Dejan Lovren urged Liverpool to treat every Premier League match like a final after Jurgen Klopp’s side extended their lead at the top of the table to six points.
Manchester City’s surprise 2-1 loss at Leicester City on Boxing Day meant an Anfield demolition of Newcastle United, Liverpool winning 4-0, puts the Reds in a dominant position.
It is the first time since 2002 that Liverpool have been so far clear at the summit, Tottenham having replaced City in second, although the trip to the Etihad Stadium on January 3 could remain a decisive day in the title race.
And Lovren, who opened the scoring for Liverpool against Newcastle with a super half-volley, called on his side to maintain their focus following an eighth straight Premier League win.
“We just focused on ourselves and it’s game by game for us. Every game is a final for us,” Lovren said.
“It was a tough opening first half – it’s difficult to score against Newcastle but we showed patience and quality
“We need to keep this momentum and after the next couple of games we will see where we are. Every game now matters.
“We just look at ourselves, how we perform and this is what the manager wants from us. The rest will happen. It’s a good day for us, good for the fans and let’s do it again against Arsenal [on Saturday].
“It’s not easy today to win 4-0.”
6 – This will be the first time since 2nd November 2002 that Liverpool will end the day 6+ points clear at the top of the Premier League table. Leaders. pic.twitter.com/IpehKPYISf
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 26, 2018
Newcastle rested players, including Salomon Rondon, with an eye on a weekend trip to Watford.
Matt Ritchie accepted conceding so early at Anfield destroyed the tactics of former Reds boss Rafael Benitez, with Lovren’s opener arriving in just the 11th minute.
“We came here with a gameplan and you can’t concede in the first 15 minutes at Anfield, so we’re really disappointed,” he said.
“We know how much quality they’ve got in their team but you need to keep a clean sheet in the first 15 minutes to settle the team down and we didn’t do that.
“We’ve got another game in two days so hopefully we can rectify the result today.”
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