Jurgen Klopp insists Liverpool’s dramatic defeat to Chelsea in April 2014 will have no bearing on Sunday’s Premier League clash between the two sides.
Brendan Rodgers’ Reds faced Chelsea at Anfield needing just seven points from their remaining three games to win the title.
Chelsea, then managed by Jose Mourinho, took all three points, though, with Demba Ba taking advantage of Steven Gerrard’s slip and Willian scoring late on to all but hand the title to Manchester City.
Liverpool are again locked in a battle with City for the title this season and go into this weekend’s game two points ahead of their rivals at the summit, although Pep Guardiola’s side do have a game in hand.
Klopp – who was crowned Premier League manager of the month for March on Friday – is adamant that his players will not be affected by that defeat five years ago and believes a partisan Anfield crowd could be decisive in what many believe is their toughest remaining fixture.
“I didn’t think for one second until I entered this room about 2014,” he told a media conference.
— Premier League (@premierleague) April 12, 2019
“I’m not sure if that’s in anybody’s mind apart from yours. I heard about it, of course, but it is nothing to do with us.
“It’s a completely new story. It’s all about the game on Sunday and not about the past. Everything has changed, only the colours and names are the same.
“We have to use the power of Anfield again. I’m so happy with our supporters, how they’ve dealt with everything and how we’ve grown together.
“It’s now the moment to show it. We need all our resources to win it.”
If Liverpool are to overcome Chelsea, Klopp knows they will need to keep Eden Hazard quiet.
The Belgian has been in imperious form and took his Premier League tally to 16 goals this season with a double against West Ham on Monday – the first of which was a stunning solo effort.
“We have to make sure he can’t shine,” Klopp explained. “Stop passes to him, react better than other teams did.
“When he has the ball it is already too late. Read the game, read the passes. In a one v one you can’t defend him.
“On his day, he can be the world’s best immediately. He has had a brilliant career so far and it’s not over yet.
“I like his joy, cheeky as well, strong, quick, he’s a good player. But all good players have to play against us, and we have to try everything.”
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