Jurgen Klopp's reaction to Liverpool title is why Steve Kerr loves him


Jurgen Klopp's reaction to Liverpool title is why Steve Kerr loves him

Steve Kerr, like many Liverpool supporters, is a big fan of manager Jurgen Klopp.

The Warriors coach told NBC Sports Bay Area in October that Klopp and the club served as "a source of inspiration" for him. Kerr said he loved to watch Klopp coach, and the German manager's emotional reaction to Liverpool clinching their first-ever Premier League title -- thanks to Manchester City's loss to Chelsea -- makes it abundantly clear why.

"It's a big moment," Klopp tearily told Sky Sports on Wednesday night. "I have no real words, to be honest. It's such a big moment -- I'm completely overwhelmed. I never would've thought that it would feel like this. I had no idea, and it's just ... big."

Klopp has always worn his emotions on his sleeve, whether on the touchline or in his post-match press conferences.

The emotion that most endeared Klopp to Kerr was the Liverpool manager's joy.

"What I like is that he also seems to enjoy it," Kerr told Men In Blazers' Roger Bennett in a special that aired in November. "It's not just that he's a madman. He's laughing, and smiling and fist-pumping, and I love the concept of joy in sports. It's one of the most important values to me and the Warriors. Steph Curry -- you watch him play, and there's so much joy.

"It's a powerful emotion, a powerful factor for a great team of any sport. Joy, enjoying what you're doing and the joy of just feeling young and free, and playing."

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Liverpool reached Warriors-like heights Thursday, clinching the Premier League with a record seven matches remaining. The Reds are on pace to set records for total points, wins and the biggest gap between first and second place.

Kerr's beloved club are more than capable of doing so, in large part because of the manager Kerr greatly admires.

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Watch Bukayo Saka score volley goal after signing new Arsenal contract

Watch Bukayo Saka score volley goal after signing new Arsenal contract

Arsenal wunderkind Bukayo Saka has a lot going for him. He's a Premier League regular as an 18-year-old, and he just signed a long-term contract with his boyhood club.

Oh, and Saka can score goals like this.

Saka's stunning first-half volley against Wolves on Saturday was the first of what Arsenal hope are many in his Premier League career, and it gave the Gunners the lead in their 2-1 win. The deflected cross was no problem for the teenager, and Wolves goalkeeper Rui Patricio could do nothing to stop Saka's striker from heading into the top corner.

Wolves entered the day in sixth place in the Premier League table, in large part because Nuno Espirito Santo's side hadn't conceded a goal in their last four Premier League matches. Thanks to the league suspending the season due to the coronavirus pandemic, it had been over four months since a Premier League side scored against them.

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Arsenal opened Project Restart with two consecutive defeats, but Saka's opener sent the Gunners on the path to their third straight Premier League win. They jumped to seventh with the win, and Arsenal remain eight points back of fifth-place Chelsea.

Saka's a bright part of the Gunners' future, but his goal Saturday shows why manager Mikel Arteta trusts the teenager so much in the present, too.

Watch Man City give Liverpool honor guard for winning Premier League

Watch Man City give Liverpool honor guard for winning Premier League

As is customary but not necessarily compulsory, Manchester City players applauded their Liverpool opponents as they took the pitch Wednesday at the City of Manchester Stadium.

City gave Liverpool a guard of honor to commemorate the Reds' first-ever Premier League title, which was clinched after City's loss to Chelsea last week. The reigning champions clapped on their successors in Liverpool's first match since becoming the earliest Premier League side to win the title.

You can go back to 1955 when a guard of honor made its first appearance in the top flight of English soccer, when Manchester United applauded then-First Division champions Chelsea as they took the pitch. They've been common in the Premier League, and City themselves received one when they clinched the title during the 2017-18 season.

What made Thursday's guard of honor striking was seeing the reigning Premier League champions give one. This isn't the first time that's happened, as Chelsea honored Leicester City in 2016 after winning the league the previous season.

Leicester's title was a massive upset, whereas Manchester City fended off a fierce Liverpool challenge to win the Premier League last season. City's margin of victory atop the league (1 point) was owed almost entirely to a January 2019 win over Liverpool. Nevertheless, Pep Guardiola said his players would honor Liverpool's achievement.

"We will greet Liverpool, when they come to our house, in an incredible way," Guardiola said last week. "We are going to do it because they deserve it."

[RELATED: Klopp's reaction to PL title exactly why Kerr admires him]

Liverpool's 23-point lead over City entering Thursday was far bigger than either club could've expected before the season, and the Reds' eventual margin of victory surely will shape Guardiola's approach to the impending transfer window.

Even before then, Thursday's guard of honor should drive home how far City have to climb back atop the Premier League.