Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool gave Chelsea the perfect reminder that they won’t let the Blues walk off with the Premier League title with a gritty 1-0 win over Manchester City at Anfield yesterday.
A towering header from Georginio Wijnaldum on eighth minutes gave the Reds the advantage in a first half they totally dominated.
But Pep Guardiola’s side gained momentum after the break and it was the resolute, rather than the razzle-dazzle, that saw Klopp’s men hold on to victory and the vital three points.
The victory keeps them in second spot in the table, six points behind Antonio Conte’s men, who beat Stoke 4-2 at Stamford Bridge to firm up their top spot — and provided a four point gap between the Anfield giants and City, with Arsenal in fourth spot and in action today against Crystal Palace at the Emirates.
Klopp was delighted with the manner in which the Reds secured the win and handed the adoring Kop hordes a rousing end to 2016.
“It was actually the best way I could have imagined to end the year. It was a difficult game, of course. City are a really good side. It was clear we needed to be very compact because if you are not compact against City then you don’t have to play.”
The win means Liverpool have collected 11 points from a possible 15 against the other top six sides and it is a statistic that isn’t lost on the German coach.
“I’m pretty sure I said in the first few meetings that we want to be the most ugly-to-play side in the league. The boys made a big, big, big improvement and wonderful development.”
“Now we are really good in possession and these things so we didn’t have to defend like we defended last year nearly each week so often, but we still can mix it up and that’s what we need.”