Klopp tells Liverpool to push for title despite damaging spell

AFP , Friday 19 Apr 2024

Jurgen Klopp has told spluttering Liverpool they can still clinch the Premier League title if they recover from a dismal spell by winning the last six matches of his reign.

Klopp
Liverpool s German head coach Jurgen Klopp looks on prior to the UEFA Europa League quarter-final second leg football match between Atalanta BC and Liverpool FC at the Atleti Azzurri d Italia Stadium in Bergamo, on April 18, 2024. AFP

 

Klopp's side crashed out of the Europa League quarter-finals on Thursday after a 1-0 win against Atalanta that failed to overturn the three-goal first leg deficit.

It was the latest blow for Klopp in the closing weeks of his nine-year stay at Anfield.

Liverpool also bowed out of the FA Cup at the quarter-final stage after losing to a last-gasp goal at bitter rivals Manchester United.

United rubbed salt into Liverpool's wounds by holding them to a draw in the Premier League on April 7, before Crystal Palace plundered a shock win at Anfield last weekend.

Klopp's men have gone from leading the table to sitting two points behind leaders Manchester City in third place.

But the German, whose team travel to Fulham on Sunday, has not given up hope on giving Liverpool a record-equalling 20th English title as a parting gift.

"It's not obviously in our hands, it is not about that. I think if we would win all our games there is a good chance we will be champion. If not there is a good chance someone else will be champion," Klopp told reporters on Friday.

"Maybe we only have to win five, but nobody knows. Who would have thought that Arsenal lose against Aston Villa?

"We all sit here and think 'OK, yeah. City will win all their games' and that's happened quite frequently, but they have a lot of games to play and difficult opponents as well.

"We don't think about that. We don't think about them. It is just how can we make sure we start wining games again."

Liverpool have had two seasons where the title race with City has seen them miss out by just one point after both clubs finished strongly.

But Klopp, who ended Liverpool's 30-year wait to win the title in 2020, said that experience was not necessarily useful for the current three-team battle with City and second-placed Arsenal.

"When we were in the position we didn't win the league in the end. We lost by a point and stuff like that. What kind of experience is that?" he said.

"We know how to get there, and then don't win. It's not about that.

"It's good to know that you are good and you can cause other teams problems. But the thing is clear: if you want to be champion in the Premier League you have to be close to perfect.

"If you are not perfect you have to deal with the setbacks in the best possible way or in a perfect way.

"That is what we are now doing. We had a setback week with three games we didn't like too much, the results especially, and now we have to start turning it around."

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