Ralph Hasenhuttl described it as 'the perfect evening' after watching his Southampton side’s performance against Liverpool as they beat the Champions at St. Mary’s.
Danny Ings’ sublime second minute strike proved the difference on the south coast as the Saints defended resolutely to kick start 2021 with a big three points.
It is also the first time Hasenhuttl has taken points against opposite number Jurgen Klopp, with the pair also going toe-to-toe in the Bundesliga previously.
'It's a perfect start'
“I’ve never taken points against Jurgen (Klopp) so far, and I think I started believing we could do it in the 92nd minute, not earlier,” said the Saints boss after the 1-0 win. “You never know, they are so strong in front, and you always think something can happen.
“The way we defended today was amazing, I think the effort the guys put in, everybody, was the key of winning. The mentality was maybe even better than against most of the teams.
“It’s a perfect start to 2021. No one expected to take points against them today, we have 29 now, we’re on our way and let’s keep on going. It was an important step forward.”
And an emotional Saints boss went on to call it the ‘perfect day’ after suffering set back after set back in the build up to the game.
Just a week ago, Hasenhuttl was forced away from the club due to Covid-19 related issues, and since his return he has had Alex McCarthy test positive for the virus whilst Che Adams and Oriol Romeu both suffered injuries in training.
'You need luck against a team like that'
“We had so many injuries,” he added. “We’ve brought in so many youngsters onto the bench and to then compete against such a team as Liverpool is amazing.
“We kept a clean sheet and our system worked – we had to have the perfect game and luck, you need luck against a team like that and you cannot win without certain moments going for you and it’s a special win.
“I’ve had a few other good wins, but today no one expected it. The way we played, I think the guys benefit from all the hard work they put in.
“You can see that you can develop any player and that is what we are trying to do here and when you have a result like this, it’s worth more than three points because it installs that belief in every player.
“It was the perfect day, the perfect evening for all the fans and an important step forward for us.”