Jurgen Klopp has voiced his thoughts on Liverpool’s scrappy win over West Ham, suggesting it is necessary to win close games.
Liverpool’s recent win over West Ham United was vital in the context of the Premier League title race. The victory at Anfield helped the Merseyside giants maintain pressure on Manchester City, who are currently leading the table by just three points.
Coming on the back of an eleven-game winning run in all competitions, Liverpool were far from their usual best and had to be bailed out by their defence on numerous occasions against a spirited West Ham team. The Hammers were looking to become the first team to complete a league double over Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp.
However, Sadio Mane’s first-half goal proved to be the only difference between the two sides, as the Reds managed to hold on to a narrow victory.
Speaking to the media after the game, Jurgen Klopp revealed the importance of winning scrappy games like these, which could prove to be invaluable in helping them pip Manchester City to the Premier League title come May.
“To win 12 games in a row you can’t only win when you are flying,” the Liverpool manager reflected, as quoted by The Guardian. “We were obviously not flying. We had to dig really deep and the boys did that. It is necessary to get something out of this season that we keep on going. There is no time to rest. These are the wins that shape titles.”
Opposition manager David Moyes pointed to his side’s missed opportunities for not getting a point in this hard-fought battle at Anfield. “We got in behind Liverpool, we had shots on goal and one or two huge opportunities,” Moyes said. “Michail Antonio was great today but sometimes you need to be just that bit better against the top teams.”
“It is hard to get something here, but I did get some tips from Jürgen about Sevilla after the game,” he added, in reference to West Ham’s upcoming UEFA Europa League Round of 16 tie against the Spanish giants.
Liverpool, meanwhile, are set to host Inter Milan in their next game in the second leg of the Round of 16 tie in the UEFA Champions League. The Reds have a comfortable 2-0 advantage from the first leg, and a draw or even a single-goal defeat would be enough to seal a spot in the quarterfinal.