Jürgen Klopp has said he has urged his Liverpool players to follow his lead in clearing the noise surrounding their title with Manchester City and insists his side are ‘still chasing like crazy’ after finding their way back to victory at Aston Villa.
Sadio Mane’s clever winner reduced City’s advantage to just goal difference before visiting Wolves on Wednesday, and Klopp conceded the leaders signed a “beast” in Erling Haaland.
Asked how easily Liverpool don’t care about City, Klopp replied: “For me it’s absolutely no problem. I’ve invited the boys to follow my mindset. We’re still chasing as We just know we have to win and now we have to recover and then play the FA Cup final [on Saturday] because there is no mercy anywhere because of this situation [where we are] qualification for all finals. We are playing an incredibly big game and from Thursday we will prepare.
Douglas Luiz scored early for Villa but Liverpool hit back three minutes later through Joel Matip before Mané’s clever header from Luis Diaz’s cross midway through the second half secured victory.
Klopp praised the mentality of his players and Alisson for making a world-class save to deny Danny Ings an equaliser. The manager has confirmed Andy Robertson is rested for the final against Chelsea on Saturday, while Fabinho is doubtful after being sent off with a muscle problem.
When asked how much stronger Haaland would make City after his £51million move from Borussia Dortmund, Klopp couldn’t help but smile. “A lot,” he said. “City were and never will be a team that wins games because of one player, because of the way they play. I think Erling will definitely score a lot of goals. He’s a real beast. He’s He’s been injured several times at Dortmund but when he’s fit he’s a real beast. Unfortunately, he’s a very good signing.
Villa manager and former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard admitted Ings would play missed chances “in his head on the way back” but was delighted with his side’s performance. “We’re a bit frustrated that we haven’t scored more than once,” said Gerrard, who reiterated his intention to sign Philippe Coutinho on a permanent contract with Barcelona.
“We have to take advantage of these great moments that we have created. The big positive for me is that we were brave, courageous and we faced one of the best teams in the world. Sometimes we knew we would have to suffer.