Jurgen Klopp was delighted with one aspect of Liverpool’s 1-0 win over Brentford at Anfield
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp praised his team’s resolve against “the best set-piece team” as they piled on the pressure in the race for Champions League qualification.
On Saturday evening, Mohamed Salah’s 30th goal of the season after 13 minutes was enough to give Liverpool a 1-0 Premier League victory over Brentford at Anfield.
A sixth consecutive win moved the Reds to within a point of the top four, despite having played two more games than both Newcastle United and Manchester United.
And Klopp praised Liverpool for surviving a barrage of Brentford dead-ball situations to earn their second clean sheet in four days.
“Hard-fought victories are great,” the Reds manager said. “This was the best defensive set-piece session I’ve ever seen.” Brentford has many strengths, but the set-pieces are exceptional. After the game, I told the boys about the focus and concentration we showed around the set-pieces against the best set-piece team I’d ever played against.
“We and they made about 50-60 set pieces.” Throw-ins, corners, free-kicks, the goalkeeper takes the ball from their own half, and eight players line up. Extremely difficult. Everyone in our line of eight stepped up today, aware of the need we had in these situations.
Liverpool dominated possession in the first half, but Brentford came out firing after the break, despite only managing one shot on goal when Alisson Becker saved a tame Bryan Mbuemo effort early on.
“First half, lots of good football moments until Trent lost the ball in that area, which was maybe one of the reasons we all of a sudden didn’t play any more,” Klopp said of the game. We had some fantastic moments while playing. Came in between their lines, mixed it up, in front, in back.
“I liked it a lot, but it was a moment in which we need to learn to react better and continue to do the right things.” Then, in the second half, when you’re only 1-0 up, it’s all over for them. They were aware.
“It’s red alert whenever the ball crosses a line.” How we deal with that, and we were all thinking about the game against Nottingham. That looked completely different during a particularly hectic period for us, the week with Sunday, Wednesday, and Saturday off, while they have a full week off. Everything has an effect.
“I’m overjoyed with this hard-fought 1-0 victory.” The goal was fantastic, the defending was superb, and some of the football played was outstanding.”