Klopp explains key factors in Liverpool’s win over Ajax that left him delighted

Jurgen Klopp insisted it was all about spirit, and not style, as Liverpool showed grit to deliver a winning start to their Champions League campaign.

Sadio Mane inspired an important result in their toughest away game, to open a tough group perfectly, but it was all about the clean sheet in the first game after Virgil van Dijk’s horrific injury.

And while Klopp joked it wasn’t exactly a classic game from two teams with such European pedigree he insisted: “The clean sheet is huge but we are not dumb enough to believe we didn’t need a little bit of luck for it.

“We could have done better but now we don’t care we are happy with the win, how is that for tonight, absolutely ok.

"We got through in the end and we deserved it, we showed a lot of spirit and strength.

“It wasn’t the most easy on the eye performance – it will not be on the front page of our history book, but I am pleased with the resilience we showed, and it was an important result, and It was deserved.”

Klopp was relieved that Fabinho, in his first game deputising for van Dijk, produced a confident display at centre half, even producing a brilliant goal line clearance, in a partnership with Joe Gomez he says can only improve.

“It helps when the boys come in under that pressure on the situation, that they play with confidence, and and yes Fabinho showed he can play the position – he likes playing it,” he said.

“I am not surprised he plays well in the position, but I think he could do better! It was a good performance but there is a lot to improve and that is good.

"They are new together and they have to learn, how high, how low in each situation, but it was no problem it was absolutely good, and will get better.”

Klopp denied that he had pre-meditated the substitution of his entire front three on the hour, instead insisting he wanted the fresh legs of three new strikers to help control the game, which he said had become “a bit wild by then.”

And the manager eased fears over Sadio Mane, who had an icepack on his leg after going off, saying: “He has had a dead leg for a few days and been dealing with that, but it is not a problem.”

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