Jurgen Klopp felt patience was pivotal to Liverpool rounding off 2015 with a 1-0 win over Sunderland that leaves his team with plenty to play for at the halfway stage of the season.

“It’s better if you decide the game early and things like this, but we are not in wonderland,” Klopp said after Wednesday’s game. “We had to wait for the special moment and work for it, and that’s what we did.

“We took the right information from the first half to try to do better in the second half. We started with better pressing in different situations.

“It’s always the biggest challenge in a game where the first thing to do is fight for second balls, to find the right moment for creative football and in defense for pressing. That’s not too easy.

“In the first half, obviously we had a lot of possession, no real chance or opportunity for Sunderland. They had some set-plays and one counter-attack, I think, but it was a big challenge for us.

“After halftime, we forced this goal and could have scored the second one and the decision would have been made, but we didn’t. So we had to stay concentrated until the end. We were, and it was a deserved win.”

The result, which followed the Boxing Day victory over Leicester City at home by the same score, lifted Liverpool to seventh in the Barclays Premier League table.

“We will be celebrating now from here the whole way until the plane, then we will fly home, go to bed and prepare ourselves for West Ham,” the manager continued. “30 points feels much better than 27 — more than three points better, to be honest. You can see how close it is — the ‘best teams’ in the league after 19 games have six points more than we have, so it’s not that much, but it’s a lot.

“We don’t have to think about this now. January is coming now, and we will play every three days. Today, this was the squad we have at this moment — no player more. Everybody needs a little bit of luck and then we will see.”

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Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@premierleague