Liverpool’s 6-1 mauling of Leeds United at Elland Road on Monday was their best performance of the Premier League season, according to manager Jurgen Klopp, who has not ruled out a push for a Champions League place in the final weeks of the campaign.
The victory was the Reds’ first in six games in all competitions since they beat Manchester United 7-0 in early March, as they inflicted a record home league defeat on Leeds who are battling against relegation.
“I think it’s the best game we’ve played this season from all different perspectives,” Klopp said.
“We forced a lot of errors, sensational goals and counter-pressing, the best game for long time.
“There were a couple of tough moments, we conceded an unnecessary goal. Apart from that we were in control.”
Liverpool have also beaten Bournemouth 9-0 in the Premier League and Rangers 7-1 in the Champions League this season, but Klopp also said that he will always judge his players on performance rather than the number of goals they score.
“I’m not bothered about scoring six, it’s about the performance. This was a winning performance,” he added.
“We can be super offensive orientated if we react in the right moment. I can’t explain why our counter-pressing didn’t work (earlier this season) but tonight it clicked.
“I’m not sure how many goals we scored after we won the ball back – that makes all the difference.”
The visitors took the lead when Cody Gakpo’s goal was allowed to stand despite the ball striking Trent Alexander-Arnold’s arm in the build-up.
It was reported that the VAR (video assistant referee) official did not check the incident because it happened too far back in the move.
Mohamed Salah rubbed salt into the home side’s wounds when he increased Liverpool’s lead four minutes later before Luis Sinisterra got one back for the struggling hosts.
Diogo Jota’s double, another Salah strike and Darwin Nunez’s late effort ensured the Reds sealed all three points.
After coming within a whisker of winning a quadruple last season, Klopp’s men have been reduced to scrambling to reach next season’s Europa League or Europa Conference League, with the Champions League seemingly out of reach.
Eight-placed Liverpool are nine points behind Newcastle who are in fourth and Klopp said all they can do is keep winning in their eight remaining matches and hope the teams above them slip up.
“They can win all their games and we win all our games and there is no chance to change anything,” he said.
“We have to play really good football. If we do, we will get results and then we see where we end up on the table.”