EPL

Klopp lauds Liverpool's ability to 'win difficult games'

By Sports Desk July 05, 2020

Jurgen Klopp highlighted Liverpool's 2-0 win over Aston Villa as a prime example of why his side are Premier League champions. 

The Reds, playing their first game at Anfield since ending a 30-year title drought, were made to work hard by their relegation-threatened visitors. 

Late goals from Sadio Mane and Curtis Jones got the job done as Klopp's side continued their 100 per cent home record in the league in the 2019-20 campaign. 

And the German, who was left angered by Thursday's 4-0 loss to Manchester City, felt it showed just why his side have reigned supreme this season. 

"A very difficult game for different reasons," Klopp told Sky Sports. 

"Villa are obviously organised and made it tricky for us. The wind made it tricky for both, but it was really hard to play normal football. 

"We had to stay on track and do the right things and in the second half we had more of the good moments. You could see we needed time to get used to it." 

The result took Liverpool to 89 points, within 11 of City's record tally, but Klopp insists that was not on his mind on Sunday. 

"The only thing I can say is there's no chance to win records if you constantly think about records," he said. 

"We don't want a record we want the three points. We don't think about these things, three points is difficult enough. 

"Aston Villa was fighting with all they had and it makes life uncomfortable. I like it, it was not a brilliant performance but it was a good performance that gets us three points." 

Mane echoed his manager's sentiments after scoring his 50th goal at Anfield for Liverpool. 

"We pushed as a team until the end and created some chances. It wasn't an easy game but at least we deserved these three points," he told Sky Sports. 

"I think sometimes you can't expect always to score four or five against a good opponent. They were really organised and we were playing patiently until the gaps opened and we scored the two goals. 

"For us right now it is most important to win games, then you can think about records. 

"We have important games and we will try to play game by game. It won't be easy but that is the Premier League – it is always difficult." 

Related items

  • RB Leipzig 'in no way inferior' to Atletico Madrid - Kampl RB Leipzig 'in no way inferior' to Atletico Madrid - Kampl

    Atletico Madrid may be one of the best teams in Europe but RB Leipzig have the talent to match them in their Champions League quarter-final, according to Kevin Kampl.

    Having twice lost finals in the competition during Diego Simeone's reign, Atleti will hope to finally get their hands on the famous trophy as the knockout stages are completed in Portugal.

    The LaLiga club ended Liverpool's title defence in the previous round but must now get past a Leipzig side who also knocked out English opponents to reach the last eight, impressively putting out Tottenham 4-0 on aggregate.

    Leipzig midfielder Kampl knows Atleti will be tough to beat, considering their reputation for being strong defensively, but believes there is no real favourite ahead of Thursday's meeting.

    "Atletico Madrid have been one of the best teams in Europe for years. They have a lot of experience on the field and have already made it to the final in recent seasons," he told the media.

    "Even if they haven't won the title yet, we know that this team is of high quality. We also know that they defend very well and have an extremely good counter-attack and know how to use their phases of possession. Often a 1-0 win is enough for them.

    "We have a great squad and are in no way inferior to Atletico's quality. We are always dangerous for goals, no matter what formation we play with or who will be on the pitch.

    "In addition, we are all aware of this great opportunity that is presented to us here. Everyone will tear themselves apart to win and advance to the semi-finals. There is no real favourite on Thursday."

    Leipzig will need to find a way to beat Jan Oblak, a goalkeeper Kampl knows all about from their time playing together for Slovenia.

    The 29-year-old is full of praise for his compatriot, rating him "one of the best in the world" ahead of the clash to decide who will progress through to a semi-final against Paris Saint-Germain or Atalanta.

    "Of course, I know Jan from my time with the Slovenia national team. He is a really outstanding keeper and for me is one of the best in the world," Kampl said.

    "He has already achieved a lot in his career and he still has enormous potential. We actually have still been in contact now and then.

    "We exchanged a few messages before we arrived and I'm looking forward to seeing him on the pitch on Thursday."

  • Winks says consistency will hold key to Spurs revival Winks says consistency will hold key to Spurs revival

    Harry Winks wants Tottenham to shed the inconsistency that has left them casting an envious eye at Europe's elite.

    After four consecutive years of Champions League football, Spurs will drop into the Europa League next season, a blow to a club with grand ambitions.

    That is the consequence of finishing sixth in the Premier League, with Tottenham's modest total of 59 points their lowest since the 2008-09 campaign.

    It was small consolation that they finished above rivals Arsenal, but the Gunners' FA Cup final victory over Chelsea meant it was they who finished the season with north London bragging rights.

    Spurs and their head coach Jose Mourinho will expect to deliver more next season, and England international Winks says it will be important to start strongly.

    The objective will be another top-four finish to secure a place in the 2021-22 Champions League.

    "We need to have a better season, in our opinion, it's been a bit up and down, a bit inconsistent," Winks said on the club's official website.

    "We started to find a bit of rhythm in the last few weeks and started to get a good run of results, so let's hope we can take that into next season and get a bit of consistency, build up a bit of confidence and finish where we deserve to finish and where we believe we should be finishing, and that's in the top four."

  • Dybala thanks former boss Sarri following major changes at Juventus Dybala thanks former boss Sarri following major changes at Juventus

    Paulo Dybala tweeted out his appreciation for Maurizio Sarri the day after the Italian coach was sacked by Juventus.

    The Serie A champions decided to take swift action following Friday's Champions League exit to Lyon, announcing the end of Sarri's reign less than 24 hours after the second leg of the last-16 tie.

    Juve did not wait long to name his replacement either, giving the job to Andrea Pirlo just over a week after appointing the former Italy international as their new under-23 team coach.

    The internal promotion came as a surprise too, considering links to former Juve player and current Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane, ex-Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino and Simone Inzaghi, who is in charge of domestic rivals Lazio.

    Reacting to the departure of Sarri, Dybala published a picture on Twitter of the pair together with the comment: "Thank you so much for everything Mister!"

    Argentina international Dybala enjoyed an excellent 2019-20 season under the former Napoli and Chelsea boss, scoring 11 goals and providing six assists in the league as the Bianconeri finished top of the table for a ninth successive year.

    Dybala - who was linked with a move away from Turin last year, including to Manchester United - was named Serie A MVP for his performances in domestic games, including Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana games.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.