Klopp unhappy with Liverpool display but will take the win
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was far from impressed with the performance against West Ham but was happy to bank another three points.
The Reds moved 19 points clear at the top of the Premier League with a 2-0 win at the London Stadium, but Klopp admitted the result may have impressed him but the display of his players didn’t.
Mohamed Salah’s first-half penalty and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s second-half strike swept the Hammers aside as Liverpool continued their inexorable march towards the title.
The Reds were not at their devastating best, but they did not have to be to make it 23 wins from 24 matches and stay on course for a 19th league title, and a first for 30 years.
“It was not a brilliant performance. I wish we’d done better, but I’ll take it like it is,” said Klopp. “If it was easy to win this amount of games a lot of other teams would have done it. It was a tough game. We’ve played some super games, this was just a game.”
Victory over West Ham, in a match rearranged from December, meant Liverpool have now beaten every other team in the league this season.
But statistics and records do not matter to Klopp, who added: “I don’t feel anything like that. I wanted to win the game but nobody was thinking it was 18 teams, let’s make it 19.
“When you jump in the water you don’t breathe for 38 games then you come up and look around. That’s how we see it.”
West Ham held out until 10 minutes before half-time, when a scramble in the penalty area ended with Issa Diop bundling over Divock Origi.
VAR had a good look at a replay of Roberto Firmino’s hand potentially brushing the ball in the build-up, but the spot-kick was confirmed and Salah thumped it home for his first goal in the capital since he netted at Crystal Palace 22 months ago.
Manuel Lanzini missed a gilt-edged chance to equalise before a mix-up between Mark Noble and Arthur Masuaku allowed Salah to smuggle the ball away and thread a pass to Oxlade-Chamberlain, who finished clinically.