Jurgen Klopp insisted Liverpool’s win over Tottenham was ‘absolutely deserved’ after being told by Jose Mourinho ‘the best team lost’.
An angry Mourinho had words with Klopp on the touchline after Roberto Firmino’s last-gasp header broke Spurs’ resistance and sent the reigning champions three points clear at the top of the Premier League.
But the Reds boss praised his players for their determination and focus in overcoming “a counter-attacking monster” at Anfield.
“The win was absolutely deserved,” Klopp said afterwards.
“They are a top side – a counter-attacking monster – so you have to be really focused, and because they don’t want the ball too much you have play around them and keep them busy.
“We did that really, really well.
“What a wonderful goal to win it, a nice corner and a sensational header from Bobby. After this performance, we can take a lot of confidence.”
Klopp also praised youngster Rhys Williams, who made his Premier League debut alongside Fabinho at the heart of Liverpool’s defence, as well as fellow teenager Curtis Jones after he continued to impress in midfield.
“My god! Outstanding. Come on, Rhys Williams!” said Klopp.
“With the ball as well, he played a pass for our first goal. He has the right amount of confidence, he just kept it simple and made super challenges and interceptions.
“Absolutely incredible game, I have to say. And Curtis is a top, top-class player.”
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson added: “I thought the performance was outstanding, we went right to the end and got the win I thought we deserved.
“We keep going until the whistle goes. Outstanding and one of the best performances of the season with and without the ball. Over the moon.”
Firmino’s 90th-minute decider snatched a 2-1 victory for Liverpool after Son Heung-Min had cancelled out Mohamed Salah’s opener.
Defeat spurred Tottenham boss Mourinho into an amazing war of words as he made his feelings clear to Klopp at the final whistle.
The Spurs manager was riled by his Liverpool counterpart’s “animated” behaviour on the touchline, insisting if he had clashed with the officials he would have been sent to the stands.
Of his conversation with Klopp, Mourinho said: “I told him the best team lost. He disagreed. That’s his opinion.
“By the way, if I behaved the way on the touchline like he does, I have no chance to stay there – and I’m out.”
Referring to Pep Guardiola’s antics during Manchester City’s draw with West Brom on Tuesday night, Mourinho added: “Do you want me to take the table with the time from the fourth official? For some reason I am different. And that’s that.
“We missed the chances and had the game under control. A draw would be a bad result so you can imagine how we feel with a defeat.
“Very good performance and some mistake with things to improve. A very unfair result.”
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