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Jurgen Klopp makes honest admission after Liverpool scrape past West Ham


Sadio Mane scored the only goal as title-chasing Liverpool overcame West Ham at Anfield on Saturday, moving them a step closer to top of the table Manchester City

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Liverpool v West Ham United: Match in pictures

Jurgen Klopp admitted Liverpool needed a slice of luck to keep their Premier League title push on track with a hard-fought win over West Ham United.

A first-half Sadio Mane goal decided a keenly contested game at Anfield, which ended with the visitors no doubt feeling they deserved to take more.

And Klopp was happy to concede that good fortune was on the Reds’ side as they extended David Moyes’ winless Anfield run to 18.

He said: “We did pretty well first half, but in the second half if you are not better, you need quick legs, big heart and passion and that’s what we needed to get the result.

“In the end it was open, we needed a bit of luck, but you cannot win as many games in a row as we have without a bit of luck, you can’t do this by only winning when you are flying.

“We could have done better, there is a lot of space for improvement. We will go away and work on that and get the chance to go again on Tuesday against Inter.”

Liverpool were given an early boost with the news that Declan Rice had not recovered from illness in time to take his place in the West Ham starting XI.

And the visitors certainly seemed to be missing their talisman in a chaotic opening minutes that saw Mohamed Salah twice go close.

However, while the swarm of Liverpool attacks continued as the half progressed, West Ham at least began to show threat of their own going the other way through Michail Antonio.

His first real chance saw a powerful left-footed shot almost catch Alisson unawares, and he followed that up with a low shot from the edge of the box that the ‘keeper again had to react to.

But it was the hosts who landed the first damaging blow of the slugfest in the 27th minute, Mane’s tap-in from a Trent Alexander-Arnold cross being deemed onside after a VAR check.







Sadio Mane scores for Liverpool
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Image:

Getty)

Still, West Ham went closest before the break, Pablo Fornals beating the offside trap only to see two finish attempts somehow kept out by Alexander-Arnold and then Alisson.

The Hammers started the second half in equally impressive style, Jarrod Bowen capitalising on a misplaced header from Virgil van Dijk to charge in behind before Robertson slid in brilliantly to put him off his finish.

Unfortunately, that would be the in-form Englishman’s final contribution, an ankle knock forcing him off moments later.

Of that injury, Moyes later said: “Jarrod, it looks like something in his heel, it happened in a tackle with Andy Robertson. We’ll get him scanned, check what it is.”







Klopp and Mane after the game
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Image:

AFP via Getty Images)

West Ham kept coming regardless, though, and should really have been level when Tomas Soucek picked out Manuel Lanzini all alone in the Liverpool box only for him to blaze over.

A spell of late possession did not bring another chance of similar quality, however, leaving Moyes to rue another Anfield disappointment.

The Scot said: “Ultimately we get no points for it but I think we were well worth something today.

“We’re trying to keep it going; we beat Liverpool narrowly 3-2 at London Stadium, narrowly lost 1-0 today so there are signs we’re getting closer.

“We want to challenge the top teams and Liverpool are certainly one of them.

“I spoke to Jurgen before the game and he was very complimentary about our team and very complimentary about our players.”

As for Liverpool, before facing Inter they can turn their attention to the Manchester derby, where they will hope to see bitter rivals United land a blow on fellow title contenders City.

Klopp said of that game: “Of course we are interested in it, but we have no influence on it.

“We have to win the games we play. Those we do not play in we have no hand in it.

“That’s why we don’t think about it or talk about it, we just try to win our games.”

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