Premier League • England

Jurgen Klopp admits Liverpool title triumph is ‘unlikely’ despite win; left ‘outraged’ by referee decision

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp

Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool winning the Premier League title is ‘unlikely’ after they beat Southampton 2-1 at St Mary’s.

The Reds had to win against Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side to keep on Manchester City’s trail. And they did so thanks to goals from Takumi Minamino and then Joel Matip.

But it wasn’t simple for Liverpool as they went behind in the 13th minute due a deflected Nathan Redmond strike.

Klopp’s men showed spirit and got level later in the first half when Minamino smashed into the top corner from close range.

After the break, Matip won the match for Liverpool by sending a looping header into the far corner from a set piece – our player ratings are available here.

During a post-match interview with BBC Sport, Klopp said: “The way we played with nine changes is outstanding. I saw a sensational performance without rhythm.”

Liverpool thought they should have had a free-kick in the build up to Redmond’s goal when Lyanco brought Diogo Jota down.

Klopp added: “The mentality after being 1-0 down in a situation I think we agree could have been a free kick. We were all a bit outraged but the boys calmed down.

Roberto Firmino and Jack Stephens

“We scored a wonderful goal, we were never out of the game but it was open again. Second half we kept going, had spells where we didn’t control the ball well enough then scored to make it 2-1 and then it was normal.

“Top game, unbelievable performance, nine changes. It worked out because of the players. If it hadn’t worked out it 1000% would have been my responsibility.”

When asked about the title, Klopp said: “Of course it is unlikely because City play at home against Aston Villa, who play only on Thursday. It will be tough against Burnley, they fight for survival.

“But it is football. I think the time when City became champions [in 2019] it was because of 11 millimetres. If someone wants us to be champion then we have to win first and Aston Villa need to get a point at City.

“It is possible, not likely but possible. That is enough.”

James Milner hails ‘incredible’ team-mates

During a post-match interview with Sky Sports, James Milner said: “The guys are incredible. The guys who may not have played as much but you see it in training every day the level they put in and you can see it when they need to step up.

“It is a special group of players and a special football club. We fight to the end and keep going. All we can do is take it as far as we can.

“It shows how ready everyone is, how ready they are mentally. It is special and that starts right from the top with the manager.”

On the final day, Milner added: “We will try and win our game, it is all we can do.”

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