Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp left the touchline at The Hawthorns with three points and frayed nerves after Roberto Firmino scored the only goal against West Brom.
Firmino’s header from a James Milner set-piece in first-half stoppage time sealed a 1-0 win, with West Brom threatening sparingly before a late barrage in stoppage time.
Liverpool’s defence stood firm impressively in front of goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, showing a resilience they have lacked at times this season.
But, having already racked up some terse tussles with Albion boss Tony Pulis during his time in the Premier League, Klopp found it impossible to relax.
“It is one of the most difficult places to come because in no game can you feel comfortable,” he told a post-match news conference.
“Somebody asked me which result would have kept me a little bit calmer in the last few minutes and I said only 4-0 after 86 minutes! Maybe then I would have felt okay, but now it’s done.
“With West Brom, it is not only set pieces, they have really good footballers on the pitch and if you’re a little bit less aggressive then immediately they use their threat around set-pieces to play football because you don’t want to go in with real challenges.
“That makes it really difficult, so you need to be at your highest concentration level – but we have been.”
Klopp: “This is one of the most difficult places. I would only be comfortable at 4-0 after 80 minutes!”
A hard-fought three points indeed. pic.twitter.com/QITiT9LvWp
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) April 16, 2017
Klopp led buoyant celebrations in front of the travelling fans, with Liverpool moving up to third in the table and keeping their bid for Champions League qualification on track.
“I don’t think we did crazy things, but yes we are very happy. They were only three points. We had 63 before we came here, now 66 and that’s a wonderful number for the next six or seven days and then we want to have 69.
“I really thought that the boys were in a really difficult game in not the easiest situation, but they did really well.
“You can always do better, but we learned in the game and I liked it
a lot that the second half looked better tuned than the first. I am really happy about the performance.”
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