LONDON (Reuters) - Liverpool scored three league goals at Chelsea for the first time in 26 years to give Juergen Klopp his maiden Premier League win but the German coach is under no illusions that they are ready to fight for top honours.
“Oh, please are you crazy...” Klopp replied when asked if Saturday’s 3-1 win at Stamford Bridge was a sign that a potential title challenge was now on the cards.
While Chelsea’s brittle confidence was there for all to see and etched into the faces of their struggling players, this was Liverpool’s best performance by far since Klopp took the reins three weeks ago.
Two previous league draws at Tottenham Hotspur and at home to Southampton had included hints of improvement, especially in defence, but Saturday’s victory was dominant and thoroughly deserved.
Klopp’s side were certainly aided by Philippe Coutinho’s superb goals, the first, a stunning left-foot effort from outside the box to level the match in first-half stoppage time.
The Brazilian’s second came 30 minutes into the second half and was helped into the net via a deflection off John Terry’s leg.
That handed Liverpool a 2-1 lead and took the wind out of Chelsea’s sails, with substitute Christian Benteke claiming his fourth league goal of the season in a final blow for the hosts.
Liverpool’s passing was crisp and decisive, they hogged 57 percent of possession at the home of the struggling champions and, despite not playing with a recognised striker for more than an hour, looked far more threatening than the dispirited hosts.
Even their ability to overcome the blow of conceding early to Ramires’s header was in marked contrast to some of Liverpool’s early performances under Klopp.
The former Borussia Dortmund coach had suggested Liverpool’s body language after conceding a late equaliser to Southampton last weekend had left a lot to be desired.
The difference to how they reacted to going a goal down at Chelsea was stark.
”We had not the best start, that’s the truth,“ said Klopp. ”We had our moments, our build up with short passes was very good. They tried to make pressure but we could play in the spaces in between.
”We had control of these situations. We made a goal and deserved the draw at halftime. The second half was open and we made our goals at perfect moments for us.
“I feel it (the win) is deserved. We have worked hard but it’s normal if you want to win in Chelsea.”
After a second successive victory, following Wednesday’s League Cup victory against Bournemouth, Klopp has a platform to take into some testing fixtures that include a trip to leaders Manchester City in three weeks’ time.
However, the German is keeping his feet on the ground.
“We won our first game away in a long time, that’s it,” he said. “All the things we can improve, but for today, it was a deserved win, let’s go home.”
Reporting by Toby Davis; Editing by Ken Ferris