Jurgen Klopp savours Liverpool's 'special' win over Brighton as 10-man Reds go 11 points clear

Virgil van Dijk scored twice in the first half at Anfield but there was a nervy finale for Liverpool after Alisson Becker's sending off

Jurgen Klopp celebrates with Andrew Robertson
Image: Jurgen Klopp celebrates with Andrew Robertson

Jurgen Klopp praised the character of his 10-man Liverpool side after they held on to claim a "special" 2-1 win over Brighton which put them 11 points clear at the top of the Premier League table.

Liverpool went into the final 15 minutes of the game two goals up thanks to a pair of first-half headers from Virgil van Dijk, but Alisson Becker was then shown a red card after he handled outside of his box, with Lewis Dunk taking the resulting free-kick quickly to beat substitute goalkeeper Adrian.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Liverpool's 2-1 win against Brighton

"Of course, life became more complicated with the red card and the change we had to make," said Klopp.

"We brought on a frozen goalkeeper, pretty much. Everybody sitting here is probably not really warm yet, and then you imagine you go on in shorts, a really thin shirt and some gloves which are not made for keeping you warm, and then, some people let the free-kick happen.

"You look a little bit silly in that moment, but that's what you have to accept."

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson was sent off after handling Leandro Trossard shot against Brighton
Image: Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson was sent off after handling Leandro Trossard's shot outside his box against Brighton

Brighton piled on the pressure after that, twice forcing saves from Adrian, but Liverpool survived the late onslaught to claim a club record-equalling 14th consecutive Premier League home win and capitalise on Manchester City's 2-2 draw with Newcastle earlier in the day.

"We kept on fighting and Adrian, especially, helped us a lot with two really, really good saves and crosses he caught… although with his cold feet he obviously couldn't [kick] the ball as far as he wanted.

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"That kept it a bit interesting, but in the end it's only important that we won the game and that's what we did, and I'm really pleased about that.

"I'm very, very happy with the effort the boys put in again. I'm really happy and proud of the desire the boys showed. The red card made it a really special win, to be honest."

In addition to winning 14 consecutive home Premier League games, Liverpool are now unbeaten in 31, equalling another club record, but Klopp insisted they are not getting carried away with their remarkable form or their 11-point lead at the top of the table.

Image: Virgil van Dijk scored twice in the first half

"Results-wise, it's an incredible period, for sure," he said. "But we don't want to think about the last 14 games. We are concerned about the next one, that's next Wednesday against Everton, so that's a big one.

"We have to make sure that we are prepared for that because that will be another big fight, whatever result Everton get tomorrow.

"We don't think about the points gap or anything. People are talking tonight about us being 11 points ahead, but Leicester play tomorrow, so it's still eight, that's how I see it - not that I don't think Everton can win there.

"We don't have to think about these kind of things. We only have to make sure we are ready always for the next game."

What's next?

Liverpool now host Everton in the Merseyside derby on Wednesday night at 8.15pm, before going to Bournemouth on Saturday at 3pm. Brighton are at Arsenal on Thursday at 8.15pm, and then host Wolves at 4.30pm on Super Sunday, live on Sky Sports Premier League.

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