Klopp sets lowly new target as Man Utd draw leaves Liverpool fourth

Date published: Monday 18th January 2021 7:12

Jurgen Klopp

Jurgen Klopp has revealed Liverpool face a tough battle just to qualify for the Champions League this season after lowering the chances of the Reds defending their title.

The goalless draw at home to current Premier League leaders Manchester United, together with wins for Leicester and Manchester City, saw Liverpool drop to fourth.

That is only five points ahead of ninth-placed West Ham. Liverpool also drew a blank for a third successive Premier League game. After the match, Klopp admitted he had no answer for their lack of goals.

And, in this most unusual of seasons, the Reds boss is aware the competition is likely to be closer than ever.

“In the season when we came second (2018-19), the day when I started really thinking about the title race was the day when it was clear that we are in the Champions League,” he said.

“I know my job and I know what I have to do. The most important thing is to qualify for the Champions League and I know how difficult it is. This season will be a tough race for the top four. True.

“I have no idea and I cannot decide how people look at it. I know that football fans in general are not the most patient species on this planet. They want to win each football game.

“I’m not too different to that. But I am long enough in the business to know that you have to go through more difficult periods as well.

“It’s not the most difficult in my life – not even close to it. It’s just a situation where we play football and have had injuries. We still have injuries but got used to the injuries we had in the long term. Now players are coming back.”


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Klopp focuses on positives

The match against their arch rivals never lived up to its top-of-the-table billing. While Liverpool had the best of the opening hour, United could easily have snatched victory in the latter stages.

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They were denied by goalkeeper Alisson Becker. He pulled off two good close-range saves to deny Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba.

He told Sky Sports: “If we won 1-0 I’d think it was completely fine. You can’t deny Manchester United chances for 90 minutes. You never could. They’re in a good moment.

“With all the things said before the game – they’re flying and we’re struggling – my boys did a good game tonight.

“First half the counter-press was great, passing was good. But we didn’t score. That’s the most important thing in football.

“The second half was a bit more open. They had two big chances – Alisson made two good saves.”

READ MORE: Liverpool star admits self-confidence ‘a bit down’ after Man Utd draw

 

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