Friday, September 20, 2019

We won ugly – who cares? Klopp still believes in ´fairy-tale´ title tilt

SoccerNews in English Premier League 31 Mar 2019

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Jurgen Klopp still believes in Liverpool’s chances of a “fairy-tale” Premier League title triumph after their dramatic 2-1 win over Tottenham on Sunday.

An own goal from Toby Alderweireld in the 90th minute gave the Reds victory, sending them two points above Manchester City at the top of the table, having played a game more.

Spurs looked to be heading for a deserved point after Lucas Moura cancelled out Roberto Firmino’s opener, but Hugo Lloris failed to catch a Mohamed Salah header and the ball bounced over the line off Alderweireld to send Anfield into raptures.

Klopp admitted afterwards he had no idea how the winning goal was ultimately scored, but he is not at all concerned that this was an “ugly” win.

“I was relatively calm because it was a surprise, that situation,” the Liverpool manager told Sky Sports. “I saw nothing and saw the players celebrating, I had no clue how the ball went in.

“I wasn’t happy we conceded, but we needed it a bit. First half, we had fantastic chances; second half, we had heavy legs, couldn’t really play, they changed only a little bit, but we didn’t adapt well.

“After that, we started playing more and had the chances. We should know there’s always a moment you can use. We had to work the whole game for two situations. It’s clear we can play better football but first half we had a lot of good moments, second half not many, but we had them, scored a goal, brilliant.

“If at the end of the season we can be first, it must be a kind of fairy-tale, a miracle. City won it last season and are still pretty good, full of greed and desire – we have to fight like crazy. There are 500 ways to win a game; today was slightly ugly. Who cares?

“I’m happy we don’t have any breaks now. We stay together, we’re all thinking the same thing – how you compete with the best team in the world for one position. We need training together to improve, do the right things. It’s all good. We will be there.”

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino felt his side should be pleased with the level of their performance, despite the result extending their winless run in the league to five matches.

Indeed, he described his players as “heroes” as they aim to get their top-four challenge back on track against Crystal Palace on Wednesday, their first game in their new stadium.

“We feel disappointed, but at the same time need to be happy,” he told BBC Sport. “We conceded a goal when we should be ahead, we dominated Liverpool and deserve a lot of praise, but when you lose a game it’s difficult to split the result with the form. 

“The players have seven games. It’s a mini league, seven games, and playing the way we played today I think we can achieve top four. 

“The team are devastated but at the same time satisfied with the performance. No one wants to lose, but it’s a different defeat to Southampton or Burnley. We can stay positive and play in the same way.

“It’s in our hands to be in the top four. We have to think they are our heroes. Everyone is going to be excited, they are going to come and try to beat us. The energy is going to be so important.”

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