Simon Mignolet was full of praise for Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp after he masterminded the Reds’ 4-1 win at Manchester City.
Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino capped excellent displays with goals to give Liverpool a 3-0 lead inside 31 minutes at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday after Eliaquim Mangala’s early own goal.
Sergio Aguero curled home before half-time to give City a glimmer of hope, but Martin Skrtel blasted in a late fourth to hammer home Liverpool’s dominance.
Gary Neville said afterwards that Klopp had changed his approach slightly, focusing on counter-attacks, and it was backed up by Mignolet.
“Before the game the gaffer laid out a plan for us and it worked out perfectly,” the Reds goalkeeper told the club’s official website.
“What he said before the game was the case. We didn’t let them breathe and on the counter-attack we had a chance with the three players up top – Adam, Phil and Roberto. They did brilliantly.
“We scored three early goals and just before half-time there was a bit of a setback, but we didn’t let it affect us and in the second half we were the better side again.
“The gaffer has worked really hard on that and at half-time he said when you come into the dressing room at 3-1 away to Manchester City, you have to be happy and you have to go out in the second half with a positive feeling.”
Klopp said again after the game that Liverpool’s players need to have more belief in themselves, suggesting some of them were surprised to be winning at half-time. The German’s messages appear to be getting through.
“It was all about us,” said Mignolet.
“We had to set the tempo of the game and didn’t let them breathe when they had the ball. When we had the ball, we tried to break quickly with all the pace we have up front.
“That was the option and we created a lot of chances on the counter-attack; that’s what you have to do when you play away from home against a good Manchester City side.
“But I don’t think they came into the game. You always know there’s going to be two or three opportunities for them during the game, but we defended really well and then created a lot of chances – which is a good thing.”