As Liverpool stumbles, Jurgen Klopp says he prefers to chase title
Jurgen Klopp took an unusual approach to Liverpool’s disappointing slump into second in the Premier League table after a 0-0 draw with Everton on Sunday.
The German boss said he’s got Manchester City right where he wants them.
“I’m completely fine with chasing,” Klopp said after the match. “Who wants to be top of the table at the beginning of March? It is nice but there are lots of games to play.”
While fans lamented the two points dropped that saw them fail to regain the lead in the table, Klopp was happy to have earned the draw and draw within one of Manchester City.
“I believe 100 percent in our chance. Game by game by game, my feeling gets better about the boys because they look really ready for it,” Klopp said. “We didn’t score, that happens. It was a difficult game. It was just a fight and we were ready for that fight. Now we have a point more than before. All good.”
When asked if Liverpool was too defensive, Klopp himself got defensive of his own tactical setup. “I’m really disappointed about your question. It’s football, we don’t play Playstation football,” Klopp said. “Do you think we didn’t take enough risks today? Was there any draw where we didn’t try to win? Bring on an extra attacker and football changes? It is not like that, come on. We are offensive enough, football doesn’t work like that. There are nine games to go and we don’t lose our nerves, not like you, obviously.”
Liverpool topped Everton in xG 1.18-0.43 at Goodison Park on Sunday, but a closer inspection shows they may not have deserved to win. Liverpool only out-passed Everton 73-60 in the attacking third and only out-shot the hosts 13-10, with each side managing to put three on target. The Reds only managed one truly big opportunity, with Mohamed Salah stopped by Jordan Pickford one-on-one in the 29th minute.
Liverpool has Burnley and Fulham up next in league play, while Manchester City has Watford, Fulham, Cardiff City, and Crystal Palace in its next four. Both teams are still alive in the Champions League as well, but Manchester City still must contend with the FA Cup while Liverpool has been bounced from that competition.