Jürgen Klopp delighted with contributions of Liverpool's English contigent in 3-0 Middlesbrough win

Jürgen Klopp delighted with contributions of Liverpool's English contigent in 3-0 Middlesbrough win

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp insists he has the best English players of any club in the Premier League as he hailed midfielder Adam Lallana after his brace helped the Reds to a 2-0 win over Middlesbrough.

Charlie Malam

Jürgen Klopp hailed Liverpool's English contingent after Adam Lallana scored twice and Nathaniel Clyne grabbed an assist in their convincing 3-0 victory over Middlesbrough on Wednesday night.

The Reds returned to winning ways as they claimed their first three points on Teesside since 2002, Lallana heading in from Clyne's near-sided cross to break the deadlock on 29 minutes.

It took until the hour mark before Klopp's charges built on their advantage, Divock Origi scoring a fifth goal in as many games, applying the finish touch to a stunning team move at the Riverside Stadium.

Lallana then rounded the scoring off eight minutes later with his second of the evening, firing into the bottom corner after Origi's low cross for the club's most emphatic away victory of the season.

The win meant that Liverpool returned to second-place in the Premier League ahead of Arsenal on goal difference and Klopp enthused about his side's performance in the north east, but said that they can still improve.

Liverpool have the best English players, says Klopp

Asked if he was thrilled with the display on offer from his side, Klopp said: "Yes, with the result for sure - and the performance was, of course, really good. The nice thing is when you even have something to improve in a good game.

"We had things to do better in the second-half and you could really see how the boys took the information [from the half-time team talk] and did it."

The Reds boss said that their first-half "was already good" but lamented that they "had this moment when it was a little bit too intense" for Liverpool "to be always in possession" and "to have the ball all of the time."

He said that "one player needed a break, one wanted a break, one wasn't concentrated" and said they "were still passing in the wrong spaces", suggesting Middlesbrough "had their moments" as a result. 

"Especially with [Adama] Traore when we had to defend with three, four and five players," continued Klopp on Boro's attacking qualities, who said that the game was "more intense than it should have been."

Yet he was pleased that Liverpool "did it much better" in the second-half, calling their 3-0 win "a deserved result" although they "could have finished more often." He added that it was "a really good performance" and he was "happy."

Attacking midfielder Lallana extended his season's tally to six goals and six assists, contributing another fine performance from a deeper midfield position.

One reporter asked Klopp if he considers Lallana the most in-form English player in the division, to which he responded: "In my opinion, we have the best English players. All of them."

He added that he is "fine" with the English players in the Liverpool squad, adding that he has "not [been] long enough here" and "didn't see too much about the other teams" because it's "not too simple in England to watch football."

"But all good," Klopp said. "We are happy when he is fit and can perform like this."

Reds boss: Fact we kept Boro down to so few chances a credit to our defending

The German also acknowledged that former Barcelona winger Traore was Boro's stand-out threat, adding that he is "quite quick" which "changed the whole game" and made it "difficult" for the visitors.

Klopp believes that Liverpool "closed the spaces really well" and "made the passes into his [Traore's] space as difficult as possible", which he explained "was the plan" beforehand.

But he said that they could not leave James Milner "alone" when Traore was in possession, meaning "unfortunately" that they "had three or four versus one" and still conceded a free-kick, which Klopp said made "not too much sense."

Yet the manager accepted that Traore's "quality" is "so high" which demanded "four players to take him out of the game", as he added: "There were not a lot of chances that Middlesbrough could create and that's a big, big compliment for my team." 

Klopp expanded that with the "big number of possession" that Liverpool enjoyed, there was "always [the possibility for] counter-attacking with a player like Traore" which is "nearly impossible to always defend", praising his team for how it "worked quite well."

Klopp: Our third goal was perfect

Klopp also added how delighted he was with the manner of his side's goals, particularly their final goal, insisting that the players made their passage of play look far more simplistic than it was.

He told journalists that it was "not the first time this season" that they have put together such a flowing move, suggesting that they even had "nearly the same situation in the last game" although they "unfortunately" didn't manage to score.

On what they learned from their draw with West Ham United, in which he felt they had "no protection", Klopp declared that against Boro they "had this situation with a good formation behind and protection."

"The rhythm, the balance today, was much better," he continued. "The boys are capable of doing things like this. I think everybody who saw us a few times knows this. It's really, really good."

Klopp felt that Liverpool's third goal was "perfect" with "the passing, Sadio [Mane]'s way, Divock's run [and], Adam's positioning" as he said that "in the end" it looked "simple" but "it isn't."

He said that the players "need to be there" and "need to find the direction" as he added that "it was a good game" and he "wouldn't have expected it" to be so one-sided, calling his side's "reaction" to recent setbacks "great."