Jurgen Klopp not stressing over Mohamed Salah slump, praises ‘unbelievable record’

Jurgen Klopp insisted Liverpool are in the Premier League title race thanks to the 'unbelievable record' of Mohamed Salah. (AFP)
Updated 08 March 2019
0

Jurgen Klopp not stressing over Mohamed Salah slump, praises ‘unbelievable record’

LONDON: Jurgen Klopp insisted Liverpool are in the Premier League title race thanks to Mohamed Salah's goals despite the Egyptian's faltering form of late.
Salah missed two huge chances as Liverpool drew for the fourth time in six league games in a 0-0 stalemate away to Everton last weekend to fall one point behind Manchester City at the top of the table.
Last season's Premier League Player of the Year has now scored just once in his last seven games.
However, he remains only one goal behind City's Sergio Aguero in the race for the Premier League golden boot.
"When you are a striker or offensive player and you have chances in a game, you want to score with them, that's clear," said Klopp ahead of Burnley's visit to Anfield on Sunday.
"But as a manager I'm more than used to that, that players don't score all the time, so that's how it is.
"He has an unbelievable record, that's all. His goals brought us where we are - not only (his goals), but a big part of it."
Liverpool no longer have a first title in 29 years in their own hands with nine games of the Premier League season remaining.
However, with City feeling the physical strain of trying to complete a historic quadruple of trophies, Klopp insisted there is still plenty of reason for optimism.
"We always said we wanted to be in a position to fight for the top spot in the league and we are still in it," added the German.
"That's all we need to be positive, optimistic and excited in a very positive way about the challenge."
And Klopp is not just concentrating on pre-match preparation for his players, but Liverpool fans too with Sunday's clash kicking off at midday.
"Our people are very important, we spoke a lot about that - we need atmosphere at 12 o'clock," he added.
"I said it last time as well - if you have a ticket for the stadium, go to bed at 10pm latest on Saturday night, don't drink and be on your toes from the first until the last second!"
Meanwhile, Steven Gerrard said a Liverpool title win would not detract from the pain he feels of letting a 2014 Premier League lead slip.
As Liverpool captain, Gerrard won almost every trophy bar the Premier League.
Gerrard, now manager of Scottish giants Rangers, famously slipped to hand Chelsea the opener of a 2-0 win at Anfield in April 2014 with Liverpool on course to win the league.
Liverpool currently trail Manchester City by one point at the top of the table with nine games remaining.
"This wound has been open since my experience. I'm not sure it'll close because I can't change that experience," Gerrard, who left Liverpool after 17 years as a player in 2015, told reporters.
"It doesn't affect how I feel now. I look at a squad of players, some of whom I'm still friends with.
"I see a support that gave me absolutely everything from the terraces and around the world.
"I just hope for their sake, and mine as a supporter, that come the end of the competition they are victorious. But it won't make me or my wound feel any different."
Klopp's side have been accused of letting the pressure get to them in recent weeks, having blown the chance to open up a seven-point lead over City just over a month ago by drawing at home to Leicester and have since been held on the road by West Ham, Manchester United and Everton.


Manchester City crush Watford 8-0

Updated 22 September 2019

Manchester City crush Watford 8-0

  • Tottenham rocked by Leicester

LONDON: Manchester City powered to their record Premier League win as the champions scored five times in the first half of an incredible 8-0 thrashing of Watford, while Leicester enjoyed a VAR-assisted 2-1 victory over Tottenham on Saturday.

Inspired by Bernardo Silva’s hat-trick, Pep Guardiola’s side ripped woeful Watford to pieces at the Etihad Stadium, eclipsing a 7-0 success against Norwich in 2013 which stood as their previous biggest top-flight win.

Although City fell one goal short of equalling the biggest Premier League margin of victory — Manchester United’s 9-0 demolition of Ipswich in 1995 — their swaggering display was the perfect way to erase the bitter taste from last weekend’s shock defeat at Norwich.

Second-placed City move to within two points of leaders Liverpool.

City had crushed Watford 6-0 in last season’s FA Cup final and, with injury-plagued left-back Benjamin Mendy making his first start since April, they picked up where they left off at Wembley with a goal inside the first minute at the Etihad Stadium.

Kevin De Bruyne played a superb ball in from the right, leaving David Silva with the simple task of poking home from close range for his first goal of the season.

The champions doubled their lead in the seventh minute after Watford keeper Ben Foster conceded a penalty with a foul on Riyad Mahrez.

Sergio Aguero coolly slotted in the spot-kick for his eighth goal in six games this term, taking the Argentina striker to 100 home Premier League goals for City.

Guardiola had rested Raheem Sterling, but even without their star winger City were rampant and they made it three in the 12th minute when Mahrez’s free-kick hit Watford’s Tom Cleverley in the head and deflected past Foster.

Astonishingly, City scored again in the 15th minute, De Bruyne’s corner nodded on by Nicolas Otamendi for Bernardo to head home. By the time Otamendi finished off Aguero’s cross in the 18th minute, City had established the fastest 5-0 lead in the Premier League era.

The joint biggest half-time lead in Premier League history wasn’t enough for City and Bernardo struck again with a close-range finish after another flowing move in the 48th minute. Bernardo completed his first Premier League treble on the hour with a tap-in from De Bruyne’s cross.

De Bruyne set City’s new record mark in the Premier League when the Belgium midfielder scored the eighth in the 85th minute.

At the King Power Stadium, Leicester proved their credentials to gatecrash the top four as they came from behind to beat Tottenham.

The game swung Leicester’s way after Tottenham defender Serge Aurier’s goal midway through the second half was ruled out by the finest of margins for offside by VAR.

The hosts built on that lift immediately as Ricardo Pereira equalized before James Maddison struck the winner from long range five minutes from time.

“We’re six games in, we are not getting carried away,” said Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers. “We had a tough start but I’m so pleased with the players’ focus.”

By contrast, Tottenham have now won just two of their first seven games of the season in all competitions and Mauricio Pochettino admitted the VAR controversy had played a role in their latest flop.

Pochettino bemoaned the momentum swing given to Leicester by the long stoppage in play prior to Aurier’s strike being ruled out for an extremely marginal offside against Son Heung-min.

“The emotion of the game changed. The belief it gave to Leicester made things happen differently in the last 10 minutes,” Pochettino said.

“I’m only going to say that we all accept that system in the game and now I am not going to complain.”

Burnley beat Norwich 2-0 at Turf Moor, with New Zealand striker Chris Wood scoring in the 10th and 14th minutes.

Sheffield United piled pressure on Everton manager Marco Silva, whose side were booed off after a 2-0 defeat at Goodison Park, the damage done by Yerry Mina’s 40th-minute own goal and Lys Mousset’s 79th-minute strike.