Jurgen Klopp: Liverpool boss ‘completely fine’ chasing Manchester City for title

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said he was “completely fine with chasing” Manchester City after his side drew at Everton and missed the chance to return to the top of the Premier League.

The goalless draw means that for the first time since 7 December the Reds are behind their title rivals having played the same number of matches.

“Who wants to be top of the table at the beginning of March?” Klopp said.

“It is nice but there are lots of games to play.”

The Reds are one point behind champions City who won 1-0 at Bournemouth on Saturday to go above them.

“I’m completely fine with chasing,” Klopp said. “I watched Match of the Day last night and saw the celebrations of Man City – they had 900 chances and scored one goal, a shot with the wrong foot.

“You have to be ready for these chances.”

Liverpool were seven points clear of Manchester City on New Year’s Day before Pep Guardiola’s side cut the gap to four by winning when the sides met at the Etihad Stadium on 3 January.

Liverpool followed that defeat, their first of the season, with two wins but they have since drawn four of their past six league games.

“We become the chasers now and all the pressure is on Manchester City,” Reds defender Andy Robertson said.

“We will fight for every last ball until the whistle is blown at the end of the season. The pressure has been on City because they are expected to retain the title.

“Everton think they have stopped us from winning the league. It shows how well we are doing that they want to stop us.”

Premier League top six<!–

Analysis – the state of the title race

BBC Sport chief football writer Phil McNulty

Manchester City have claimed a slender advantage in the Premier League title race after Everton refused to stand aside for Liverpool at a thunderous Goodison Park.

From an air raid siren blaring out before kick-off to an Everton ball boy applauding in Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp’s face after the final whistle, this was a bearpit for the title chasers and one in which they had to settle for a point.

And while Klopp, quite rightly, insisted Liverpool were not losing their nerve, this is a season of fine margins and Liverpool’s attacking well suddenly looks a little dry.

Manchester United and now Everton – as well as Bayern Munich – have kept their attack at bay in the past two weeks, while Manchester City’s one success against Bournemouth’s massed ranks on Saturday was enough to edge Pep Guardiola’s side ahead.

Klopp’s mood was both defiant and positive, stressing there are nine games left and more twists and turns in this title road.

Liverpool, however, need Mohamed Salah to rediscover at least some of the form he showed last season in this run-in and it was unusual to see a side so accomplished wasting possession so often.

Manchester City had threatened to fall decisively off the pace after they lost at Newcastle United on 29 January but have since regrouped with five straight league wins to reassert their authority.

Liverpool are still very much in this race but there was no disguising the delight around Goodison Park and the frustration of their counterparts from across Stanley Park as the final whistle sounded.

I already know what the pundits will say – Klopp

Jurgen Klopp<!–

The goalless draw at Goodison was the third time Liverpool have failed to score in their past four games in all competitions, following stalemates against Manchester United and Bayern Munich.

Forward Mohamed Salah was denied by an excellent Jordan Pickford save in the first half and a fine Michael Keane tackle in the second – Liverpool’s two best chances.

“I already know what the pundits will say in the studio – situations like today you have to finish it off,” Klopp said.

“But to be successful in football you have to be stable and we were the better side today.

“The wind does not help and there was a lot today. You have to be ready for the fight of the second ball.

“We had five or six big chances but Jordan Pickford or a defender was in between. I don’t think they had a real chance.

“Not perfect but good enough – getting a point from Everton is always a success because it is our most difficult away game of the season.”

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