English Premiership

Klopp hails mature Liverpool after Watford win

Jurgen Klopp (Getty Images)
Jurgen Klopp (Getty Images)

London - Jurgen Klopp praised the maturity of his Liverpool side after weathering an early Watford storm to extend their unbeaten start to the Premier League season with a 3-0 win at Vicarage Road.

Klopp's men laboured for long spells but claimed an ultimately convincing victory with three goals in the last 23 minutes through Mohamed Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Roberto Firmino.

"It was a real mature performance," said Klopp. "In similar games last year we were not that convincing.

"They had moments but you can't stop that. Controlling it and staying in that mode, being positive, that's new for us. It was exactly how it had to be in our situation. We have to win football games week in and week out."

Despite a blistering start to the campaign to collect 33 from a possible 39 Premier League points, Liverpool still trail champions Manchester City by two points.

But Klopp's men are doing remarkably well just to remain on City's coat-tails even when not at their flowing best.

Salah prodded home the opener when Liverpool's front three finally clicked into gear as Firmino sent Sadio Mane surging down the left and his cross picked out the Egyptian for his ninth goal of the season.

Alexander-Arnold then sent a stunning free-kick into the top corner before Firmino rounded off the scoring after Ben Foster had saved Mane's initial effort.

And Klopp hailed his side's response after truncated preparations due to many of his squad returning from all over the world after the international break.

"I have to explain how difficult things are," said Klopp. "I know you always expect perfection but we had exactly one session to prepare for this game because the players came back on Thursday," he added.

"At half-time we said we had to stay solid and do it again but better, with more rhythm.

"The first goal was brilliant, the second was a world class free-kick and third was one of the best counter-attacks I've seen."

The only negative for Klopp was captain Jordan Henderson's late sending-off that will see him suspended for next weekend's Merseyside derby against Everton.

"I think they were both yellow cards," admitted Klopp. "Things like this happen when you play in a defensive midfield situation. You have to constantly close down a player or space."

Watford were angered by what they saw as the turning point when Will Hughes appeared to be fouled by Andy Robertson inside the area early in the second-half with the score still at 0-0.

"The last two games we have been unlucky with some decisions but I prefer to always support referees and if I don't say anything about their work in these two games I will not do it for the rest of the season," said Watford boss Javi Gracia.

"It was a closer game than the scoreline but they are a very good team and they are able to do this.

"We tried to do our best but after scoring the first goal, with more spaces, they are very dangerous."