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Jurgen Klopp hails 'mature' Liverpool after bounce-back victory

PA | 3mo
Mohamed Salah's second-half penalty was the difference on the south coast.

Jurgen Klopp hailed Liverpool's "most mature performance of the season" after they got their title challenge back on track by grinding out an unconvincing 1-0 win at Brighton.

Klopp's table-topping Reds have stuttered since the turn of the year, losing their unbeaten Premier League record to champions Manchester City before limping out of the FA Cup at Wolves.

The Merseyside club were far from their best at the Amex Stadium but Mohamed Salah's second-half penalty was enough to restore their seven-point lead over second-placed City.

Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring the winner (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Klopp admitted his side can perform better but dismissed the lack of entertainment against stubborn opposition by saying they "are not the Harlem Globetrotters".

"It was not the best performance of the season in a few departments but from a maturity point of view, I would say it is the most mature performance in the season," he said.

"We are not Circus Roncalli, we are not the Harlem Globetrotters. We have to deliver results.

"On a good day, everybody can win football games, on an average day not a lot of teams can win football games, and on bad days only a few can win football games. Today was not a bad day but it was a difficult day for us.

"It was just a difficult day because we have to say that Brighton is doing really well."

Egypt forward Salah, who retained his African Player of the Year title earlier this week, smashed home his 14th league goal of the season from the spot in the 49th-minute after he was felled by Pascal Gross.

The strike was enough to put more daylight between the division's top two teams, although Pep Guardiola's City can close the gap back to four points when they face Wolves on Monday.

“If you fall from the horse as a rider, the best thing you can do is go immediately back on it.”
- Jurgen Klopp

Klopp felt it was important to 'climb back on the horse' following the recent blip as the Reds chase a first title in 29 years.

"Not because (the defeat) was to Manchester City, it's just important," added the German.

"If you fall from the horse as a rider, the best thing you can do is go immediately back on it. Do you use that saying as well in England? You have more horses anyway than we, we probably stole it from you.

"It's cool, it's good and it's important but we didn't make a fuss of the two defeats."

Chris Hughton felt Liverpool got the rub of the green from the referee (Mark Kerton/PA)

Brighton boss Chris Hughton had no complaints about the award of the decisive spot-kick but felt Liverpool received some favourable decisions from referee Kevin Friend.

Friend frustrated the majority of the 30,682 crowd – an Amex  Stadium record – by awarding a series of free-kicks to the visitors, particularly late in the game.

"One thing I always understand is that the referee has a very difficult job and he has to make judgement calls on the whole of the 90 minutes," said Hughton.

"I just thought on the balance of decisions – no malice to the referee, he's trying to do the best job he can – but I thought that it favoured Liverpool on the balance of decisions he made."

Mid-table Brighton, who have now lost all four of their Premier League meetings with the Reds, failed to produce a shot on target but never looked like being overrun.

Hughton added: "As regards the way that we played, I thought it was the right tactics on the day against the best team in the country.

"In the end, really delighted that we ran them as close as we did."



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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool34267177205785
2Manchester CityMan City33272486226483
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs332211064343067
4Arsenal33206766402666
5Chelsea34206857362166
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd33197763441964
7Leicester CityLeicester34145154645147
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves33138124142-147
9Everton34137144644246
10Watford33137134748-146
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham34126164252-1042
12Bournemouth34125174961-1241
13Crystal Palace34116174046-639
14Burnley34116174260-1839
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle34108163243-1138
16Southampton3399153954-1536
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3396183253-2133
18Cardiff CityCardiff3494213063-3331
RFulham3455243276-4420
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3435261967-4814
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Championship Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Norwich CityNorwich422511685513486
2Leeds UnitedLeeds422571069422782
3Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd422310969393079
4West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom4221101181562573
5Aston Villa421815977581969
6Bristol City411811125546965
7Middlesbrough421713124436864
8Derby CountyDerby411712125950963
9Hull City42179166159260
10Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds421514135255-359
11Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest421415135652457
12Preston North EndPreston421512156059157
13Swansea CitySwansea41168175554156
14Brentford421412166658854
15Blackburn RoversBlackburn421411175764-753
16Stoke CityStoke421119124147-652
17Queens Park RangersQPR42139205065-1548
18Birmingham CityBirmingham421316135854446
19Reading421014184763-1644
20Millwall411012194659-1342
21Wigan AthleticWigan421012204562-1742
22Rotherham UnitedRotherham42816184672-2640
23Bolton WanderersBolton4288262972-4332
RIpswich TownIpswich42416223368-3528
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