Jurgen Klopp tells Liverpool to focus on Champions League ambition

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
Klopp has admitted that the Premier League title is out of the question.

Jurgen Klopp has urged Liverpool to stay motivated to reach their target of a place in next season’s Champions League by the end of the season.

Klopp has acknowledged ahead of Liverpool’s clash with bottom side Swansea at Anfield on Tuesday that a Premier League title challenge is beyond them given they trail leaders Manchester City by 20 points.

But the German believes there is still plenty for the fourth placed Reds to play for and they should not get complacent just because City are so far ahead.

“We have to qualify for the Champions League. We have to finish as high as possible,” Klopp said.

“It looks like we could be second, third or fourth this year, that’s a fantastic situation. Not the dream but a fantastic situation.

“That’s what we are working on and for this we have to improve in all departments.

“This year, I don’t think that anyone apart from Manchester City and maybe Manchester United are thinking too much about how they can win the league.

“In a very difficult league, performance-wise we are really consistent so far. If we stay consistent and avoid our mistakes, mistakes like in the 3-3 draw with Arsenal, we will win much more games than we lose or draw.

“As it was and so it will be against Swansea, we have to perform first of all and then we have to see how the other team can react.”

Even though Swansea are at the foot of the table, Klopp does not want his players to assume the result will be a foregone conclusion.

“They are under pressure and that’s clear because they fight for the league, 100 per cent, and that will not change before Boxing Day,” Klopp added.

“But we will be ready and we will perform, if possible, like against Arsenal but avoid the mistakes we made.

“I don’t really remember the game from last year, to be honest. I remember that we lost it. But that’s not the plan!”

Klopp confirmed Liverpool will be without captain Jordan Henderson after he limped out of their 3-3 draw with Arsenal last Friday.

Henderson has been ruled out of the clash against Swansea City.

Henderson has been ruled out of the clash against Swansea City.

Defender Joel Matip could be fit enough to feature after he recently returning to training following a muscle injury while striker Daniel Sturridge has recovered from illness.

Alberto Moreno (ankle) and Nathanial Clyne (back) remain on the sidelines.

Swansea caretaker manager Leon Britton will take charge of his second game following the sacking of Paul Clement last week.

Britton is a modern-day Swansea great with more than 500 appearances to his name, and guided the club to a 1-1 draw in his first match against Crystal Palace.

A match against free-scoring Liverpool at Anfield, however, will present a somewhat more difficult prospect for the South Wales club.

Swansea striker Jordan Ayew admits the draw against Palace, in which he scored, has helped them take at least some confidence into the trip to Merseyside.

“We all have a job to do. I think we responded well,” Ayew said. “We will take it day by day and see what happens in the future.

“We will do our best to get something out of the game against Liverpool. We will build step by step and things will get better. It is important for us to get a good result.”

Swansea will give a fitness test to striker Wilfried Bony (hamstring) and midfielder Leroy Fer (back), who both missed the game against Palace.

Most popular

Man City must win trophies to be great, says Barcelona legend Eric Abidal

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

Barcelona legend Eric Abidal said Manchester City must win trophies if they are to be considered one of the best teams in Europe.

The Sky Blues have been in instrumental form so far this term, winning 18 out of 19 Premier League matches – 17 of which have come on the bounce following a 1-1 draw with Everton back in August.

After Saturday’s 4-0 win over Bournemouth, Pep Guardiola’s side are now 13 points clear at the top of the league at the midway point of the season.

But despite their dominance, Abidal – a two-time Champions League winner with Barcelona in 2009 and 2011 – feels City need to clinch trophies before being considered among the continent’s elite.









“When you look around and see the statistics of the team, of course you can say it’s one of the best teams in Europe,” he said.


“But it’s not enough. Because you can play and win and win and have records, but in the end if you don’t have the trophy you have nothing.”


Guardiola’s men have collected 55 of the maximum 57 points available, sprinkling the league with some of the most devastating football seen since the days of Arsenal and Manchester United’s domination.


With 60 goals in their opening 19 games, the Etihad Stadium side look on course to deliver a fifth domestic title.


“So for sure that everybody is watching now because they score a lot of goals and this is something new for the Premier League. Many years ago it was Arsenal and Manchester United. Now it’s City, a new generation,” said Abidal.


“They have this objective. That’s why they signed this coach and the new players. But only after trophies we will talk about best teams and everything. But for sure they have one of the best squads in the world.”



Most popular

Manchester City's forwards are hungry for more goals, says Vincent Kompany

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

Vincent Kompany claims all of Manchester City’s attacking players have developed Sergio Aguero’s appetite for goals.

Aguero struck twice as City moved 13 points clear at the top of the Premier League, and extended their record run of successive victories to 17, with a 4-0 thrashing of Bournemouth on Saturday.

That double chalked up yet another landmark for Aguero, who became City’s record goalscorer earlier this season, by taking his tally of goals in games at the Etihad Stadium to 101.

But with City also reaching 101 goals in Premier League games in 2017, and 60 for this campaign alone, it is not only the prolific Argentina striker who is delivering.

Most notably Raheem Sterling is enjoying the season of his career, with another strike against the Cherries lifting his total for the campaign to 16 in all competitions.

City captain Kompany said: “These guys are just hungry for more. ‘Kun’ has always been inclined that way but I think everybody else now up front has a feeling of scoring goals, what it means to be the main man. It is something that doesn’t go away.

“Everyone is working hard in training, you can tell, to improve whatever they can to score more goals. That helps the team ultimately. We are in a good position with a lot of guys that want to do well.”

City were hardly tested by Bournemouth and eased to victory without hitting top gear.

Aguero put them on the way when he headed home a Fernandinho cross after 27 minutes and then turned provider for Sterling to lash home the second early in the second half.

Aguero headed a third after 79 minutes and substitute Danilo wrapped up another fine afternoon for Guardiola’s side five minutes from time.

Kompany, who returned from injury after three games out, claimed City have no intention of easing up.

He said: “It’s a temendous result, 4-0, but they had enough of an attacking force to make it difficult for us.

“Even in the second half, when they went two up front, we really had to be careful with the possession of the ball.

“But 17 wins a row, it’s something we want to continue – fight against ourselves really, if we have to, to make sure we are always improving.”

There is no doubt Sterling has taken his game to a new level this season.

Guardiola said of the 23-year-old: “With and without the ball he is so aggressive, so intense. What I like the most is how clear he is becoming as a football player.

“He knows exactly when he has to dribble and when he has to pass the ball. Before, all the time he was dribbling, even if that was a mistake.

“The most important thing for football players in that age is to maintain, every single game, that level.

“I’m not just talking about goals, but outstanding performances – always seven, eight (out of 10), in that level. Raz is doing that.”

Most popular