Jurgen Klopp Says Liverpool Need Perfect Finish to EPL Season to Win TitleMarch 18, 2019
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said he thinks his team will need to produce a perfect end to the Premier League season to finish the campaign as champions.
The Reds battled to a 2-1 win over strugglers Fulham on Sunday to move back to the top of the table. Manchester City, who were in action in the FA Cup on Saturday against Swansea City, have a game in hand on the Merseyside outfit and trail by two points.
Speaking after the success at Craven Cottage, Klopp said that with the way City are performing, there's no room for error for his players, per Sami Mokbel of the Daily Mail.
"Being top, it's the best position you can be in," said the German coach. "For us, it is clear. City don't look as if they'll drop a lot of points, so we have to win, to win and to win. It was very important that we won today."
After the victory, Klopp also reflected on what has been a challenging time for his side, per Sky Sports:
Patrick Davison of Sky Sports provided an insight into what it's like to be close to the Liverpool coach on the sidelines:
On Sunday, there were signs of weariness from the Liverpool players, as they found it hard to get into a rhythm against a team destined for relegation.
While errors from Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker allowed Ryan Babel to equalise, cancelling out Sadio Mane's opening goal, a howler from Fulham stopper Sergio Rico resulted in a penalty for the visitors. James Milner coolly dispatched the kick to put Liverpool in front.
The performance was not one of Liverpool's best, but Klopp would have been pleased with the manner in which his team responded after Fulham got back into the game.
In doing so, they have already matched their best points total since Klopp arrived at the club, per Duncan Alexander of Opta:
It also means the pressure is back on City to respond after the international break. They also travel to Fulham on March 30, while the Reds face Tottenham Hotspur a day later.
"Tottenham next, [which is] an interesting game against a really good footballing team," said Klopp. "Nothing is decided, but we can make sure we stay in the race. We want to stay in the race. That's what we did today."
If Liverpool do clinch the Premier League title at the end of this term, it's unlikely Sunday's game will be reflected on as one of the high points. However, it was a crucial step for the Reds to take ahead of the international break and what's poised to be a thrilling end to the 2018-19 season.