Jurgen Klopp slid down his seat in utter delight as his side harassed Leeds beyond the 90th minute, leaving the manager to joke that it was the best counter-pressing in decades.
The timeframe, obviously, was in jest but the sentiment remained for the manager as he saw a side to his team that has long been missed.
Intensity has been Liverpool’s identity but it has been missing in action for much of the campaign, but Leeds felt the brunt of it on Monday evening.
Klopp had six goals to celebrate and while the start of the match made the final scoreline appear out of reach, it was Liverpool’s ability to continually win the ball back that set them up for victory.
“[I enjoyed it] a lot! I think it’s the best game we’ve played this season, from all different perspectives,” Klopp told Sky Sports after the 6-1 win.
“It was a really good game, sensational goals. Counter-pressing-wise, [the] best game, [I was] close to saying [in] decades, but it was really long ago!
“My favourite situation is 92nd minute we lose the ball and four players chase the poor boy from Leeds, and that was absolutely outstanding. Exactly what we wanted.”
The spotlight has consistently been on this facet of Liverpool’s game and while Klopp cannot explain the lack of counter-pressing through 2022/23, he is hoping that it has now “clicked.”
“To play good football, you need stability. You only get stability from defending. When you are in a negative flow, you always make wrong decisions,” Klopp further explained.
"Oh my god!" ?
Jurgen Klopp's reaction to his Liverpool side showing desire to win the ball back in 92nd minute ? pic.twitter.com/VVGfL8og5x
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) April 17, 2023
“I cannot really explain why our counter-pressing was not there, we are asking for it all the time but tonight it clicked.
“We have too many situations where we have to run too much to get the ball back deep in our half, then we have to build again and tonight I’m not sure how many goals we scored after we won the ball back.
“I think we know that, but there’s always a difference between knowing and really understanding and really feeling it, and I hope these one-and-a-half games give us the right sign for the rest of the season.”