Jürgen Klopp opened his Premier League account, leading Liverpool to a 3-1 win against Chelsea. The Reds hardly looked like a classic Klopp team, but they did enough to get by the Blues to pile pressure on Mourinho.
In his final press conference ahead of Liverpool's clash with Chelsea in London, Jürgen Klopp talked about his cordial relations with controversial Blues coach José Mourinho.
"I think if you're not a journalist or a referee, he can be a nice guy," Klopp said with a wry smile.
But relations between the two men may have taken a knock after Klopp's Reds handed disappointing Chelsea their sixth loss of the season on Saturday. Mourinho already looked as though his head were in danger of imminent explosion prior to Saturday, and the Blues' toothless performance in front of their home fans isn't going to lower the Special One's blood pressure.
Chelsea began in customarily destructive fashion, and they took the lead after only three minutes through a Ramires header. It would prove to be the Blues' only shot on target in the first half.
Liverpool showed little of the high-pressing "full-throttle" football for which Klopp's title-winning Dortmund sides were known. Indeed, they were stymied by Chelsea's defensive bulwark until the dying moments of the first half. In the third minute of added time (only two had been indicated), Chelsea lost track of Liverpool midfielder Phillipe Coutinho, and the Brazilian leveled the score.
Coutinho trumps Mourinho
Mourinho, already halfway down the tunnel, turned round to scowl briefly at that latest development and what happened in the second half elicited more sour grimaces from the Portugese. A little over a quarter of an hour from time, with Chelsea increasing the offensive pressure, Coutinho curled in his second to put the visitors ahead.
Chelsea's marking on the goal left a lot to be desired. On Liverpool's third strike, it was nearly non-existent. Hulking striker Christian Benteke, not an easy player to overlook, was left alone to slot home from the center of the box.
The goal prompted Klopp's first leaping, first-pump celebration for his new employer. The 3-1 victory was hardly a vintage performance, but it's hard to argue that Liverpool didn't desire a win, given that they got off twice as many shots and put three times as many of them on goal as Chelsea.
Predictably, Mourinho didn't see things that way.
"In the second half something happened that didn't allow us to win the game," Mourinho said in his post-match remarks, probably implying that the referees had disadvantaged Chelsea.
Klopp was sympathetic with the Special One's plight.
"I feel for him," The German told reporters. "He's a great coach. I don't think anyone in this room doubts he's one of the best in the world. Things like this happen. I had a similar situation at Dortmund last year."
The Reds faltered at the beginning of the season under Klopp's predecessor Brendan Rogers. Klopp - who jokingly nicknamed himself the "Normal One" upon assuming the Liverpool job - at least has them out-running and out-hustling opponents.
The German head coach can now look to claim his first European win with his new side, against Russian club Rubin Kazan on Thursday night.