Klopp rates top-four chances for Liverpool after outlining Thiago importance in Southampton win

Jurgen Klopp said Liverpool would keep fighting for a top-four place after their hard-fought win over Southampton.

Liverpool earned their first win in nearly a month by beating Southampton 2-0. Sadio Mane scored a header against his former club before Thiago Alcantara put the icing on the cake with his first goal in a Liverpool shirt late on. It keeps them in contention for a European finish.

It was far from a vintage performance but they struck at important times and got the job done. They are six points off the Champions League places and have a game in hand over fourth-placed Leicester.

Klopp admitted that the game required their concentration for its full duration due to how tough Southampton made it.

He told BBC Sport: “We knew before [it would be tough]. The only way I know on winning is to work really hard and that’s what we did tonight.

“They are well organised and have an intense style of play. They had their moments. We set up their biggest chance ourselves but we deserved the three points.

“We scored a really nice first goal. But it’s familiar for us now to not finish the game early, so we had to stay in the game and scoring a wonderful second goal obviously was a big relief. We had to fight, we got the three points, really good.”

It would require some fortune for Liverpool to make it into the top four but Klopp said they still have a chance.

“We are kind of [in the race for the top four]. It’s not impossible but it’s difficult.

“We will give it a try and see where we get to.”

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Klopp was also pleased with goalscorer Thiago – and not just because of his strike.

The boss said: “He played well, not the first time but he looked really good, helped us with top passes. All really good.

“We all had to work hard. The most important situation was his finish, I am really pleased for him.”

Thiago happy to help

Thiago himself was also glad to get off the mark, even if he admitted it isn’t his usual role. If it can help them mount an unlikely charge into the top four, though, he will be more than happy to help.

He told Sky Sports: “I always try to bring out the reality. Of course we are not happy with the situation but we are happy with the win.

“It is always a great moment when you score to help the team. We have to keep fighting until the end with this small chance.

“It is an amazing feeling [to score] but the most important thing is the three points. We keep fighting for a small miracle.

“We try to bring our football, not just the intensity without the ball but with it, we try to bring that. I know I am not a goalscorer but I am trying always to be near the area to make the last pass or shoot. It is very special of course.

“For a lot of us, we have the privilege to play this amazing sport and in these amazing stadiums so we have to be glad of our situation and enjoy it for the fans.

“I think we had chances in the past that didn’t always go for us but the window is open so we try to go through the window.”

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