Jurgen Klopp said Liverpool “played football like hell” as his side defeated Chelsea 2-1 on Friday night.
Dejan Lovren’s volley and Jordan Henderson’s wonder strike gave Klopp a second victory at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League since he took over the Reds last season.
Diego Costa found a second-half goal for Chelsea, and while Klopp said the Blues were “too strong” to control for all 90 minutes, he was particularly pleased with his side’s performance before the break.
“The beginning was brilliant — brilliant from my side. We played football like hell. It was really nice to watch,” the German said on Sky Sports after the game.
“And then we scored the goals in other moments. We were quick in mind after set pieces, which we didn’t do too often, but it was wonderful. What can I say?
“Then second half, of course it was a little more difficult with less power. It was getting intense. We invested a lot more in the first half than Chelsea, so Chelsea came then in the second half. That’s not too fair, but its normal.”
“And they scored a goal but after the goal we managed it again. It was absolutely OK. Not a lot of chances for them.”
Klopp nearly giggled when asked about Henderson’s strike from distance into the top corner.
“It was really nice and it was deserved,” Klopp said. “He’s a hard-worker and he’s still a young lad and a lot of pressure on his shoulders, and we are helping him to learn how to handle it and he’s getting better and better and better.
“He did well and gets the benefit of all the hard work with a wonderful, wonderful strike.”
Asked about his first goal of the season, Henderson said: “I was just thinking about protection, but there was a clearance and I just took a good touch at my feet and just tried to bend it in the far corner and thankfully it went in.
“[Thibaut Courtois] is a world-class keeper, but it’s about time really I got a goal, but I always say the most important thing is the three points.”
Liverpool went level with Chelsea on 10 points in five games, and Henderson said he believed his side were well worth their fine start to the season.
“It keeps our momentum going,” he said. “We have been training well and I had a good feeling going into the game. We knew it would be difficult as Chelsea are a good side but I thought we defended well and deserved the three points.”
The goals gave the Reds a 2-0 lead after the first half, which Lovren called Liverpool’s finest 45 minutes thus far in the campaign.
“We always know it’s a tough game here to play but I think we did brilliantly. Especially the first half, we played I think the best football this season,” the defender said. “We dropped a little bit back in the second half, but in the end a fully deserved win.
“It’s always good to score, but the most important thing are the three points. We’re acting like a team. The spirit is really, around the club, perfect, so we just need to keep working stronger and stronger.”