Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp praised his team on Tuesday night after they saw off Premier League strugglers Huddersfield with a comfortable 3-0 win.
The Reds’ came into the game on the back of two straight defeats against lowly Swansea and West Brom in the league and FA Cup respectively.
But goals from Emre Can, Roberto Firmino and a late Mo Salah penalty meant Klopp left west Yorkshire feeling much more cheerful.
“That was the reaction we needed,” Klopp said after the match. “It was not brilliant, not the best we have played so far, but very mature and in the end very deserved.
“I think the best thing we did apart from scoring was counter-pressing, defending situations when Huddersfield won the ball deeper. They were quite compact. It’s not too easy to play around.”
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“We had a few fantastic situations. Early in the game [Andrew] Robertson in behind, Salah alone, Sadio [Mané] twice – more moments than three goals, but it was difficult to play, they defended well.
“I’m happy about the result and most parts of the performance as well.”
Klopp was happy with his midfield, and singled out Can, as well as returning captain Jordan Henderson and vice-captian James Milner for praise, while also explaining why he dropped new signing Virgil Van Dijk, who came under fire following the loss to the Baggies.
“Emre was not brilliant last game, but played very well tonight. Milly and Hendo are good and important players for us.
“Tonight, if you play this system, Gini [Wijnaldum] and [Alex] Oxlade-Chamberlain didn’t start – important players as well. A little bit of pressure is not bad. You have to perform to stay on the pitch.
“Sometimes we rotate because of physical things – like with Virgil tonight – but usually you do things because of who looks better, sharper. The boys wanted it and it helped that they had this attitude as well.”