> Klopp salutes Liverpool despite Saints stalemate
JURGEN KLOPP praised Liverpool’s performance in the goalless draw against Southampton even though the Reds missed the chance to cement their position on top of the Premier League.
Manchester City drew level with Liverpool by winning 2-1 at Crystal Palace and are only in second place on goals scored.
Klopp watched Liverpool dominate at St Mary’s, but although Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster made one excellent save in the first half to foil Sadio Mane, Liverpool were wasteful with Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Nathaniel Clyne all culpable in the second half.
“We had enough chances to win the game, especially in the second half,” Klopp said. “But I’m fine with the performance, absolutely.
“Two things are important in football: the result and the performance. The result was not perfect but the performance was better than we could have expected when we think about our preparations, when Phil and Robert came back late on Thursday.
“It’s nearly the same for all teams but for players from South America it’s a little bit more because they have long flights.
And when you play a draw it’s better that you should have won than that you should have lost.”
Southampton played defensively although at home, which Klopp noted, while paying a back-handed compliment to their manager Claude Puel’s set-up.
Puel’s explanation for keeping 10 men behind the ball for most of the match was, in turn, a compliment to Liverpool.
“It is not our tactic, it is just that we played a very good team with good, physical players who are also technical and they have a good spirit,” he said.
“It is very difficult to play against this team, they score lots of goals and it is very difficult to develop our game.
“It is a good point and it is deserved for my players because of their attitude and their quality.” – AFP