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LIVERPOOL manager Jurgen Klopp was pleased to see his team challenging at the top of the table following their convincing 3-0 win against Southampton on Saturday.
His team remain fifth, just four points behind second-placed Manchester United, but 12 behind runaway leaders Manchester City.
“For us it was very important that we pushed at the top of the table,” said Klopp. “City are obviously flying around alone, we cannot change that, but we can make pressure on the others and that’s what we did today.”
Liverpool’s big name attackers Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane started together for the first time in the league and they caused the visitors no end of problems.
A brace for Salah took him to the top of the Premier League goalscoring charts with nine, while Coutinho grabbed the third having assisted the second.
The Egyptian has hit the ground running at Liverpool and his nine goals in his first 12 league games for the club breaks a record of quick-scoring previously held by Robbie Fowler, who scored eight in his first 12.
“You need these goals, and thank God in the moment we score them and it makes all the difference,” added Klopp.
Southampton were set up to stymie their opposition’s attacking talent, but once behind they struggled to create any chances of their own and finished the game with no shots on target.
“We tried to change some players, some positions and even our style,” said their manager Mauricio Pellegrino. ”We tried playing more direct with Shane [Long] or Charlie [Austin], but we couldn’t create a chance to get us back in the game.”
Saints defender Virgil van Dijk was the centre of attention against the team that pursued him for the entire summer transfer window and are likely to return for him in January. The Dutchman was part of a defensive unit that struggled to contain the likes of Salah and Firmino, but at the other end Klopp was pleased with his own defence.
“I’m really happy about the defending of the whole team, but especially the last line was really strong in these moments against counterattacks,” he said. “It was an all round good performance and really deserved.”
His side travel to Sevilla tomorrow, where a victory would see them through to the knockout stages of the Champions League.
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