Fighting qualities lauded by Klopp

Above: Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho (right) celebrating with Alberto Moreno after scoring their second goal against Leicester City on Saturday. The Brazilian's performance was crucial in securing victory and moving Jurgen Klopp's side up to fifth in
Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho (right) celebrating with Alberto Moreno after scoring their second goal against Leicester City on Saturday. The Brazilian's performance was crucial in securing victory and moving Jurgen Klopp's side up to fifth in the English Premier League table.PHOTO: REUTERS
Above: Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho (right) celebrating with Alberto Moreno after scoring their second goal against Leicester City on Saturday. The Brazilian's performance was crucial in securing victory and moving Jurgen Klopp's side up to fifth in
Liverpool's Simon Mignolet saving a penalty from Jamie Vardy. He has saved five of the past eight penalties he has faced.PHOTO: REUTERS

Liverpool boss says tense finish against Foxes was a fitting way to end Reds' winless streak

LONDON • Jurgen Klopp praised his team's ruthlessness after their 3-2 Premier League victory at Leicester City on Saturday, saying the result proved that Liverpool can be winners as well as entertainers.

"I said to the boys before the game, 'We are not the (exhibition basketball team) Harlem Globetrotters so don't go out and play brilliant football. We are here for results so we play for results,' " said Klopp.

"So I loved how we fought for it. It could have been more clear but after a few games without the right results you have to fight back and that's what we did."

The win ended a run of four games without a victory.

Klopp's side have come in for criticism at both ends of the pitch as a misfiring attack has failed to take its chances while a leaky defence has struggled to keep a clean sheet.

Goals from Mohamed Salah, Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Henderson solved one of those problems, but a match Liverpool threatened to dominate when they lead 2-0 turned into a nail-biting finish as their defence conceded goals to Shinji Okazaki and Jamie Vardy.

WE DESERVED THE WIN

I said to the boys before the game, 'We are not the (exhibition basketball team) Harlem Globetrotters so don't go out and play brilliant football. We are here for results so we play for results.

JURGEN KLOPP, whose side ended a run of four games without a win.

And they could have been forced to settle for a draw but for the heroics of Simon Mignolet, who gave away a late penalty but redeemed himself by denying Vardy from the spot.

Mignolet has now saved five of the past eight penalties he's faced.

"I count points, not penalty saves," the goalkeeper said afterwards.

The three points eased the pressure on Klopp even though he insisted the criticism aimed at him during their winless period did not affect him.

"I thought we were deserved winners," said the German. "I loved how we fought for the result.

"We feel we are in a really good way but we have to show it with results so everybody can see it.

"I know about pressure, I have actually had pressure all my life for different reasons. Pressure, when it is the right pressure, always helps. We want to be successful, this quality we have is a response to being under pressure.

"After a few games without the right result we have to fight back and that's what we did.

"We are in a good way because we are playing good football. Yes, we still have problems defensively but every line-up concedes goals."

Liverpool have conceded 12 goals in their last give games in all competitions - including two against the Foxes in their League Cup third-round clash four days earlier.

This time Leicester City manager Craig Shakespeare had to deal with the disappointment of his side finishing empty-handed.

"We've got no points but we contributed to a great game," he said. "Fabulous game, momentum felt with us but come away with nothing because we put ourselves at risk."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE GUARDIAN, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 25, 2017, with the headline 'Fighting qualities lauded by Klopp'. Print Edition | Subscribe