Jurgen Klopp insists Liverpool have taken “a first step” towards glory after narrowly missing out on the Premier League title to Manchester City.
A 2-0 win over Wolves at Anfield on Sunday was not enough to give the Reds a first league triumph in 29 years, with City ending a gripping title race on top by a single point after beating Brighton and Hove Albion 4-1.
Liverpool finished the 2018-19 top-flight season having lost only once, at the Etihad Stadium, while their tally of 97 points is the most any team has ever managed except for Pep Guardiola’s City in the past two seasons.
Manager Klopp does not think he could have asked for any more from his players, but he is confident they can get even better next term.
“I know people will find something, a point here, a point there,” he told Sky Sports.
“We were lucky in moments, City were lucky in moments. To get 97 and 98 points is not about always outplaying the opponent; it’s about staying in the race, keeping believing and that’s what we did.
“When your opponent is City, it’s difficult. They couldn’t get rid of us and we couldn’t get rid of them but for the season, I’m completely fine.
“Being second is not exactly where I wanted to be, but this is a first step for us.
1 – Liverpool became the first team in top-flight history to win as many as 30 games and 97 points in a season and not win the title. Additionally, no side has ever previously lost just one game in a top-flight season and not won the title. Margins.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 12, 2019
“People say a lot in this country about signings, but the team who played today and the last couple of weeks were together last season, apart from Alisson.
“They made steps like crazy. We closed the gap from 25 points or so. I told the boys already – if we do the same steps again, then it’ll be a season!
“We have three weeks to prepare for a Champions League final. This team learns so much from the experience. Let’s give it a go.”
Klopp thinks the reaction of the supporters at Anfield at full-time proves they enjoyed the battle with City, even if it ended in disappointment.
“We will improve, develop. I see people here [at Anfield] but nobody really crying. People really enjoyed the ride,” he said.
“I have to say congratulations to Manchester City – in the last two seasons, they took 198 points. Not bad. We helped a little bit with pushing them there, but [they have] all my respect.”
Mohamed Salah, who shared the Golden Boot with Sadio Mane and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after all three ended the season on 22 goals, also promised to fight for the title next term.
“We did everything this season – we lost only one game,” he said.
“I think I’m both [proud and disappointed]. I can say just one thing – we did everything, we lost only one game, we got 97 points.
“I just can say congratulations for Man City. We’re going to fight next year for the trophy again.”
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