Jürgen Klopp praised his team’s “perfect reaction” after Liverpool fended off fierce pressure from Wolves before claiming yet another Premier League victory. Roberto Firmino’s winning goal in the 84th minute stretched Liverpool’s lead at the top of the table to 16 points.
Jordan Henderson headed them in front at Molineux but Raúl Jiménez scored a wonderful equaliser in the second half before he put Liverpool’s unbeaten record in serious peril. But Liverpool eventually neutralised the home team’s attack and then plundered all three points thanks to Firmino’s fine goal.
“We don’t go for perfection, we go for a perfect reaction,” said Klopp. “We try to fight back in difficult situations in games, which is what the boys did again. I’m really, really pleased.”
Hailing Wolves as a “really, really good team who are different to everything else you face during the year”, Klopp said the key to victory was the way Liverpool gradually defused Wolves’ threat after Jiménez’s equaliser by regaining control of the game. “You only have to calm the game down again, that is what was needed,” he said. “The fact that we have different options to score a goal gives us the opportunity to stay in the game.”
The German said, however, that Liverpool should have been further in front during a first half in which they created several opportunities. He also bemoaned Liverpool’s vulnerability to the counterattack, which led to Wolves’ equaliser, though he described Adam Traoré, who teed it up, as “unplayable”.
“We scored a wonderful goal after a set piece but again not the second and not the third. That means everything is open. And then it gets intense ... you only have to calm the game down again. The goal they scored was a counterattack when we were 1-0 up – that makes not too much sense.
“Then they scored and there were another five to 10 minutes of Wolves’ time. Then we calmed the game down again and controlled it ... Then [we got] a worldie from Bobby. It was a super, super, super goal. Moments can help us or the genius moment of Bobby Firmino can help us.”
On the downside for Liverpool, Sadio Mané suffered a suspected hamstring injury and limped off in the first half. Liverpool will assess the extent of the injury over the coming days. A prolonged absence for the Senegalese forward could jeopardise Liverpool’s Champions League ambitions.
Not that the Premier League title is secure. Klopp stuck to his one-game-at-a-time mantra. “I don’t think about it, I had to ask about exactly the amount of points, that’s the truth, I really forgot in the week. I didn’t think about it, I know we play Sunday at Shrewsbury [in the FA Cup], I know we play Wednesday at West Ham and I know we play Saturday.
“That’s three games in seven days which is a lot. We lost Sadio Mané and that’s the pressure I think about. All the rest is not pressure.”