By 90Min
December 17, 2018

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has praised his team for their ability to nullify Manchester United, while revealing how the manner of Sadio Mane's opener was part of the plan, during their 3-1 victory over Jose Mourinho's side at Anfield on Sunday.

Liverpool managed 36 shots (the most in a Premier League game this season) and looked in control for the vast majority of the match. Goals from Mane and Jesse Lingard ensured the scoreline was level at half-time, but substitute Xherdan Shaqiri came off the bench to score twice and send Liverpool back to the top of the Premier League.

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Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Klopp admitted he was delighted with the performance. 

He said: "I'm just completely over the moon about the performance. The way the boys played tonight was just outstanding. 

"We saw the lineup of United and we all know about the quality they have and how well organised they are and then the five at the back, stuff like that, we knew it could be really tough."

Klopp revealed there was a concerted effort to be brave and to look for the chipped passes behind the defence, which led to Mane's volleyed opener.

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He continued: "The plan was to take the risks, to be really brave, to chip the ball behind the lines. Actually, the first goal we scored was pretty much - if you had drawn it before the game, that would have been the goal. It was just brilliant, I love it. 

"A fantastic performance, so deserved and a top, top, top class team playing football with such heart, I really love it."

Klopp also discussed the impact of substitute Shaqiri, who helped guide Liverpool to victory with his two goals. Klopp said: "I have to say, Pep [Ljinders] and Pete [Krawietz] wanted to do it a bit earlier and said 'we bring Shaq [Shaqiri] now, we bring Shaq now'. 

"I said 'Yeah, yeah, yeah' and then we brought him on and obviously the timing was not too bad. 

"Of course it was fantastic, the impact was brilliant and nice for him. But the performance, we need somebody who scores the goals obviously, but how the boys fought, that's just amazing. This mix of a big fight and really playing football against an unbelievably strong team here.

"I don't think they wanted to be that defensive today, but we just didn't let them out of their own half. They had their moments of course but, overall, it was just brilliant."

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