Klopp hails Liverpool stars after 7-0 rout and addresses Mane reaction

A brace each from Roberto Firmino and substitute Mohamed Salah in addition to goals from Jordan Henderson, Sadio Mane and Takumi Minamino opened up a six-point gap at the top of the table and heaped pressure on title rivals such as Tottenham, who entertain fourth-placed Leicester on Sunday.

Klopp was pleased with Liverpool’s devastating finishing and particuarly happy to see their goal difference recover following that bizarre 7-2 drubbing by Aston Villa in October.

“It was hard work, a lot of counter-attacking moments from Crystal Palace in the first half where we needed really a long toe or foot to defend,” the Reds boss told BT Sport.

“They had their moments, 100%, but our finishing in the first half was already really clinical in the right moments.

“I don’t say being 3-0 up before half-time, the game is not finished, so we had to stay concentrated as a challenge, but the boys controlled the game and scored wonderful goals and won it.

“The boys are capable of doing that, but it will not happen every week. It can happen and today it clicked. This is a very intense period, the boys should be really proud of how they came through that results wise, performance wise.

“Now we take a day off tomorrow, then start preparing for West Brom [on December 27]. It was really good and important for us goal difference wise because of the funny result at Aston Villa.”

The only minor negative for Liverpool on an otherwise memorable day was Mane’s frustrated reaction to being replaced by Salah with more than half an hour remaining in south London.

However, Klopp insisted that there was no issue with the Senegalese forward after the full-time whistle.

“He was not angry because Mo came on, he was not happy because maybe he didn’t stay on the pitch until after the free-kick,” he said. “You cannot play football like this if you are just a soldier and do everything what the bosses say, they do what I say, but they are human beings and react in a specific way. After the game Sadio was completely fine, it’s all good.”

On being top at Christmas once agaim, Klopp added: “That was the plan. For us it means Christmas will be good, but the season is not finished unfortunately, there are a few games to come but we will be ready.”

This weekend get a £10 free bet with Betfair, when you bet £10 on a Same Game Multi on the Premier League.

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