Jürgen Klopp saluted his ‘mentality monsters’ after being left wowed by Liverpool’s come-from-behind win over Southampton.
Late strikes by Mohamed Salah and Jordan Henderson secured a significant 3-1 success at St Mary’s on Friday, after Naby Keita’s first goal for the Reds had levelled Shane Long’s early opener.
The result saw Klopp’s side retake top spot in the Premier League from Manchester City, who retain a game in hand but once again sit two points adrift of the leaders.
In each of their last five matches, Liverpool have either overturned a deficit or responded positively to an opposition equaliser to force their way to victory – a trait that has understandably delighted their manager.
“Super. An absolutely super game with all the difficulties I know people maybe expect when you come to Southampton in matchday 33, with a lot of games played [and] Southampton completely reset,” Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com.
“Since Ralph [Hasenhuttl] was in they are sixth or seventh in the form table, so that says everything. We have the ball, we have to create and they have a super formation for counter-attacks so it’s difficult.
“When they score the goal it doesn’t make life easier, but I saw [that] we stayed calm. We lost balls in the wrong moments, that’s for sure. We can do that better, but that’s how it is: dealing with the difficulties, dealing with the mistakes you make, dealing with the situation. That’s our job, not waiting for the perfect performance, and we did that.
“We scored the equaliser, so then second half they came out and were again there, it was pretty busy for us! But then they felt the intensity of the first half and we controlled it better when we could bring in Millie and Hendo, which was a really nice option to have.
“Both bring in the right mood, are lively, are aggressive, all that stuff – I liked it a lot, and then we had direction in the game.
“We had good chances, good moments in the box. It was not easy for Southampton to leave their own box even, because now in the counter-pressing moments we were really there. Now we score a fantastic goal after we win the ball – a fantastic, fantastic goal. A challenge, then a fantastic run from Mo, a super run from Bobby to keep them busy and Mo can finish it outstanding, really outstanding.
“And then the third goal, wow. Bobby chased the ball in the 80-something minute, calms completely down and then sees Hendo running like a crazy devil in the box and scores that goal. It was just an amazing moment. Really, the boys are mentality monsters – I love that.”