As if beating Arsenal was not enough, Jürgen Klopp gave Roy Keane a hammering after the Sky Sports pundit suggested elements of Liverpool’s 3-1 victory were ‘sloppy’.
Klopp overheard the former Manchester United captain point out defensive errors whilst waiting to conduct a post-match television interview, although the Irishman had earlier purred about the quality of the champions’ attacking play.
Unable to contain his shock, Klopp said: “Mr Keane said we had a sloppy performance?
“That cannot be this game. This was absolutely exceptional. From the first second we were dominant against a team in form. Ali[sson] had to make one save. Apart from that the football we played for this was outstanding. It is really early in the season and with this performance I say: ‘Wow.’”
After being assured Keane had been more complimentary than critical, Klopp added: “I will watch it 100 per cent. We had so many big moments. I am not greedy and thinking we must finish every situation. Imagine if we had not won this game!
“Could we have scored more? Yes. We played a constant high line. They were brave and we punished them from time to time. If you play that high of course there is some risk, but we want to play as high as possible. I was not frustrated or disappointed at all. I was a bit worried at half-time that we could not keep it going, but we could.
“The start - Leeds, Chelsea away and Arsenal - nine points is good.”
In his post-match press conference, Klopp was more conciliatory.
“I came to the microphone. I did not see them talking. I misunderstood it. No problem. All fine,” he said. “I was not harsh. I did not see us being us sloppy in defending. The defending was really good because you cannot defend Arsenal 90 minutes with the quality you have. In all other moments you need to defend really well. We looked pretty ruthless. We looked really good.”
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta took heart from his side’s display, lamenting the second half chance for Alexendre Lacazette when he struck directly at goalkeeper Alisson. The French striker was distraught with his miss.
“I want to see my players angry and upset when they lose a game. I could see a goal coming,” said Arteta. “They want to win. That is why I like the mindset of the team. They really thought we could come here and do it. He (Lacazette) had the best chance of the game to make it 2-2, but he had a great game. The reality is this is the hardest ground to do that. I am pleased we competed.
“We should have handled the lead a bit better but we competed throughout the game with belief we could get something out of the game. We had the chance to make it 2-2.
“We are on a different journey to Liverpool. They have been together for five years. They were not like that two years ago. They set the bar, probably the best standard the Premier League has seen over the last two years. We tried to put them under as much pressure as we could.”