Liverpool scored four outstanding goals and survived a late City fightback from 4-1 to inflict a first Premier League defeat on Pep Guardiola’s leaders in 31 games, the Guardian reported.
The 4-3 victory arrived in Liverpool’s first outing since selling Coutinho to Barcelona for £142 million and Klopp admitted it was essential for his team to respond convincingly to the Brazilian’s departure.
“We made the right statement,” the Liverpool manager said.
“It was not that I said to the players before the game: ‘It would be nice if you could win so nobody talks about Phil,’ but it was important for us to show it’s possible to win without him.
“It was a very important statement but that is all. We’ve got three points but we got them in a very important moment.”
Liverpool’s front three of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah all scored in the space of nine second‑half minutes after Alex Oxlade‑Chamberlain had given the home side an early lead.
And Klopp, desperate before kick-off to avenge the 5-0 defeat at the Etihad Stadium in September, admitted Liverpool’s adventurous display was the only way to play Guardiola’s men.
“You have no alternative if you want to beat City. You could sit deep in your box and hope nothing happens but we are Liverpool and we should try to win this way. The way we pressed in the second half was outstanding, on a different planet. It is a historical day. It may be the only game City lose this season because they are so strong.”
Guardiola admitted City “lost a little bit of our control” amid a frenzied Anfield atmosphere and the Citizens’ reaction to a first league defeat since April 2017 would shape the remainder of their title pursuit.
The City manager said, “We played good for 10-15 minutes in the second half until the goal from Firmino and after that we lost a little bit of our control. We were involved in the environment of Anfield for many reasons.
“It is our first defeat and you need to live those situations to realize what we have done so far. We have to be sure to win the next one and fight until the end to win the Premier League.”
Guardiola said he expected to lose Fabian Delph “for a while” after the converted left-back sustained a knee injury that resulted in his leaving Anfield on crutches.