Jürgen Klopp identified stability as the key to Liverpool’s prolific form as his title contenders made it 10 goals without reply in a week at Anfield with a 4-0 stroll against Southampton.
Liverpool moved to second in the table, one point behind Chelsea, who face Manchester United on Sunday, with a second successive 4-0 Premier League win at home. They have scored 39 goals in 13 league games this season – their highest at this stage of a Premier League campaign – and two or more goals in their past 17 matches. It is the first time an English top-flight club has recorded such a sequence since Sunderland in 1927.
Klopp credited the return from injury of several key players, plus a full pre-season for Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané, for the return of Liverpool’s rhythm.
“It is not so easy to talk about games when you lose them like we did last season,” he said. “I knew what we were lacking: we were lacking stability because we didn’t have centre-halves for a while and we had to find solutions.
“In the early stages we were shocked because we couldn’t play the football we wanted to play. All of a sudden you lose your rhythm and that is what happened to us last season.
“This year we had a pre-season which was a proper pre-season, which was incredibly helpful, especially up front with Sadio and Mo who had the longest pre-season they had for ages. We could work on a lot things and found the stability back. Talking about the stability, I was not happy with the chances we conceded today, to be honest.
“I have no problem if Ali has to make saves in a game but these saves were spectacular, one-on-one with the goalkeeper twice shouldn’t happen in a game too often. We have to work on that to be as stable, as serious, ruthless defensively as somehow possible so that gives us the platform to play football and then we can score. It won’t be forever we score two goals a game but I’m happy for now.”
Diogo Jota scored the opening two goals to take his tally for the season to eight in all competitions.
Klopp said: “Diogo is an exceptional player and exceptional boy. He signed for us one and half years ago and he is the perfect signing as he has everything a Liverpool player in this squad needs; he has the technical skills, he has the physical skills and he is very smart so can learn all the tactical stuff quickly.
“He can also play the three forward positions and the No 10. He has the speed and desire to finish things off. His goalscoring record is pretty good.
“Unfortunately he had a big injury last year and that is never helpful but he is back and he fits really well into this team and I am really happy for him. Today he could have made a better decision to score but he was smart enough to score the second time.”