EPL

Klopp's 300th Liverpool game comes amid fading title defence

By Sports Desk February 12, 2021

Jurgen Klopp will take charge of his 300th Liverpool game when the Premier League champions head to Leicester City on Saturday.

The German has brought the glory days back to Anfield since replacing Brendan Rodgers in 2015, winning the Champions League in 2018-19 before ending a 30-year wait for a top-flight title last season.

However, injury problems have contributed to a dip in form this term and they trail Manchester City by 10 points, leaving Klopp in a less celebratory mood than he might have been ahead of his landmark.

"First and foremost it doesn't feel like [I'm approaching my 300th game] in this moment, I can tell you," he said ahead of his meeting with Rodgers' side this weekend.

"It's not really important. It's something that when I'm not here any more I will think about the time I had here.

"I know that my job is still the present and the future, and not the past. Game number 300 is very important to me, and games one to 299 not a little bit at this moment.

"We know that we are not completely clueless or whatever, but we know that we have to be successful in the future and that's what we try.

"I don't get the noise around the results...but I know what the situation is and I talk about results in general.

"Even though I know the reason why we are not flying, I expect us to win more football games than we did to be honest, and that's what I'm concerned about."

While the Reds' title defence may be crumbling under immense pressure from City, Klopp's record still makes for impressive reading.

In his 299 games to date, the 53-year-old has won 177, with only Kenny Dalglish (185) having claimed more victories at the same stage of his reign.

His win percentage stands at a club-record 59.2, putting him above the likes of Bill Shankly (51.9) and Bob Paisley (57.4), with Liverpool having scored 614 goals under his charge, conceding 308.

Klopp will need to stick around on Merseyside for quite some time if he wants to rack up the highest number of wins, with Shankly having triumphed 415 times from his 799 matches.

His top priority will be aiming to respond to the setback of suffering consecutive defeats for the first time in his tenure, having been beaten by Brighton and Hove Albion before losing to Pep Guardiola's in-form side.

The last man to oversee three losses on the bounce for Liverpool was Foxes boss Rodgers, with Klopp's predecessor having achieved a 50 per cent win ratio at the club.

History weighs heavily against Rodgers piling the misery on Klopp, with managers who have previously been in charge of Liverpool having lost their last 12 Premier League matches against the Reds by an aggregate score of 39-8.

The last former Liverpool boss to win against them in the Premier League was Roy Hodgson with West Brom back in 2012.

Related items

  • Leeds strike deal for Salzburg's USMNT star Brenden Aaronson as Marsch brings in familiar face Leeds strike deal for Salzburg's USMNT star Brenden Aaronson as Marsch brings in familiar face

    Leeds United have agreed a deal to sign Salzburg's Brenden Aaronson after Jesse Marsch swooped on his former club for the United States midfielder.

    Reports have indicated Aaronson will cost Leeds in the region of £24.7million (€29m) when the transfer officially goes through on July 1.

    He has committed to a five-year contract and will strengthen the Leeds midfield after the Premier League side avoided relegation on the final day of the season thanks to a win at Brentford.

    Former Philadelphia Union player Aaronson, 21, has earned 18 caps for the USA and scored five goals for his country.

    He joined Salzburg in January 2021, fresh from being named in the MLS Best XI for the previous season, and had a key role as head coach Marsch's team wrapped up a Bundesliga and cup double.

    While Marsch moved on to RB Leipzig at the end of that season and later arrived at Leeds, Aaronson stayed on in Salzburg and helped Matthias Jaissle's side reach the last-16 stage of the Champions League.

    Salzburg also landed another domestic double, and Aaronson believes the time has come to move on to bigger things.

    He told Salzburg's website: "I can barely believe that it was only a year and a half I spent playing for FC Red Bull Salzburg.

    "This big step from my homeland in the US to Europe was made an extremely easy one by everyone at the club, from the players, coaches and all the staff, and I had a fantastic time here. To come to Salzburg was totally the best decision I could have made!

    "After our strong performance in the Champions League and winning the double, it's the perfect time for me now to move to a new and really big league."

  • Aston Villa agree deal for Sevilla defender Diego Carlos Aston Villa agree deal for Sevilla defender Diego Carlos

    Aston Villa have agreed a deal with Sevilla to sign centre-back Diego Carlos for an undisclosed fee.

    The club confirmed on Thursday the player will travel to England "in the next few hours" to finalise personal terms and undergo a medical, with reports suggesting the fee will be in the region of £26.4million (€31m).

    Diego Carlos would be Villa's second signing in the space of a few days, with a deal also announced earlier this week for Marseille midfielder Boubacar Kamara, who will soon become a free agent.

    Former Nantes defender Diego Carlos was pursued by Newcastle United for much of the January transfer window – even reportedly handing in a transfer request – but will now link up instead with Steven Gerrard's side, who finished 14th in the Premier League this season.

    The 29-year-old played 136 games for Sevilla since his signing in 2019, winning the Europa League in 2020 when his overhead kick was turned into his own net by then Inter striker Romelu Lukaku for the decisive goal in the final.

    Diego Carlos was also a part of the Brazil team that won gold at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

    A statement on Sevilla's website also confirmed the news, with the Spanish club adding: "Sevilla FC wants to thank the player for his work during all these years in Seville and wishes him the best of luck in his new professional stage."

  • French Open: Swiatek eases past Riske to extend stunning winning run French Open: Swiatek eases past Riske to extend stunning winning run

    Iga Swiatek again showed relentless form to ease past Alison Riske and book her place in the third round of the French Open on Thursday.

    The number one seed stormed to a 6-0 6-2 victory on Court Suzanne-Lenglen, and will now face Danka Kovinic – the latest woman to attempt to halt the WTA Tour's winning machine.

    Chasing her 30th straight win, there was an ominous start from Swiatek, who sealed the first set in just 20 minutes as Riske won just seven points.

    Swiatek was ruthless as she sped through the games, winning all three break points against Riske to get halfway to victory in double quick time.

    The American tried to fight back at the start of the second, but Swiatek seemed to move up a gear every time her opponent was able to win a point, breaking again in the second game.

    Riske reached deuce in the next game, before finally holding serve to get herself on the board to a big cheer from the crowd.

    The world number 43 showed more fight as she held serve again, but Swiatek's power and shot placement was ultimately too much as she motored to victory.

    The 2020 champion has now won 39 matches this year (including Billie Jean King Cup qualifiers), three more than her tally for the entire 2021 season.

    Data Slam: Dominant Swiatek

    Swiatek's win here makes her just the fourth player this century to win 30 or more consecutive matches. She also won 85 per cent of points on her first serve (22 of 26) and did not face any break points.

    WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
    Swiatek – 23/15
    Riske – 6/14

    ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
    Swiatek – 1/1
    Riske – 2/2

    BREAK POINTS WON
    Swiatek – 5/9
    Riske – 0/0

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.