Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp thanked Anfield for a “special” response after their recovery to snatch a tough draw with West Bromwich on Sunday night.
Despite leading through Jordan Henderson strike, the Reds were pushed back by two goals from corners by Craig Dawson and Jonas Olsson, leaving the squad looking beaten and the fans almost subdued.
It seemed to be once again an underwhelming home performance, but the lately deflected equaliser from Divock Origi and then an emotional Jurgen Klopp’s urgent appeals to the supporters at the stands created the kind of atmosphere Klopp had hoped would inspire the whole squad.
After the match, he led all the players to applaud the Kop, before explaining why he was happy with the response despite a shock draw.
“[On Saturday] we spoke about a special atmosphere, and it was a special atmosphere,” Klopp said in his post-match press conference. “It was such a hard game; we played on Thursday on ice and today against the wall. We played good, we created chances, but we got two set plays.
“I don’t know how many percent of our goals we concede are set plays — 98 percent or something like this — so we defended well, everything was good. Creating chances is not easy against a team like this, especially when you played on Thursday. You play against an opponent and they play long balls all the time, they only want set plays, free-kicks, whatever, so it was really, really hard.” The German tactician tried to explain.
The new Liverpool boss also suggested it was the best atmosphere he had seen after taking charge as manager in October, as a series of disappointing home performances this term making it a moment to savour.
He also said: “Maybe the crowd was disappointed but they didn’t let us feel [it], and that’s the thing: we all were in the game, concentrated, we all wanted to get this one point at the end and it felt like three. In this moment, it was an explosion.
“It was the best atmosphere since I have been here. I really enjoyed it and at the end — I don’t know if it’s normal in England — I wanted to say thank-you, that’s all. Together with the team it was great, it was absolutely great.”
Klopp further said the way his squad responded to one of their weak points being exploited was really a positive sign.
“Sometimes a point deserved in the right way is more important, for development and so many different things, like style of play,” he said. “Everybody said we can’t play against a team like this but, yes, we can.
“We made chances, we were in the box, made a brilliant goal, everything, and then we got two set plays. And then, to stay in the game, to come back again, those are big moments in football.
“I enjoyed this game and this atmosphere with my whole body. Thank you for this.”
It’s really nice to see that he is eager to improve the relationship between the fans and the players. It’s also a great attempt from the German as he wants to enrich the Premier League with some of the Bundesliga’s more heart-warming traditions.