Liverpool 'not even close to perfect', Klopp stresses
(Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)

Jurgen Klopp struck a familiar tone as he addressed the press following Liverpool's resounding victory over Southampton, refusing to be drawn on the tumbling records and crediting his side's achievements thus far to their work ethic.

The Reds turned in a mesmeric second-half attacking display to beat the Saints 4-0 at Anfield and extend their advantage at the top of the table to 22 points, with second-placed Manchester City to face Spurs on Sunday.

They have now 24 of their 25 games this season and collected 100 points from the last 102 available in the league.

Yet Klopp nonetheless finds flaws in the runaway leaders, for whom the title beckons.

Here, he feels they were not tight enough defensively, having presented the visitors with numerous openings.

The principal goal, though, is less perfection than it is unwavering application. 

"Today before the game, my main feeling is 'I am concerned'," he explained to the assembled media, including VAVEL.

"Today, Southampton had absolutely too many shots. But what Ali's doing with these finishes, I have no clue how he's doing that.

"I think the finishes were pretty good, it's just that he was there. 

"We are not perfect - not even close to perfect. The thing is, we don't care about not being perfect.

"I'm so happy that the boys can go now for a week and come back recharged, refreshed, and then we prepare for Norwich and the rest of the season."

'We wanted 73 points - not a 22-point lead'

The German remains adamant that the Reds are totally focused on themselves, on ensuring the maintenance of their unprecedented standards.

He will surely be aware, however, that his side could be on course to wrap up the title next month. 

"We have incredibly difficult opponents to play against. They aren't here to be part of any party. They want to hurt us.

"We have to throw everything we have on the pitch to get a point or three points out of these games.

"The boys do that thankfully, that's why we are where we are. But we don't take that for granted for a second.

"The boys put a sensational shift in. Everybody went to the point and above. That makes this group really special.

"We didn't want to have a 22-point difference to the other teams today, we wanted to have 73 points after the matchday, and that's what we have."

What changed at half-time?

The full-time score certainly obscures the close-fought nature of the game until Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's 47th-minute opener.

Indeed, it had been Southampton who finished the first half stronger, testing Alisson on multiple occasions as they sensed vulnerability in the Liverpool back-line.

Decisively, Klopp made a number of tactical tweaks at the break, largely centred on midfield anchor Fabinho, and his side were able to brutally underline the gulf in class. 

"The set-up [Southampton] have is constantly causing you problems if you do the wrong things, which we did in the first half.

"Their defending is really good and then their counterattacks are exceptional.

"That's why we had problems in the first half, because we lost the ball in the wrong moments. 

"We had to change two or three things, most importantly the involvement of Fabinho.

"And then we started rolling. I liked the second half much more already before the goal.

"We played much calmer, used Fabinho better, used all the midfielders better, used our full-backs better.

"The strange thing about this game is that Southampton could have won it as well. That just shows how difficult it was today."

Klopp will hand the reins to Under-23 boss Neil Critchley in midweek as a youthful team face Shrewsbury in an FA Cup replay.

He will return to the dugout for the trip to Norwich on 15 February.

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