Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp felt the low-key 2-1 Champions League victory over Genk was “job done” as the Belgian side’s coach praised his players’ approach to playing at Anfield.
With Manchester City’s visit on Sunday looming large over proceedings there was a feeling this was a game which just had to be got out of the way with the minimum of fuss and disruption.
That was highlighted by Klopp’s six changes, which the Reds boss explained, including resting key players like Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, Andy Robertson and Dejan Lovren.
Goals from Georginio Wijnaldum and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – either side of Ally Mbwana Samatta’s equaliser just before half-time – was enough to take them top of Group E and within a win of qualifying for the knockout stage with a match to spare.
“‘Job done’ is the headline for the game, pretty much, but the group is not decided. It’s a tough group,” said Klopp.
“The most important thing; we won and nobody is injured. Apart from that, the result is the result because we didn’t finish our situations off like we should and could have done.
“That keeps the game pretty exciting, and left Genk alive. It was clear that it would be a bit tricky in some departments because the front three (Mohamed Salah, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Divock Origi) never played together in these positions, in a formation like this.
“We are first in the table but we want to be first after the last matchday and now we have to play two tough games, and two important ones.
“In each of them we can decide it with a win, but that sounds easier than it is because both of them will be really tricky.”
Genk coach hails his side
Genk boss Felice Mazzu was pleased with the way his side performed after struggling for form recently.
“I am very proud of my players,” he said.
“We changed the philosophy, we had no time to work on it on the training field, we took a risk to come here and play the best team in the world with no time to play this way.”