LIVERPOOL boss Jurgen Klopp believes Saints pushed his side all the way at Anfield and added: “I can’t remember a game against Southampton where it felt kind of comfortable.”

Klopp’s side stumbled over the line against Saints for only a second league win at Anfield in 2021 thanks to Sadio Mane’s first-half header and Thiago’s inaugural goal for the club since his switch from Bayern Munich.

It moved the Merseysiders to within six points of fourth-placed Leicester with a match in hand – the postponed game against Manchester United.

But Klopp, who spent a while chatting with Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl pre-match, insisted the St Mary’s side did not make it easy for his troops.

He said: “It was a big one for us, we really needed that and it was a tough one as well.

“It’s always like this against Southampton. I can’t remember a game against Southampton where it felt kind of comfortable.

“It was long ago we played, years ago, a cup game where we won with six, but it was before Ralph.

“They obviously have a very intense style and they ask for everything. We did a really good job and I am happy about that.

“We scored the goals. Obviously being 1-0 up for us is not a result where we feel halfway through, which is good because you should not.

“Scoring that second goal was obviously a big relief. What that means for our top-four hopes is that they are still alive, that’s all, nothing else.

“Our situation changed but the other teams not too much. The only thing we can do is win our games, which will be tough.

“Winning four games is pretty much the only chance we have. It will be difficult but we will try anyway.”

Saints were left to rue a number of missed chances, with Reds goalkeeper Alisson making the most saves (six) in keeping a clean sheet in his 96 Premier League appearances.

Speaking about his goalkeeper, Klopp added: “Great game – a little too exciting when he passed the ball to Che Adams!

“But apart from that, a great game. We are all waiting for the next Becker baby, so it’s like ‘still not? No’.

“The future father of three did a really good job. We knew before he was a good one and he showed it again.”