Jurgen Klopp refused to celebrate too hard after Liverpool crushed Manchester United 7-0, wary his side still have ground to make up.
Jurgen Klopp hailed a “perfect” day for Liverpool as they trounced Manchester United 7-0 at Anfield.
Delighted but eager not to gloat, Klopp said the emphatic scoreline was “one for the history books but not for the moment”.
But the Liverpool manager said his team were “outstanding”, and he saluted Mohamed Salah for becoming the club’s record Premier League goalscorer, his 129th strike in the competition taking him past Robbie Fowler.
Salah scored twice, as did Cody Gakpo and Darwin Nunez, with Roberto Firmino coming off the bench to hit a late seventh. It had been goalless until the 43rd minute, and United capitulated after going behind.
“No words, spectacular football game, outstanding. We played top football against the team in form,” Klopp said on Sky Sports. “In the second half the start was pretty good, the finish was pretty good, and everything was pretty good. That’s football and it can happen.
“United played a super season and we are not really happy with our season so far, but it doesn’t mean anything for the game. Today we were the clear better side for this moment, and we got a very important three points for us.”
Liverpool have climbed to fifth place in the Premier League, three points behind Tottenham, and they could claw their way into the Champions League places as their revival gathers pace after a dismal start to the campaign.
United sit third, but their title hopes are effectively over now, just a week after they were in high spirits after winning the EFL Cup at Wembley.
It is now 13 points from a possible 15 over the past five league games for Liverpool and Klopp said: “There are a lot of points to go for and that’s what we want.
“For tonight it was perfect. It was the push we wanted; it pushes us in the right direction. We are getting close and everyone has to feel us, has to know we are still around. It was not the case for a while, but tonight was a proper show of what we can be and what we have to be from now on.”
Klopp said Salah’s goals record was an “absolutely insane” achievement.
“He’s a very special player. We appreciate him now, but in the future, looking back, people will realise, ‘Wow, we witnessed something really special’,” Klopp said.
The German boss confirmed Firmino is set to leave at the end of the campaign, when his contract expires, saying: “It’s actually a normal situation. It was not an easy decision for him. Everybody can imagine. The reception he got when he came on was absolutely outstanding. That was the goal the stadium wanted pretty much the most.”
Klopp was careful not to take too much delight in the fact this was Liverpool’s biggest win over United. It was also a record-equalling heaviest defeat to all teams in United’s history, and the most emphatic loss of Erik ten Hag’s 481-game career.
Asked what he would take from being the boss whose team inflicted such a painful defeat on their fierce rivals, Klopp said: “Nothing in the moment. It’s something for in 10 years looking back, and I hope the [future] coach can overcome it. It would be strange, but maybe it’s possible.
“In these times I would say it’s incredibly special because of the quality of the sides. It’s one for the history books but not for the moment.
“We take all the positives, pretty much apart from the scoreline because it’s a bit of a freak, but all the rest we take 100 per cent and want to bring it on the pitch again and again.”