Jurgen Klopp called Liverpool’s 2-1 win over Brighton ‘special’, the German admitting that he was impressed by his players’ desire to win.
Man City‘s draw with Newcastle earlier handed Liverpool an opportunity to further extend their lead at the top of the table, and they looked very comfortable after Virgil van Dijk had put them 2-0 up inside the opening 24 minutes.
However, with Fabinho ruled out for the rest of 2019 with an ankle injury, Liverpool ‘keeper Alisson managed to get himself sent off – and ruled out of Wednesday’s Merseyside derby – after he handled the ball outside of the box, Brighton centre-back Lewis Dunk netting from the resulting free-kick.
Down to 10 men, Jurgen Klopp’s side came under plenty of pressure in the closing stages, though managed to hold out for a crucial three points to move them 11 points of Man City, Leicester and Chelsea in second, third and fourth respectively, with the Foxes playing an out-of-form Everton on Sunday afternoon.
“It was unnecessary [for the game to be nervy at the end], of course, because we had unbelievable chances,” Klopp told MOTD. “Their keeper made some good saves.
“It was difficult this game because Brighton are a good football side. They put players between the lines. They put so many players there so it’s difficult to defend. They had a lot of possession and we had to work really hard. I loved that the boys were prepared to do that after a busy week.
“We then had the red card for Alisson. Adrian comes in with cold feet and cold hands but made two really good saves. The boys threw everything on the pitch. It’s unbelievable how much they want to win. They made it a really special win.”
Brighton‘s goal caused plenty of on-field frustration with Liverpool’s wall seemingly not yet set up, and when asked about the incident, Klopp was unhappy with the referee.
“I think in a situation like this, when you have sense for human beings, you don’t do it like this,” he said.
“It was very clever from Brighton but the keeper has just come on and is trying to set the wall. They are trying to get used to each other and the referee lets it go like this. We cannot change it but for me it’s not 100% right.