Jurgen Klopp admits he risked upsetting his Liverpool players to ensure a first clean sheet since September.
The Reds sauntered to a 3-0 win at Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon to open up an 11-point advantage at the Premier League summit.
Three goals in 19 minutes either side of half-time from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keita and Mohamed Salah stretched Liverpool's unbeaten league run to 33 games.
But Klopp has explained how encouraging his players to curb their natural attacking instincts wasn't universally welcomed during a one-sided second half.
“At 3-0 we controlled the game so nothing really happened any more,” said the Reds boss.
“The players didn’t like it too much. I didn’t want to see unnecessary risks.
“If you lose the ball, it’s not a problem in football but it’s not a time where you have to chase constantly. Players who run for a counter-attack, I didn’t want that.
“It was maybe the most exciting but it was necessary. It was a super performance, super individual performances and the team performance was really mature and professional and what we needed today.”
Liverpool's clean sheet was only their third in 15 Premier League games this season, and their first in 14 in all competitions since the 1-0 triumph at Sheffield United more than two months ago.
And Klopp believes it was ideal preparation for Tuesday's Champions League group decider at RB Salzburg, where a goalless draw would progress the Reds to the knockout stages.
“I’d forgotten actually how it feels!” he said of the shut-out. “It feels great, we should have had more.
“It was the most-used word among the boys in the dressing room... 'Clean sheet, clean sheet, clean sheet'.
“Obviously everyone was desperate for that and now we have it so let’s have it more often.
“The next game, where a clean sheet would be really useful, is already around the corner on Tuesday so it feels good.”
Having had a succession of fraught finishes in recent weeks, Liverpool recorded a 15th win in 16 Premier League games in comfortable fashion.
And Klopp added: “We have had so many games which we have had to chase until the last second because we were 1-0 down, it was 1-1, whatever.
“When you have this really rare, comfortable situation when you’re 3-0 up you should really control the game.
“We had it a couple of days ago where we were 4-1 up but made it exciting again with an unnecessary lack of concentration so we had to work a lot harder but that’s it.
“You have to do different things to win football games and today this was what we had to do. The boys did it.”