Jurgen Klopp: The biggest challenge is always facing the world outside
Jurgen Klopp claimed Liverpool exorcised their title demons against Chelsea as the race with Manchester City heads for the wire.
Klopp is demanding focus as he attempts to deliver a first league title since 1990.
He believes Sunday’s win should end ridicule of the infamous defeat by Chelsea at Anfield five years ago, when Steven Gerrard’s slip allowed Demba Ba to score, fatally damaging Liverpool’s 2014 title hopes.
“We can finally close the slipping book,” Klopp said. “Andy Robertson slipped in the second half and nothing happened, so it has finished.
“The atmosphere was outstanding. You could feel it, the fans were all on their toes. Four games to play, let’s try to make 97 points and if that’s enough, then perfect. If not, then we cannot change it.
“Smart people would come out and say if we’d won against Leicester, we’d be champions – it’s all b******t.
“The biggest challenge is always facing the world outside.
“If City had lost and we heard five minutes before the game, that’s not a help. You lose your focus at that moment.
“We have Porto and then Cardiff next weekend. They are fighting to stay in the Premier League, and it’s a tough place to go. We just need to play our game.”
Klopp revealed that he was blown away by Mo Salah’s stunner after the Egypt international came off the right and thundered beyond Kepa Arrizabalaga.
The German lauded the energy of his front three and how Liverpool’s midfield dealt with Jorginho, although there are concerns for Jordan Henderson, who picked up an ankle knock.
“Again today the work-rate was outstanding from all three up front,” he added.
“You cannot defend at this level without the offensive players. How the boys are working is unbelievable. You get your rewards from that.
“Sarriball is not a coincidence; it’s very difficult to play against. We gave the boys a lot of responsibility, and they were sensational.
“It is really dangerous to deal with and that was some of the best. Defending against Sarriball, it is not easy.”
A memorable 2⃣0⃣0⃣th game in charge of the Reds for Jürgen. 💪— Liverpool FC (@LFC) April 14, 2019
Boss. 🙌 pic.twitter.com/8HltHO9wxp
Maurizio Sarri, who again saw his team capitulate at a crucial juncture in an away fixture, bemoaned poor finishing and bad luck.
Chelsea have not taken a single away point against a top-six rival this season.
“Liverpool are one of the best teams in Europe,” Sarri said. “We had three big opportunities – two with Eden Hazard, one with Gonzalo Higuain – and we’ve hit the post for the 35th time this season.
“We stayed in the match, so I’m happy. Probably two or three months ago, we wouldn’t have been able to stay in this match. We are improving.”