Jurgen Klopp: Liverpool still have what it takes to be champions

Klopp is keeping calm ahead of the title run-in. (AFP)
Updated 04 March 2019
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Jurgen Klopp: Liverpool still have what it takes to be champions

  • Reds boss still confident his side will end their 29-year wait for the top-flight title.
  • Liverpool now a point behind City with nine matches left.

LONDON: Jurgen Klopp has insisted that Liverpool still have what it takes to win the Premier League despite falling behind Manchester City in the race for the trophy. 

The Reds’ 0-0 draw at neighbors Everton on Sunday was their fourth draw  in six matches. Having been as many as seven points ahead of title rivals City in January Klopp and Co. now find themselves a point behind with just nine matches to go. 

Many are accusing Liverpool of bottling a great chance to win their first top-flight title since 1990, but while it may be too much to accuse them of being bottlers — they still have only lost one match all season — the current run of form is certainly worrying and is definitely a blip. 

But that does not worry Klopp who claimed he and his players remain confident they will be the ones lifting the Premier League trophy come May 12. 

“Who wants to be top of the table at the beginning of March?” Klopp said. “It is nice but there are lots of games to play. I’m completely fine with chasing.

“I saw the celebrations of Manchester City (on Saturday) — they had 900 chances and scored one goal, a shot with the wrong foot.

“You have to be ready for these chances.”

It seems strange to question the composure and resilience of a side that has been dominant since the start of the season and has been beaten just once in the league. But they have drawn blanks with increasing regularity, failing to score against not only Everton but also Manchester United and, in the Champions League, Bayern Munich. 

While some are indeed wondering whether the Reds have the fight to take on City down the home straight, Klopp certainly is not one of them. 

“I don’t have to give my players any advice, they know already (what they have to do),” the Liverpool boss said. 

“They’re not little boys any more. Sometimes you have the lead and people say it’s done when there are 20 games to go to the end of the season, and now they have one or two more points than us. It’s the beginning of March, who cares?

“I believe 100 percent in our chances. I know that game-by-game my feeling gets better about the boys because they look ready for it.”


Saudi weightlifter Mansour Al-Saleem wins record 3 Asian gold medals

Updated 21 April 2019
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Saudi weightlifter Mansour Al-Saleem wins record 3 Asian gold medals

  • Al-Saleem won three gold medals in the snatch, jerk and combination in the 55kg weight category
  • The competition in Ningbo, in China's eastern province of Zhejiang, will continue for the next 8 days

RIYADH: Saudi national Mansour Abdulrahim Al-Saleem won three gold medals in the snatch, jerk and combination, ranking the first in the 55 kg weight category, at the Asian Weightlifting Championships in China.

He lifted 122 kilograms to head the standings, with Kazakhstan’s Arli Chontey and Malaysia’s Azroy Hazalwafie following on 113kg and 112kg, respectively.

The clean and jerk discipline saw Al-Saleem again head the leaderboard on 140kg.

Hazalwafie lifted just four kilograms less in second, while Sri Lanka’s Dilanka Isuru Kumara was third on 135kg.

Al-Saleem’s efforts in both disciplines saw him convincingly clinch the overall title with a combined 262kg.

He finished ahead of Hazalwafie on 248kg, while Chontey placed third on 246kg.

The champion set a new achievement by winning the first Asian gold medal in weightlifting for the Kingdom.

The president of the Saudi Weightlifting Federation, Mohammed Al-Harbi, thanked King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, sports officials and the Saudi people for supporting the field, which led to “such a great achievement.”

Amidst an arena full of a host of Olympic and international champions, Saudi Arabia’s national anthem was played and the Kingdom’s flag was raised, as Al-Saleem praised the ability of Saudi sportsmen in all international and regional sports sectors.

A further eight days of competition will continue for the next 8 days in China's eastern city of Ningbo, in Zhejiang province. Medals will be won across 20 categories, 10 for men and 10 for women.