Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum admits it would be nice to make things easier for themselves after edging another tight encounter to maintain their 100 per cent start to the season.
James Milner’s added-time penalty snatched a 2-1 win over Leicester on Brendan Rodgers’ first return to Anfield, four years and a day after he was sacked as Reds boss.
It was the third time in a week Jurgen Klopp’s side had edged a game by a single-goal margin after they benefited from a goalkeeping error at Sheffield United last weekend and had to bounce back from letting a three-goal lead slip to beat Red Bull Salzburg 4-3 in the Champions League.
😱😱😱 What. A. Game!
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) October 2, 2019
“I’m not really worried because we’ve shown we can fight until the end,” said Wijnaldum after a 17th successive Premier League win, one short of Manchester City’s record, and an eighth on the bounce this season.
“But of course we want to make it easier for ourselves during the games by scoring more goals and playing good football and open up a gap between us and the other team.
“But we just have to go out and deal with the situation.
“We already showed it a few times this season but we hope to make it easier for us during the games, but until now it didn’t happen often.
“We’ve had games like this where we have had to fight until the end and win the game. We did it again but we hope to make it easier.”
— Gini Wijnaldum (@GWijnaldum) October 5, 2019
Liverpool dominated the first half but had only Sadio Mane’s 41st-minute goal – his 50th in the Premier League for the club – to show for it after Milner’s raking pass released the Senegal international, who should have doubled their lead before the break.
In the second half, with Klopp’s side unable to gain full control, Leicester hit back through James Maddison 10 minutes from time to set up an anxious finish – but Milner was the coolest man inside Anfield with the seconds counting down, with his 17th success from 19 spot-kicks for the club.
“Top teams always do it, they go to the very end of the game,” said the 33-year-old.
“When you haven’t had your best game or things haven’t gone for you in the game, you keep going to the very end and find a way to win.
“We’ve done it on numerous occasions. Sometimes there’s a bit of luck in there, but forcing the issue and creating your own luck, the best teams always seem to do it.”
Despite the nature of the defeat Rodgers was satisfied with his side’s performance.
“You come to a stadium that is one of the most difficult in Europe in terms of momentum and we were able to turn the momentum around for us,” he said.
“You have to have all types. We had to have that persistence and perseverance but when we had spells with the ball, we looked creative and we had a threat.
“It wasn’t to be but I am proud of coming here and bringing a team to compete at that level.”