Jesse Marsch claimed Leeds had “stopped the bleeding” after they ended a run of eight Premier League games without a win by beating Liverpool for the first time since April 2001.
Leeds, who started the day in the relegation zone and with their manager under intense pressure, produced a highly impressive away display to condemn Jürgen Klopp’s team to a first home league defeat in 30 matches.
Crysencio Summerville struck the winner in the 89th minute – and on the eve of his 21st birthday – to spark wild celebrations among the Leeds’ fans and in Marsch’s technical area.
A relieved Leeds manager said: “At 1-1 and when it was close against Fulham last week it was like we were waiting to lose more than pushing to win. The best part tonight was that you saw real resolve at 1-1. We needed Illan [Meslier] to make some big saves but I think the mentality to push and stay in the match and see if we could get three points showed resolve and belief.
“It was necessary to stop the bleeding. The guys are happy. There is music in the dressing room I want them to enjoy the moment, but we have use this to launch ourselves.”
Marsch admitted “the heat” was on him after eight league games without a win but insisted he felt no pressure from the Leeds hierarchy. He said: “Everybody’s made a big deal about firing me but the board and I have been unified and we’ve stuck together. My focus was on the team. The ability for them, at an incredibly tough moment in the season at a very difficult place against one of the best teams in the world, to come away with three points is incredibly important.”
Liverpool are eight points adrift of fourth-placed Newcastle after a second Premier League defeat in succession. Klopp admitted Champions League qualification will be beyond his team this season should their inconsistent form continue.
The Liverpool manager said of the gap: “That is not my main worry but of course I am not that dumb that I don’t know about the distance and who is up there. We cannot qualify for the Champions League if we play as inconsistently as we do at the moment. We have to fix that. A lot of things are still possible but for that we have to win some football games.”
Klopp admitted his team are finding it “difficult” to control games this season and again highlighted injuries as a contributory factor but cited poor defending for Liverpool’s first home league defeat since March 2021.
He added: “We have to fight through and fight for momentum and for confidence. I would have taken a point tonight nobody would have been happy but me, but my main issue is how we defended the second goal. We had a two v one situation on the wing but no challenge. Then we had three v one inside the box but no challenge.”