Jurgen Klopp inisists Liverpool paying no attention to Man City in title race

Carl Markham 23:59 16/12/2018
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Jurgen Klopp.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is paying no attention to what Premier League title-rivals Manchester City are doing as his side hit back in the ding-dong battle at the top of the table.

A 3-1 win over Manchester United – the club’s first in nine attempts and Klopp’s first as Reds boss – returned them to the summit after Pep Guardiola’s side had moved above them on Saturday.

Liverpool have a chance to extend their one-point advantage further as they play Wolves on Friday night but Klopp is focusing on what his side do and not what their rivals are up to.

“We ignored it completely. I didn’t mention it one time,” he said.

“We know the table, just are you focused on it or not. We played tonight against Man Utd and not Man Utd and City.

“When we eat and train together we are not saying ‘Did you see what City did?’.

“We are focused on what we need to do and will there come a moment in the season where we are still around them and we start hoping they drop points or whatever.

“But at the moment we respect them a lot and they respect us. We meet them on January 3 and then we will think about them.”

Sadio Mane’s brilliant opener was cancelled out by a first-half error by goalkeeper Alisson Becker, who dropped Romelu Lukaku’s cross at the feet of Jesse Lingard, but Xherdan Shaqiri came off the bench to score twice in the last 20 minutes for a deserved victory.

Klopp was impressed by the way his side, still unbeaten, went about their task after two successive goalless draws at home to United.

“Very, very (pleased). It was a good game. A brilliant start, one of the best performances we’ve had since I’m at Liverpool,” he added.

“The first half an hour was outstanding. We scored only one but I don’t think anyone expected to score four or five times or whatever.

“How we played was just perfect: we tried to pass in the right areas, we played in behind the lines and was just good.

“Then after half an hour we lost momentum of the game a little bit, they scored then, it was a little bit open.

“It wasn’t as if Man United come completely on top of the game, it was just a bit more open.

“Then they changed and when (Marouane) Fellaini is on the pitch it is never a good sign for the opposition because these balls are so difficult to defend.

“But we got the dominance back step-by-step and then Shaq closed the game.

“It was really nice and I think absolutely deserved.”

Shaqiri took his tally to five for the season with his double after a brilliant 20-minute cameo.

“Shaq is such a skilled boy, he has to make an impact forward. It wouldn’t make much sense for him to receive the ball and pass it back,” said Klopp.

“We needed a bit of luck, both goals deflected, but being in the situation was good football and the first goal, what a goal.

“Brilliant, exactly like we have to do it. Fantastic pass, super control, perfect finish.”

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