Jurgen Klopp voiced his delight with Liverpool’s position in the Premier League after the title hopefuls earned a point against champions Manchester City.
Riyad Mahrez missed a late penalty in Sunday’s goalless draw at Anfield as the two Premier League favourites cancelled each other out in a tightly-contested encounter.
Wins for Chelsea and Arsenal earlier on Sunday added extra pressure, and Liverpool now sit third after eight games, with City top courtesy of a stronger goal difference than both the Reds and Maurizio Sarri’s side.
And although manager Klopp acknowledged Liverpool were ultimately lucky, he is delighted with their standing heading into the international break.
“If somebody would have told me after eight matchdays you have 20 points, I would say with that fixture list, I’ll take it!” Klopp told a news conference.
“Arsenal are two points behind, yeah? Having won six games in a row, so it looks like they are in a good shape.
“But we played City today. You can get three points or one point or no points. We got one, which is fine.
“Both teams did well, and we were a bit lucky with the penalty of course.”
Liverpool started well but were unable to make their dominance count and City eventually settled, with chances limited for both sides until Virgil van Dijk scythed down Leroy Sane.
“The start of the game was fantastic, I liked it, but if you want to win against City you have to use a few of these half-chances, you need to finish,” Klopp added.
“You cannot defend them over 95 minutes at 100 per cent, they will have their moments, but I thought we defended them brilliant – apart from the penalty and one or two situations where we needed Alisson with a really good save.
“We played City now very often and they are just outstanding. For both teams it was really intense, and both showed respect for the other team. Don’t lose the ball in the wrong moment, otherwise you have big problems.”
Klopp was furious when referee Martin Atkinson pointed to the spot in the 85th minute, but on reflection had no complaints over the penalty decision.
“Yes. I saw it now. It is much easier to say it was a penalty when they didn’t score, but I saw it and I don’t think there’s a lot to discuss with it,” he said.
“It’s how penalties often are, very close and a bit of a longer toe and he touches the ball. He touched Sane more than the ball, so it’s a penalty.
“Not the most important penalty in the history of football because it didn’t go in. We were lucky in that situation, but we deserve this bit of luck with the performance.”