Liverpool, Klopp keeping their cool amid title race
LIVERPOOL -- Relief was in the air at Anfield on Sunday at the final whistle, but it shouldn’t have been.
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Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 after fighting back from an early setback, as they kept their unbeaten start to the season going and extended their lead atop the Premier League table to six points.
There was an air of expectancy before the game as Klopp’s side are now unbeaten in 45 home games in the PL and have lost just once in their last 49 PL matches. They are scrapping their way to wins this season and are proving their ability to deal with the increased expectations from not only their own fans but themselves.
10 games in this season, it is still early days, but Klopp was delighted with the counter-pressing from his side as they peppered Spurs’ goal and if it wasn’t for a sublime display by Paulo Gazzaniga they would have won by a heavier margin.
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Asked by ProSoccerTalk after the game if that was their best display of the season so far, Klopp was extremely happy with how his boys played, but he’s trying his best to keep his cool.
“I don’t know exactly. I loved a lot of games already this season, the Arsenal game was a really good one to be honest,” Klopp smiled. “We need to play really, really well. I’ve already got the questions about 28 points, blah, blah, blah, already two wins ahead of Manchester [City]. We don’t have to think about what happened if we lost today, how the questions would have been. We know exactly what we have to do. We have to be focused and concentrated on all the specific games. Next one Arsenal, then Aston Villa, then Genk, then Man City, then again international breaks, I can’t believe it, then a very busy December. There is still a lot to come but so far, so good.”
Liverpool’s players were keeping their feet firmly on the ground after the game too, as they know there’s still a long way to go and a six-point lead at this point of the season means absolutely nothing.
They of course know that all too well from last season.
“For us it’s all about the next game. That’s our focus. We’re not looking where we are in the league or how many points we have got. The next team is Arsenal in midweek and that’s what we have to get ready for,” Henderson told BBC Sport. “We are very critical of ourselves and always want to do better. The good thing is we keep winning games. There are still things we can improve on.”
Liverpool have yet to hit third or fourth gear this season but they are six points clear at the top of the table and showing signs of a true Championship-winning team.
Even if nobody wants to admit it.
Manchester City are trying to chip away at Liverpool’s lead and everything points to their monumental clash on Nov. 10 at Anfield as being pivotal in deciding where the title will go this season.
Everybody at Liverpool is trying their best to stay calm and not mention the ‘T word’ (which is trophy, by the way), but there’s a growing sense of optimism that this Liverpool team is more robust, more mature and better equipped to pip Man City and Pep Guardiola to the title this season.
Klopp and his players won’t admit it, neither will Liverpool’s fans, but the fact the Reds haven’t been at their best and are six points clear at the top of the table isn’t a worrying thing.
It should be frightening for the rest of the league that the best is yet to come from Liverpool.
Maybe that is why Klopp and Co. are cool as you like as they head into the busy winter months.