An emotional Jurgen Klopp said the return of supporters to Anfield exceeded his expectations and provided a “goosebump” moment as 2,000 fans watched Liverpool move back joint-top of the Premier League with a 4-0 victory over Wolves.
Liverpool opened the gates of Anfield for the first time since March 11 and a select group of lucky ticket holders were given a footballing treat on the night they laid eyes on the Premier League champions for the first time.
Goals from Mohamed Salah, Georginio Wijnaldum, Joel Matip and a late Nelson Semedo own goal saw Liverpool sweep Wolves aside as Klopp’s side joined Tottenham two points clear at the summit after extending their formidable unbeaten home run in the league to 65 games.
“Wasn’t it the perfect night?” Klopp told Amazon Prime, moments after reviving his iconic fist-bump celebration in front of the Liverpool supporters on The Kop.
“Imagine 10 months ago somebody told us we would have a home game and only 2,000 people would show up. We would have thought, ‘Ok, a proper crisis, the football must be really bad’.
“And now, tonight, it was so enjoyable and nice. When we came out to warm-up we all had goosebumps, it was like, ‘Oh my god’.
“I said to the boys in the meeting before I had no idea how it would feel. If it’s good we have to use it, if it’s bad we have to ignore it. That’s how it is.
“It was better [than expected], much better. The noise that people made, they were on their toes and you could see and feel and smell they had waited so long for it, all of them. They were all here to support a football team.
“We are so used to playing without a crowd now. Each little positive you can get at this moment and in life in general is nice. It’s so much more enjoyable when the people are involved. This would not be the game we all love without supporters.”
There were so many other positives with a second successive clean sheet for Caoimhin Kelleher, on his Premier League debut, and the return from injury of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Naby Keita.
But it was the 2,000 supporters inside the ground that really made it for Klopp on an emotional reunion at Anfield.
“It was very emotional,” he added. “After 10 months without that it is a wonderful, wonderful sign. During the game was emotional, it was so nice to hear ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’.
“Having people in the stadium is another really good sign. Hopefully we can build on it as a society, not just a football society.
“People in the stadium were in the best shape and that was really nice. If none of my players or medical department tell me any player was injured, it was the perfect night.”
A large part of Klopp’s happiness came from the performance, with Wolves – who won at Arsenal last week – barely in the game.
“Wolves couldn’t get into the game tonight and I think that was because of the way my boys played. It was a really, good high-level performance,” Klopp said.
“There were a few challenges before the game – Wolves play different systems. I gave the boys information about how to press them. The boys were outstanding with how they dealt with them – our best result against Wolves.”