Jordan Henderson praised the “hunger, resilience and character” that he saw from his Liverpool team-mates as they saw off Sheffield United.
The Reds were forced to come from behind after a Sander Berge penalty had put the Blades ahead.
But goals from Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota ensured the hosts secured the three points.
It was Liverpool’s first domestic game without Virgil van Dijk after the defender was injured at Everton last week.
Much has been made of his absence but Henderson was impressed with how his side reacted and how the defence coped without him.
He said: “It was hard as expected, they are a good side who work really hard. We knew it would be difficult and we are delighted to get the points.
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“McBurnie was very good in the air so it was hard for the lads at the back but they coped and worked it out better in the second half. We should have killed the game off with another goal or two.
“I am only interested in the mentality in our changing room and I see hunger, resilience, character to dig in and win if you are not playing at your best. We showed we can dig in and see results out.”
The win means Liverpool are up to second, level on points with Everton having played a game more.
It also allowed them to take advantage of Manchester City’s dropped points at West Ham earlier in the day.
Jurgen Klopp though felt aggrieved by the decision to award the Blades a first-half penalty which he labelled as an “injustice”.
“I’m not surprised at all, you always have to work hard against Sheffield United. It’s hard to take for Chris Wilder,” said the Reds boss.
“The penalty was not even a foul. During a season there are so many different periods, we have had an injustice and we have had to go again.
“I love these games, as you earn all of the rest. You earn the easier games when it all goes your way on nights like this.”
The Reds will now gear up for four games in 12 days that culminates with the visit of Guardiola’s City side.