Jurgen Klopp felt nothing when Man City handed initiative to Liverpool in EPL title race

Carl Markham 17:03 26/12/2018
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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists he felt nothing when Manchester City handed the initiative to his side in the title race.

Crystal Palace pulled off a shock win over the defending Premier League champions on Saturday, less than 24 hours after the Reds had extended their lead at the top to four points with victory at Wolves.

Klopp was inundated with text messages from friends highlighting City’s slip – but he himself remained unmoved.

“Nothing has changed. Absolutely nothing. We are focused so far always on the next game. That hasn’t changed since Saturday,” he said.

“When people are not involved but emotionally involved, such as friends and people like that, see City lose 3-2 then I get all these messages saying, ‘Wow. Unbelievable. Blah, blah, blah’, and I don’t even feel it.

Only James Milner has experience of winning a Premier League title at Liverpool.

Only James Milner has experience of winning a Premier League title at Liverpool.

“Nothing is taken for granted. Don’t think because we have that amount of points and they have that amount of points (that Liverpool will win the title).

“If you think that, then that’s the moment when things go wrong. And they can still go wrong, that’s how life is.”

In the previous 10 years only twice has the team top on Christmas Day not gone on to win the title.

On both occasions it was Liverpool, in 2008 and 2014, but Klopp has no interest in history, fate or omens.

“We have to be focused. Not nervous. I’ve heard how many times in the last 10 years that when you’re first at Christmas you win the title, but only Liverpool won’t,” he added.

“Wow, you (the assembled media) are afraid to say it because you think I know it.

“What is it? What does it mean? It’s a different team, a different time, everything was different. It’s not interesting.

“If you want to be sure that in May it will be something really special – but you don’t want to see the way to that day – then make a holiday.

“I don’t know where the Premier League is not broadcast but find a little country where it is not and go there.

“If you want to enjoy the ride, and want to try everything you can to be as successful as possible, then welcome, let’s go for it.”

Liverpool are top of the tree at Christmas.

Liverpool are top of the tree at Christmas.

Liverpool’s lack of experience – only James Milner has won the Premier League before with City in 2012 and 2014 – is one of the rare things that can be held against an unbeaten team who have enjoyed the best start to a season in their history.

However, Klopp, a Bundesliga title winner with Borussia Dortmund in 2011 and 2012, believes they have other experiences to draw on.

“For the second half of the season, yes we are greedy. We smelled a bit of it last season, how it could be.

“You cannot be successful in any sport in the world without any kind of hunger.

“We were close a few times and we are not silly. We know we are not bad and can go there so let’s try it again, let’s try to be as successful as possible.”

Klopp is also unsure how much his winning of titles in Germany will actually help this time around.

“It worked out pretty well in 2012 but in 2013 (it was) not that good. I’m far away from being perfect but my experience will not be key,” he added.

“And City has the biggest advantage because they were champions last year and they know that if they do it again, it will happen.”

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