Jürgen Klopp said he “almost cried” when Mohamed Salah generously let Roberto Firmino take Liverpool’s second penalty so that he could complete his hat-trick in Saturday’s 5-1 demolition of Arsenal.
Arsenal were well and truly outclassed at Anfield despite taking an early lead through Ainsley Maitland-Niles, as the Reds moved nine points clear at the top of the table. Firmino hit back with two quickfire goals, before Sadio Mané and Salah – from the penalty spot – had Liverpool 4-1 up by half-time.
Charitable gesture from Salah
The Reds were given another penalty in the second half when Sead Kolasinacappeared to nudge Dejan Lovren to the ground, but Salah handed the ball to Firmino to take it and he duly completed his first Premier League treble. Klopp singled that moment out at full-time.
“We knew in the second half that the game wasn’t finished, so we wanted to control it,” Klopp told BBC Sport. “Mo Salah gave the penalty to Bobby [Firmino] and I almost cried because we all know how much Mo wants to score goals. It was really nice.”
Klopp was also keen to laud Liverpool‘s response to initially falling behind, as they bounced back emphatically and swiftly. “The response [to going behind] was world class,” he added. “We stayed calm and really forced the mistakes. Firmino’s second when Sadio [Mané] won the ball – wow. It was perfect defending.”
Up next for Liverpool in the Premier League is a trip to defending champions Manchester City on 3 January.
A little message from the man himself… 🎩❤ pic.twitter.com/VRxmMLEjWW
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 29, 2018