60 not out Jurgen Klopp's verdict as Liverpool beat West Ham and Virgil van Dijk sets a new record
Sadio Mane scored the goal which saw Liverpool beat West Ham 1-0, with defender Trent Alexander-Arnold the architect of a victory
Jurgen Klopp believes his side's 1-0 win against West Ham at Anfield may be one of their most important of the season, as they moved to within three points of leaders Manchester City in an increasingly enticing Premier League title race.
Sadio Mane scored the goal which saw Liverpool beat West Ham 1-0, with defender Trent Alexander-Arnold the architect of a victory that piles the pressure on City ahead of their derby game against Manchester United on Sunday.
The England right-back was the visitors’ tormentor-in-chief as his varied passing range in the attacking third was coupled with a brilliant goalline clearance to secure a ninth clean sheet in 13 appearances.
It meant West Ham’s former Everton boss David Moyes left Anfield without a win for the 18th time, a Premier League record for one manager at a single ground.
That was mainly down to the excellence of Alexander-Arnold, who with the pass for Mane’s 27th-minute goal equalled Steven Gerrard’s record of 16 assists in a single season and beat his own previous best from the 2018/-19 and 2019/20 seasons.
Klopp celebrated the win with real gusto in front of The Kop at the end of the match, as he hinted this would be a victory that paves the way for more trophy success this season.
"We will remember this game as one of the important ones," declared Klopp.
"We know about the different things West Ham are good at. In the first half we denied them these situations but in the second half the game was more open.
"They knew they had to be direct and around the second ball we were not as good, but you have to get over the line and I was pleased with that.
"If you are not well organised you have to defend with passion and that's what we did.
"We were lucky in these moments but you cannot win the amount of games we have recently without stretching your luck from time to time.
"So I am absolutely happy with the result. I know we can do much better but we brought this one over the line against a strong opponent. It's no coincidence that they are so high in the table and pushing for Europe.
"I saw a lot of top individual performance, Sadio Mane was one of them. He is really difficult to defend against, but in the end we did not make as much of the situations as we could have."
When asked for his views on the Manchester derby, he admitted the game will be in his focus on Sunday.
"Of course we are interested in it, but we have no influence on it," he added. "We have to win the games we play. Those we do not play in we have no hand in it. Why we don't think about it or talk about it, we just try to win our games."
Liverpool's latest home win saw Virgil van Dijk to set a new record for unbeaten home games in the Premier League, with the Dutch centre back winning 52 and drawing eight of his 60 league games at Anfield since joining the club.
60 - Virgil van Dijk has never been on the losing side for Liverpool in 60 Premier League games at Anfield, setting a new record for most home games for a single club without ever losing in the competition (W52 D8). Imperious. pic.twitter.com/3WAjoBSrBO— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 5, 2022
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