Klopp wants Liverpool to 'keep being annoying' in title race

By Sports Desk March 15, 2022

Liverpool must continue to prove an annoyance in the Premier League title race as they look to pip Manchester City to the post, Jurgen Klopp has said.

The Reds face in-form Arsenal on Wednesday, knowing a win would take them to within a point of Pep Guardiola's side.

City had plenty of opportunities against Crystal Palace on Monday, yet were held to a 0-0 draw at Selhurst Park, giving Liverpool the chance to close the gap.

Liverpool have won their last eight league matches, scoring 21 goals and conceding just two in return across that run.

That is better than City in both regards, with the reigning champions netting 15 times and allowing five goals in at the other end.

Klopp's team have also created more opportunities, with their 21 goals coming from an expected goals (xG) return of 24.3, which would suggest some wasteful finishing or excellent shot-stopping from opposition goalkeepers has prevented Liverpool from further adding to their tally.

With the potential for the title rivals to be neck and neck heading into the final nine league matches of the campaign, including a showdown between the pair at the Etihad Stadium next month, Klopp still looked to keep a lid on the expectations.

"That's the plan, of course, that we keep being as annoying as possible, but we have to win our games," Klopp told a news conference when asked if Liverpool could push City until the end.

"We are very ambitious and very determined to do great stuff, but we respect a lot how good they are and how good all the other teams are. Ten games we still have to play, but there are a few really tough ones. Sitting here if you say we will win 10 games it doesn't sound likely but we will give it a proper try, I can tell you.

"If you go through the last few years it never looked really different. My whole career we went to the last matchday because there was something there to grab. To stay in the league or get a spot in the Europa League or the Champions League or a title.

"If you are close enough you will be involved and that's where we are. We have reached the quarter-finals in two competitions and in the Premier League are not in the worst spot so we have created a basis and now we have to be ready for a long finish with 10 [league] games and we will give it a try whatever happens.

"It is intense. You say that we won the last eight games, imagine if we'd have lost one of them. The mood is good. It's not crazy good, it's concentrated, focused and good. It's about staying on track, trying to improve, even in the best moment when you have a result.

"It's final after final after final, that's how it is, that's how we prepare. Now everything is in front of us, attack it, chase it, that's what we do."

Asked if City's failure to win had boosted the mood around Liverpool's training ground, Klopp said: "It would impact the mood if it would be in our mind, this competition with City, but in fact we play Arsenal and are still four points behind.

"I don't know how you can count points away at Arsenal and say it is only one point. We have to play this game and that's what I am concerned about.

"If you want to reach something in this league and you are not top of the table then you need to win your games and depend on other teams dropping points."

Arsenal were hammered 4-0 in the reverse league fixture this season, but have won each of their last five league games. It means the Gunners have joined City, Liverpool and Chelsea as the only sides to win five in a row during 2021-22 so far.

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