Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says his side are still in “exciting places” after beating Sheffield United to end a run of four successive Premier League defeats and move within two points of a Champions League spot.
Blades goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale produced a string of fine saves to frustrate Liverpool in the first half as the Reds’ recent lack of cutting edge in front of goal looked set to continue.
But 20-year-old Curtis Jones showed the clinical touch his team-mates had been missing to break the hosts’ resolve shortly after the interval.
Roberto Firmino’s effort then deflected off Kean Bryan and over a stranded Ramsdale as Liverpool doubled their lead with the club’s 7,000th goal in England’s top division.
The Reds are only the second team to achieve that landmark, after Merseyside rivals Everton who have scored 7,108.
“Plenty of people have written us off. That’s fine,” said Klopp, whose side are sixth and two points behind West Ham in fourth. “With all the problems we have had we’re still around the exciting places.
“This was about us showing we’re still there. We play Chelsea on Thursday, we have to show it again. We have to win football games, we know that. There’s no way into the Champions League without results.”
Sheffield United were competitive throughout and Oliver McBurnie may have done better when he headed wide while unmarked from Oliver Norwood’s cross.
But the bottom-placed Blades will now have to produce an unprecedented recovery if they are to remain in the Premier League this season.