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Jürgen Klopp on big Southampton win, Alisson, Thiago and top-four hopes – Liverpool FC

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https://www.liverpoolfc.com/news/first-team/433390-jurgen-klopp-press-conference-southampton-reaction

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Jürgen Klopp declared Liverpool’s victory over Southampton ‘a big one for us’ after they secured a 2-0 success at Anfield on Saturday evening.

Sadio Mane gave the Reds the lead after 31 minutes of the contest when he headed in Mohamed Salah’s cross at the back post.

The points were then sealed at the start of second-half injury time as Thiago Alcantara fired in his first goal for the club.

Jürgen Klopp’s men are now within six points of fourth-place Leicester City in the Premier League standings and possess a game in hand.

Read on for a full transcript of the boss’ post-match press conference…

On how important was the result and how confident he is about making the top four now…

It was a big one for us obviously tonight, we really needed that. It was a tough one as well. It’s always like this against Southampton, I can’t remember a game against Southampton where it felt like kind of comfortable. Years ago we played a cup game where we won with six but it was before Ralph. They obviously have a very intense style and they ask for everything. We did a really good job and I’m happy about that, we scored the goals. Obviously being 1-0 up is, in the moment for us, not the result where we all feel halfway through – which is good because we should not but we had obviously now twice in a row a similar situation. So, scoring that second goal was obviously a big relief. What that means for our top-four hopes? That they’re still alive. That’s all, nothing else. It’s nothing to do with confidence or whatever. Our situation changed slightly but only for us, for the other teams not too much because they are still in a better position and we know that. The only thing we can do is [keep] winning our games but that’s really tough because we play Manchester United on Thursday and that’s historically not easy – but we will give it a try.

On Thiago…

He played really well. Not the first time obviously, but he played really well. He looked really good in pretty much all departments, helped us a lot with his passing game, played top passes, to be honest, was defensively in there. So that’s all really good and really important. But we all had to work hard. So he had a lot of good situations but the most important was when he finished, when he scored that goal. I’m really pleased for him.

On whether results are more important than performances at this stage of the season…

Definitely, but usually the result is the result of the performance. This was not since I’m in Liverpool the best game we ever played, but it was a game we had to play tonight. I said it a couple of times, we are not in dreamland and say everything has to click again. Again, we didn’t use the first chances, we had really good moments, we had top, top, top-class counter-attacking situation when the last pass was just not there – that can happen obviously. In other moments it’s not that important [but] for us in the moment they hurt. But we scored the first, that’s very important. In the moment when conceded in the last games the equaliser, we scored the second and that’s the big difference. Yes, the result in the most important.

On Alisson Becker’s display…

Great game, with a little two exciting things when he passed the ball to Che Adams! But apart from that, a great game. Obviously we are all together waiting for the next Becker baby. It’s like, ‘OK, still not, no, still not.’ Obviously the future father of three did a really good job. We knew that before obviously that he’s a good one and tonight he showed that again.

On Manchester United potentially rotating their team this week due to their fixture schedule…

We have to do that very often and people never like that because it is always like this. We have cup competitions and we have games and games and games, so we rotate and people always think we don’t respect the competition. I think everybody is 100 per cent sure Ole Gunnar Solskjaer respects the Premier League 100 per cent, but the situation is now like it is – and I really think it’s crazy what we did with that. I know there were not proper solutions, but I think there could be a better situation than that, I am pretty sure. I am not, is it possible that United has a weekend off after that or something like that? So, three games in five days but then a weekend off, so it looks like there could have been a window where we could have done something slightly different. But it is a decision and I understand that he doesn’t like that, definitely. We will see what we make of that. We have a tough programme ourselves because of that because now we play the last four games in a very short period of time. That’s how it is and we will see what we can make.

On whether Liverpool need maximum points from their remaining matches and to ‘keep the fingers crossed’…

Keeping our fingers crossed? I’m not sure if that helps! We have to win football games – and if we win all four it could be enough. I didn’t really think it through to be honest but winning four games is pretty much the only chance we have, so that’s what we should try. It will be difficult but we will try it anyway.

On whether Liverpool could be affected by Manchester United’s team selections in the coming week…

No, I didn’t think about that yet. I think we would have played the strongest United team possible on the original date, so that’s what we expect. Nothing else. If Man United is doing it like that, we cannot change that. I think Man United has only just good players. If I think about the players they could play, they have really strong side available – pretty good. Midfield, wow. Up front, all good players. They might be young but they are good. I expect a strong team against us – and what they do in other games, we obviously have no influence but, as I said, we would have played the strongest Manchester United side last Sunday and that’s what we expect now.

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