Jürgen Klopp says players’ attitude helped Liverpool overcome wobble

• Coach praises reaction against Bournemouth after recent draws
• Goalscorer Wijnaldum was last-minute addition after illness

Jürgen Klopp praised his Liverpool players for showing a reaction against Bournemouth after dropping points in previous games and paid special tribute to goalscorer Georginio Wijnaldum, who played despite a sickness that had kept him up most of the night before.

“Last night, Gini was not in the team hotel because he had pretty much everything you don’t want to have the day before a game,” the manager said. “Then after a couple of hours’ sleep he told me that he felt good and could play. He played and he was brilliant. My only concern after that was that he scored a goal and everybody wanted to give him a hug.

“Everyone in this squad is like that, I can’t speak highly enough of the character and attitude of these players. The mentality of the boys is the only reason we are where we are.”

Liverpool’s draws against Leicester and West Ham had allowed Manchester City to go top of the Premier League and Klopp was pleased with the decisiveness Liverpool showed in regaining that position. “We wanted to show a reaction and we did,” he said. “We had difficulties before with players out, there were reasons why we didn’t play well that we cannot speak about too much in public but we are very self-critical.

“We knew we were not happy with our performances in the last two or three games but the reaction the boys showed was outstanding. You can win or draw for different reasons but here we don’t just want to come through somehow, we want to play convincing football, and that is what we did. All the goals were brilliant, our counter-pressing game was the best it’s been in a while and I thought it was a very well-deserved three points.”

Manchester City (86 points)

24 Apr Man Utd (a)
28 Apr Burnley (a)
4 May Leicester (h)
12 May Brighton (a)

Liverpool (85 points)

21 Apr Cardiff (a) 
26 Apr Huddersfield (h)
5 May Newcastle (a) 
12 May Wolves (h)

Eddie Howe admitted Bournemouth had been well beaten but claimed the first goal should have been ruled out for offside. He had a point – though it was a very close call, not the sort of travesty that allowed Liverpool to take the lead at West Ham.

“The first goal was a huge moment in the match,” he said. “Up to that point our plan to frustrate Liverpool and restrict their space had been working quite well.

“It’s frustrating but VAR should assist in those situations next season. When it’s tight but clearly offside we’ll get the right decision.”


Paul Wilson at Anfield

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