Liverpool's rout of West Ham 'was the perfect afternoon' - Jurgen Klopp

LONDON -- Jurgen Klopp declared Liverpool's 4-0 rout over West Ham United on Sunday as the "perfect afternoon."

Just Middlesbrough at Anfield next week now stand between Liverpool and a return to Champions League football after a resounding win at the London Stadium.

Two goals from man-of-the-match Philippe Coutinho, along with strikes from Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi, condemned West Ham to a big defeat in their final home match of the season.

"It was hard work," Klopp told a news conference. "There were a few moments where the game could have changed. I thought we were really deserved winners. We played a really good football game.

"The start was not that good, we changed system and, obviously, the one thing that is new is the situation on the wing.

"The start of the second half was brilliant. We played really good football and we were really direct. We analysed the information from the first half and the information from half-time and did a few different moves, surprising movements and better timing in running and passing. It's easy to say, much more difficult to do, but the boys really did brilliant.

"We scored the goals and controlled the game and could have scored more, but that's completely OK that we didn't. How I said, it was the perfect afternoon."

With Manchester City and Arsenal all recording wins on Saturday, the pressure was on Liverpool to deliver a result if a top-four finish was to remain in their own hands.

Klopp believes his players stayed cool in a must-win game and says their attention is already on the season finale against relegated Middlesbrough.

"Part of our life is to handle pressure -- to ignore the bad part of pressure and to use the good part of pressure. That's our job," he added. "I thought we did really well.

"We drew in the last game and didn't score the penalty and maybe people say: 'They can't deal with pressure.'

"These players did so good this season that we are in this situation. It's 73 points and nobody makes 73 points as a precedent. We had to work for it. The boys did it and today we saw a really convincing performance. There are no doubts.

"The first sentence the players said in the dressing room was: 'One more time, one more game.' We will stay focused, 100 percent. We know about the situation, the difficulty of the next game.

"Nobody will go into this game and underestimate Middlesbrough. They have had a hard season. I'm pretty sure they will want to enjoy football at Anfield and try everything to play good football -- that makes life difficult for us.

"If we can be as focused as today, as fluent as today and have good movements, then it will [still] be difficult."

Daniel Sturridge marked his first Premier League start since Jan. 2 with the opening goal of the game 35 minutes into the contest.

Klopp says the striker made the most of Roberto Firmino's absence through injury to deliver a timely performance.

When asked whether Sturridge made the difference on Sunday, Klopp replied: "What do you think?

"Unfortunately, he was not that often available. It's all good. I thought his timing was brilliant -- Roberto out, best training week, really good and part of everything. Fantastic game of him."

Meanwhile, Klopp says Firmino has a "bigger chance" of being available next weekend as he recovers from a muscle problem.