BIRMINGHAM: Premier League leaders Liverpool may have got some late luck against Aston Villa and must improve, but still merited their latest comeback, elated manager Juergen Klopp said on Saturday.
Klopp’s table-topping side were staring at their first league defeat in 10 months until the 87th minute of their game at Villa Park, but snatched a last-gasp victory thanks to headers from Andy Robertson and Sadio Mane.
“We still have to learn, we still have to improve, we do, we will, I know that,” Klopp told reporters after celebrating on the pitch at Villa Park with his relieved players.
“And sometimes you need to get knocks ... But at the end, in the moment, so far, we could sort it, most of the time. Yes of course when you score these kind of goals, it’s lucky but it’s not that we didn’t deserve to win the game.”
Asked about his emotions, after Villa surprisingly took the game to Liverpool and could have scored within 60 seconds before they did in the 21st minute, Klopp said he has a single focus.
“I never thought a second about ‘did we lose already?’ or ‘can we win?’ We just have to try to score, that’s everything.
“It’s not that I think because now we have a couple of comebacks today is another comeback,” said Klopp, whose team also went a goal down to Tottenham Hotspur last weekend before winning 2-1.
“We know it’s possible, everybody knows it’s possible, but we really know it, and the boys tried it ... That’s football ... We don’t have any alternatives, what can we do?”
Villa manager Dean Smith thought his team also deserved something from the game.
“It wasn’t one-way traffic, we’ve had opportunities to make it two-nil,” he said. “I’m very proud of their performance … I think we’re a very competitive team at this level … Today we’ve gone toe-to-toe.
“I’m proud but also hurt because we deserved something from that game. We’ve got to take that hurt into the next game and learn from it.”...