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Sunday, 06 December 2020

Klopp praises Liverpool's heart after comeback win over Sheffield

Reuters , Sunday 25 Oct 2020
Klopp
Soccer Football - Premier League - Liverpool v Sheffield United - Anfield, Liverpool, Britain - October 24, 2020 Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp (REUTERS)
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Liverpool were far from their best as they laboured to a 2-1 victory over Sheffield United in the Premier League on Saturday but Juergen Klopp praised his side’s resilience as they again showed a knack for overcoming adversity at Anfield.

Diogo Jota’s second-half header sealed the points after Roberto Firmino had cancelled out Sander Berge’s penalty as Liverpool extended their unbeaten league run at home to 62 matches.

Liverpool are undefeated in their last 13 home league games in which they have conceded the first goal, winning the last nine.

They had to do it this time without injured defensive talisman Virgil van Dijk and at the end of a demanding week in which they drew 2-2 at Everton and ground out a 1-0 win over Ajax Amsterdam in the Champions League.

“A tough week obviously -- a lot of games, a lot of minutes, tough opponents, hard-fighting opponents,” Klopp said.

“(We) won the two matches after the Merseyside derby, so really pleased with that, obviously.

“We didn’t score (the third goal) so the game stayed open and they had their moments, but we defended well with a big heart. And so I liked it.”

Jota has now scored in his first two home league games since joining from Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Incredibly, since netting against Arsenal on Sept. 28, the Portuguese has played in eight games for club and country.

Klopp said there was more to come from the 23-year-old.

“He is still adapting. In the moment, a lot of things we do are not natural to him but that’s only because Wolves play different -- but a lot of things he did for Wolves are exactly what we want him to do,” Klopp said.

“That he is that close already is just a sign of how good a player he is. As I said, if he stays fit, he’s 23 and the future is bright. We will need his quality and I am really happy that he’s settled nicely so far.”

While Liverpool moved joint top with Everton, Sheffield United have managed only one point from six games.

Yet they pushed the champions all the way and manager Chris Wilder saw many positives.

“There are a lot of disappointed people in the changing room,” Wilder said. “It was a tight game and it wasn’t one-way traffic. A lot of good things tonight but it feels a bit Groundhog Day but we will get better and learn a lot from today’s game.”

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