Klopp impressed with Liverpool's character after dramatic win over Ajax
LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 13: Joel Matip of Liverpool celebrating scoring a late winner during the UEFA Champions League match between Liverpool and Ajax at Anfield on September 13, 2022 in Liverpool, United Kingdom (Photo by Andre Weening/Orange Pictures/BSR Agency/Getty Images)

After last week's "horror show" against Napoli, a victory was vital for Liverpool to kickstart their Champions League campaign.

Mohammed Kudus's thunderous strike cancelled out Mohamed Salah's opener as Liverpool looked set to drop points again.

Then up stepped Joel Matip whose bullet header in the dying minutes ensured that the Reds would walk away with a crucial three points.

Jurgen Klopp praised the resilience and character of his side but he admits they must not get carried away and there is still work to be done:

"I think if you put the two games together, Napoli and tonight, you don't recognise it's the same squad".

"The football we played, the way we defended, everything was different. Much higher intensity, much more aggression, braver, more ready. How I said, everything was better. Everything was good.

"It's very important but I think the story of the game is typical. We did a lot of good stuff and played a good game against a strong side. We caused them a lot of problems. Our high press was good. The midfield press was good; could have been better in moments but was generally good. We concede the first chance we have. That's typical."

"It was clear we had to keep playing football. You saw more aggression after half-time. But we did really well with quick set pieces which we tried to make an advantage".

I'm surprised we didn't score earlier from a set piece. We were a threat from all of them. The face of Joel showed just how we all felt".

Matip celebrates late winner (Getty Images)

"The character is the most important thing but nobody gets carried away tonight. It's more relief. We showed us and the outside world we reacted. We had a problem and we want to sort it".

  • Right step in the right direction

It was not a perfect performance but it was enough to get over the line. Speaking to beIN SPORTS Klopp stated: 

"Tonight was a right first step in the right direction". 

"Everyone knows what went wrong in Naples. Tonight wasn't even close to perfect- you could see the impact of their goal. HT we had to go again and keep going. It was very intense".

"We had to be patient, we had massive chances- you can't really play much better for Darwin's chance. From an attitude point of view, it was the right reaction".

"The boys didn't become bad players overnight, but we had to show we understood the issues and the box did that".

"1/2 of the boys will be back after the international break. But all the boys will go away and we have to hope and pray they come back healthy as we will only have one/two days to prepare for Brighton".

"For tonight it was okay but we know it was not more than a first step".