Klopp happy despite Liverpool's rare blank day
LONDON (Reuters) - So many goals fly in, often at both ends, during Liverpool matches that a scoreless 90 minutes against Southampton came as an unexpected shock, although Juergen Klopp was happy enough with the point that kept his side top of the Premier League.
Normal goal service may resume against Sunderland at Anfield next week, although Liverpool will again be without Adam Lallana, the player who might have made a difference at a rainswept St Mary's on Saturday.
Klopp said Lallana was expected to miss "two or three games", and in his absence Liverpool struggled to make their dominance pay, with Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho spurning the sort of chances they would normally bury, and Nathaniel Clyne also going close.
But Klopp does not dwell on negatives and he said he was satisfied with a point, even though Southampton did not register a shot on target.
"Not the best day in our life, but for sure not the worst," Klopp said. "Two things are important -- result and performance. Result not perfect but performance much better than expected. I'm absolutely OK.
"Very often in my life I have lost games like this. But we didn't because we stayed concentrated. That's very important. We had enough chances to win the game, in the second half especially."
Dejan Lovren, who was booed every time he touched the ball by Southampton supporters unhappy about the manner of his departure two years ago, will have been delighted that Liverpool kept what was only their second clean sheet of the season.
Lovren was one of two players returning, along with Coutinho, who had been a doubt after reporting back from international duty with a tight hamstring.
Klopp said the Brazilian would not have been risked had he not been 100 percent fit.
"We let him run," said the German, indicating they had been happy with his training ahead of the game.
The draw means Liverpool will surrender first place on Sunday if Chelsea win at Middlesbrough, but Klopp said they were relishing the challenge of seeking their first title in 27 years.
"(The table is tight) not only for us," Klopp said. "That is good. All teams are the same. This league is tough and we are here because of this and we like it."
(Reporting by Neil Robinson, editing by Ed Osmond, Neville Dalton)