It was a hard fought win for Liverpool as they managed to break the resilience of ‘the most defensive team’ Klopp has seen to register a massive 2-0 victory at home.
For large parts of the evening, Anfield projected an image of anxiety and frustration as Liverpool seemed to fail in their persistent efforts to carve open a crowded Sunderland back-line. The hauling off of Coutinho due to a rather nasty looking ankle injury did little to raise the spirits of those watching. In fact, it took some furious gestures on the touchline from Klopp to get the supporters on the money once again.
Anfield breathed a collective sigh of relief when Divock Origi’s curler from the edge of the Sunderland box flew past Jermain Pickford in goal to give the Reds a much deserved lead. With that strike, normal service resumed once again in the stands as supporters belted out their array of chants and songs dedicated to their eleven warriors on the pitch. It was hardwork for Liverpool at the end of the day but most certainly a deserved three points.
The victory obviously came as a huge satisfaction for the German boss who slammed Sunderland’s tactics at the end of the game, claiming they were the most defensive team he had ever seen. When asked if the Black Cats were any similar to Southampton in their approach towards Liverpool, the boss was quoted as saying,”I’m not sure I’ve ever played against a more defensive team than today.”
“Man-marking against Phil Coutinho, Anichebe left full-back, I don’t know how many touches Jermain Defoe had, so that would not be nice to Southampton. Sunderland always play a defensive style and that is OK. We forced them to be that. But we had our moments, had our chances, we stayed cool, stayed concentrated.”
“Klopp was the 12th man for Liverpool”, says David Moyes
Former Manchester United and Everton boss David Moyes, true to his word, fielded a heavily defensive 4-5-1 formation against Liverpool in a bid to stop them from running riot. While it did work wonders, it took a spectacular shot off Origi to seal the agenda for the Reds.
However, speaking after the game, the boss was happy with the effort and shift his side put in to stop the Reds in their tracks. He said,”For long periods, we had frustrated the crowd. We did a really good job on them. If you look at the quality of Liverpool going forward, you do need to think about how you stop them.”
It took Klopp on the touchline to collectively inspire the supporters and players and ensure they don’t lose their mojo. The Reds were being frustrated by a stoic Black Cats rearguard action when, midway through the second half, Klopp took exception to groans from supporters by imploring the fans to get behind their team.
It’s no surprise, hence, that many on social media called for the boss to be awarded the man of the match and Moyes took time to acknowledge him for his efforts during the game as well. He said,”The crowd are certainly with the manager here, which is great for them and he is able to influence the crowd and did so.”
“I thought we had got the point where it was needing their manager to get the crowd going. We had frustrated them for long periods.”