Jurgen Klopp refused to acknowledge Jose Mourinho’s suggestion that the title is already in the bag for Liverpool by insisting even the “crazy situation” of being nine points ahead of Manchester City is not yet decisive in a long Premier League title race.
Their 3-1 win at Anfield left City fourth in the table, with Leicester and Chelsea the Reds’ nearest challengers eight points back, and Pep Guardiola knows his side face a tough challenge if they are retain the championship they won by a point from the Reds last season.
But he too pointed to the fact there are still 26 matches remaining – and Liverpool have a hectic December and January – which offers them some hope.
Klopp, however, is taking it one match at a time and had nothing to say about Mourinho’s claims in the Sky Sports studios before the game that a win over City would ensure they would finish the season as champions.
“I think Jurgen [Klopp] cannot say it but I can. I think nine points is, for a very good team, I think nine points is a different that you just have to control,” Mourinho said.
“So I would say that if Liverpool wins the game today, I think they will win the league.”
In response to the claims and following Sunday’s Anfield success, Klopp insisted it was far too soon to discuss it being Liverpool’s title and also batted off talk of matching Arsenal’s Invincibles.
“Are we thinking about going through the season unbeaten? Not at all,” said the German after his team made it 11 wins and a draw in the current league campaign.
“We just don’t think about it. We don’t feel any pressure, to be 100 per cent honest.
“The things that will now come up, we know about. If you are with us, then nine points is a positive. There’s a long way to go.
“Other people will 100 per cent say – and have said already – that from now on Liverpool can only lose it.
“That’s a very negative approach, but you can see it like this. But I can promise you that we don’t care.
“We were completely focused on this game and not the situation in the table and how many points we are ahead of City.
“That’s crazy. Nine points ahead of City, you cannot imagine that something like this would happen.
“But it’s not important because who wants to be first in November? You want to be first in May.
“The pressure or whatever is not there yet. It will come, but at the moment it’s just opportunity.”