LONDON (Reuters) - Liverpool moved top of the Premier League on Saturday but their “creative mood” almost cost them, manager Juergen Klopp said after lowly Cardiff City briefly threatened a comeback before the Reds ran out 4-1 winners at Anfield.
Liverpool were 2-0 up and cruising, but Callum Paterson pulled a goal back and Cardiff momentarily looked like getting a second before Klopp’s side regained their composure and finished comfortable winners.
And despite the impressive margin of victory, Klopp said his side have to “sort” their concentration levels after missing out on a 10th successive home Premier League clean sheet.
“[Conceding] is a dampener,” Klopp told the BBC.
“If somebody would have told me 4-1 before the game I would have taken it, even without the clean sheet, but staying on the highest concentration level is a challenge for us. We have to sort it.
“Yes, conceding the goal was not nice, but it woke us up. Ninety minutes in the creative mood costs you. The boys don’t like it, I don’t like it, but the goal helped because at 2-1 Cardiff started believing and we used the space for nice goals.”
Klopp has an embarrassment of riches at his disposal — particularly in attack — with Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and substitute Xherdan Shaqiri all finding the net in what were impressive performances.
“Having a good footballer helps,” Klopp said of Shaqiri who impressed with an effervescent cameo off the bench.
“Four games in a row he has played with us and his country so (it was) clear he would not start today. Bringing him on is a good thing to do. He had a good impact.
“We have a good squad. If they stay fit we have a lot of players who can play.
“In my whole life I wanted to be top for 24 hours,” he joked ahead of rivals Manchester City’s fixture at Tottenham Hotspur on Monday. “Not too decisive but 26 points is good.”
While Liverpool are top and 10 points better off than at the same stage of last season, Cardiff have endured a difficult return to the top flight, picking up just five points from their opening 10 matches.
“Anfield is an intimidating place,” manager Neil Warnock said. “Our fans were fantastic. They know we are up against it. The lads gave everything.
“It was so quiet when Paterson scored, you had to dream of a comeback. We’re limited but improving, and the fans are with us.”
Reporting by Tom Hayward,; Editing by Neville Dalton