points of fourth-placed West Ham.
“It’s very big,” said Klopp, who revealed Diogo Jota had missed out after being taken ill overnight at the team hotel.
“We needed the points obviously to get in kind of contact with the teams above us, so it was very important.
“The two goals were from scrappy situations and the whole Sheffield team thought the ball was out for the first one.
“But I think the first goal shows the difference especially from the other games, because we missed chances after playing some super football.
“We know there are times when we score in these situations, but we stayed on track to get the first goal.”
Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder was in resigned mood after his side’s 21st league defeat of the season, with relegation now almost inevitable.
The Blades are 15 points from safety with 12 games to play.
Wilder said: “Take a step back to move forward, know where you want to be. Stick together, work hard and go again.
“I think that’s being realistic in the position we are. I can’t dress it up any other way…the points, the games we have got left and the form that we’re in.
“I’m sure nobody will be critical of me saying this is an incredibly tough situation to be in and one we don’t look as if we’re going to get out of.”
On losing to the champions, Wilder added: “I know there’s been a lot of talk that Liverpool are not doing this and not doing that.
“They’re still world champions and to try and get an against-all-odds result is really difficult. It has to be a perfect storm for us and at the moment it isn’t.”