Jurgen Klopp feared he had celebrated too soon as he watched Liverpool withstand a late Arsenal fightback to seal a thrilling 4-3 Premier League win at Emirates Stadium.
Klopp’s men began their top-flight campaign in style and, following a stunning free-kick to equalise in first-half stoppage time from Philippe Coutinho, they were 4-1 up 18 minutes into the second half.
Adam Lallana, Coutinho and debutant Sadio Mane were all on target during a blistering spell of attacking football for the visitors before Arsenal substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and centre-back Calum Chambers set up a grandstand finish.
Klopp charged down the touchline to revel in Mane’s magnificent 63rd-minute goal and, by the time he realised he might be expressing premature joy, it was too late.
How much did you enjoy this celebration, Reds? pic.twitter.com/o0ew13XfH4
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) August 14, 2016
“I have a big part of the excitement of the last half an hour because it’s not allowed to celebrate a fourth goal when there’s still 30 mins to go,” he told Sky Sports.
“I knew it in the moment [I shouldn’t celebrate] but it was too late, I had Sadio on my back!
“The game is not over unfortunately, and Arsenal was not in a good way but we gave them the path [back into the match] again. In the end, I think over 90 mins [the win] is deserved.”
Theo Walcott missed a penalty shortly before putting Arsenal in front in the 31st minute – both incidents providing moments to forget for Liverpool’s under-pressure left-back Alberto Moreno – but Klopp was pleased by the way his side showed resilience under pressure to find a response.
“We were much better in the last 15 mins [of first half], then the wonderful goal of Phil,” he said. “All our goals were wonderful, to be honest.
“It looked like after half an hour, ‘oh, another Liverpool day’, but then we strike back and that’s very, very important.
“The defence in the last 10 mins, [needed] a bit more organisation and we had the opportunities for counter-attacks so there’s a lot to do.
“It showed we can always score goals, but we can defend much better and that’s what we have to do, of course.”
Asked whether he could handle such pulsating encounters every week, Klopp added: “Every week, I’m not sure but we jumped in the cold water.
“It’s hard but it’s the Premier League and nothing should be easy in this league so we need to be ready.”
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