'Ugly' Reds win a bigger psychological boost : Klopp

Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris spilling a header from Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah which rebounded off Toby Alderweireld (right) for an own goal in stoppage time. The late goal gave Liverpool a 2-1 win and consequently, a two-point lead over Man
Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris spilling a header from Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah which rebounded off Toby Alderweireld (right) for an own goal in stoppage time. The late goal gave Liverpool a 2-1 win and consequently, a two-point lead over Manchester City in the race for the English Premier League title.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admitted that he could not care less that the Reds' dramatic 2-1 victory over Tottenham on Sunday was an "ugly" way to return to the top of the English Premier League table.

Klopp's side took the lead through Roberto Firmino's first-half opener, only to be pegged back by Lucas Moura's equaliser after the interval.

Tottenham then dominated but wasted several chances before Liverpool stole the points in stoppage time - Mohamed Salah's header was spilled by Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris before rebounding off Toby Alderweireld for an own goal.

The German said after the match at Anfield: "I said there are 500,000 ways to win a football game and today was slightly ugly. Who cares?"

Had the match ended at 1-1 the impetus in the title race would have been handed to Manchester City, two points behind on 77 but with a game in hand before they host Cardiff tomorrow.

Klopp added that he believes that the manner of victory is psychologically even more of a boost than a comfortable win.

"One hundred per cent, of course. If you win today 5-0 - I didn't see that as possible, but if - then it can lead you on the wrong path, that's how it is. We are all human beings," he said.

"It feels like we always have to apologise a little bit that because of the football last season and stuff like that, because people always want the 100 per cent package.

"We had to find a way to win football games much more often than in the past. So until now it kind of worked. It's all good.

"The boys work hard and if we would be first in the table after the last match day, it would be a championship of will, that's how it is."

Klopp, trying to steer Liverpool to their first league title since 1990, acknowledged the race is likely to go down to the wire as City show no signs of surrendering the trophy easily.

"City last year were champions and are still pretty good. We have to fight like crazy. The crowd was outstanding. They were really here to push us and at the end it helped," he added.

Tottenham's fourth loss in five games left their top-four bid in peril. Manager Mauricio Pochettino was, however, proud of his "team of heroes".

"Overall I think we were better than Liverpool. I am very disappointed but in the same time, it is difficult to explain, I am proud of the performance," he said.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 02, 2019, with the headline ''Ugly' Reds win a bigger psychological boost : Klopp'. Print Edition | Subscribe