'It was ugly, but who cares?': Klopp joy as Liverpool go top
Liverpool (AFP) –
Jurgen Klopp admitted he couldn't care less that Liverpool's dramatic 2-1 win against Tottenham was an "ugly" way to return to the top of the Premier League.
Klopp's side took the lead through Roberto Firmino's first half opener, only to be pegged back by Lucas Moura's equaliser after the interval.
Tottenham dominated but then wasted several chances before Liverpool stole the points in stoppage-time.
Mohamed Salah's header was spilled by Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris before rebounding off Toby Alderweireld for an own goal.
It was a lucky break that Liverpool arguably didn't deserve, but Reds boss Klopp wasn't complaining about a result that took them two points clear of second placed Manchester City.
"In the first half we had fantastic chances and scored a wonderful goal. In the second half we looked heavy and couldn't really play," Klopp said.
"Tottenham changed a little bit. We didn't adapt well. I was not happy we conceded, but after Spurs' goal we started playing again more.
"We can play better football but in the first half we had a lot of good moments. In the second not that many but we scored -- 2-1, brilliant!
"I saw the header and nothing else. I had no clue how the ball went in.
"It is only positive. I said there are 500 ways to win a football game and today was slightly ugly. Who cares?"
Liverpool's crucial win keeps the pressure on City, but the champions can return to the top if they beat struggling Cardiff at home on Wednesday.
That would leave City one point clear of Liverpool, with both sides having six games remaining after the Cardiff match.
- 'Tough task' -
Klopp, trying to Liverpool to their first English title since 1990, acknowledged the race is likely to go down to the wire as City show no signs of surrendering the trophy easily.
"We compete with the best team in the world (Manchester City) and play against one of best in the world in Tottenham -- it is a tough task. It is all good," he said.
"City last year were champions and are still pretty good. We have to fight like crazy. The crowd was outstanding. They were really here to push us and at the end it helped.
"I am really happy we don't have any (international) breaks now. We compete with the best team in world for one position and that is really hard."
Tottenham's defeat left their top four bid in peril after a fourth loss in five games.
"We were a little bit unlucky to concede the second goal when we should have been ahead because we dominated Liverpool, who are a very good team," Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino said.
"No one wants to lose but it's a different defeat than the ones we suffered against Southampton or Burnley."
Tottenham could drop to fourth if Arsenal beat Newcastle on Monday, but Pochettino is still confident they will qualify for the Champions League.
"I was telling the players in the changing room we have seven games and we are in top four and we need to compete," Pochettino said.
"It's a mini league and, playing the way we played today, I think we can achieve the top four."
? 2019 AFP