Home / Sport / ‘You have to squeeze it, you have to force it’ – Klopp elated after pulling through West Ham scare

‘You have to squeeze it, you have to force it’ – Klopp elated after pulling through West Ham scare

The Reds opened up a 22-point gap over Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table after beating West Ham on Monday evening

Jurgen Klopp praised Liverpool‘s attitude after they had to “squeeze it” to get the better of West Ham in a five-goal thriller at Anfield.

The table-topping Reds went ahead early on through a Georginio Wijnaldum header, only for their struggling opponents to threaten an almighty upset.

After Issa Diop levelled just 174 seconds after the opening goal, substitute Pablo Fornals – who replaced the injured Tomas Soucek early in the second half – had West Ham ahead, the Spaniard turning in Declan Rice’s cross.

However, Lukasz Fabianski gifted the hosts an equaliser when he allowed Mohamed Salah’s shot to squirm through his legs, with the goalkeeper then also caught out of position for Sadio Mane’s 81st-minute winner.

“I really liked how we started. We scored a wonderful first goal, but then we weren’t good in second-ball situations,” Klopp told Sky Sports. “We struggled in this situation and that gave West Ham a good feeling.

“They could win the second ball from the goal-kicks and for us that was difficult. We lost a little bit of patience in the first half in the things we did, offensively you could see this a little bit.

“They scored the second goal and I have to watch back how that happened.

“After that we were forced to stay calm and do the right stuff and I think all the goals we scored were a little bit strange – the best goal we scored didn’t count! That was exactly the kind of football we wanted to play but in the end obviously Sadio is slightly offside.

“All the goals we scored were strange. The best one we scored didn’t count because Sadio was offside. But you have to squeeze it, and that’s what we did tonight to get the three points. It is so special.”

Klopp was pleased at how his team responded to adversity when 2-1 behind, allowing them to rally and clinch a record-equalling 18th straight Premier League win.

That tally matches the achievement of Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side in 2017, while the Reds are now just four victories away from clinching a first league title in 30 years.

“The set-pieces brought us back tonight, getting the momentum back again – because we had a couple, one after another,” Klopp said. “You need to have different ways.

“There were so many things we could do better but to reach this number of games, you cannot be brilliant all the time. We just try to make the best of what we have.

“I am pleased with the attitude we showed. The crosses were a bit too hard from Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold but we had super situations, so all okay.”

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