Sunday 25 August 2019

If we win the title, it will be a championship of will - Klopp

Jurgen Klopp shows his delight at the final whistle at Anfield. Photo by Paul Ellis
Jurgen Klopp shows his delight at the final whistle at Anfield. Photo by Paul Ellis

Chris Bascombe

Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris accepted responsibility for the late calamity which maintained Liverpool's title hopes.

Jurgen Klopp's side looked to have dropped two more vital points until Lloris failed to deal with Mo Salah's 90th-minute header, Toby Alderweireld's own goal ensuring Liverpool returned to the top.

"When you are a goalkeeper you know the responsibility," said Lloris. "Of course you question yourself and the good thing there is another game in three days, we need to switch off from today and prepare the next one. That is the best way to forget.

"I don't really know what happened. I tried to catch the ball twice but unfortunately there was no bounce. It bounced straight on the shin of Toby and what happened happened.

"A bit of the luck was on the opponents' side today. It is tough. We gave so much to come back in the game and had chances to score the second goal. It is sad for us.

"We struggled at first because of the pressure of the opponent but in the second half we came back with a great mentality. We were very positive and we controlled the game; we should have won the game probably then we conceded a late goal in a very bad luck way."

Mauricio Pochettino was in bullish mood despite the loss, describing his players as heroes for dealing with tough circumstances.

"Our players deserve massive credit. When someone wants to give an opinion about Tottenham this season - about the team and club - you need to put the circumstances," said Pochettino.

"Not only judging Tottenham on the way they play or on the position in the table, but all the circumstances - playing at Wembley, moving from one stadium to another.

"My players are heroes and, whatever happens in the end of the season, I'm going to be happy.

"The circumstances are so tough and we are doing everything to fight to be competitive. In the last few years we are so competitive.

"We were laughing a little bit that there was more than £100 million in two midfielders on the bench in Fabinho and Keita, and you go and play better and dominate.

"The most important thing is to recover our feelings. The second half we dominated and we played much better than Liverpool.

"Overall I think we were better than Liverpool. I am very disappointed but at the same time I am proud of the performance.

"I am proud of the recovery from the loss against Southampton and Burnley.

"We were talking a lot in the dressing-room that we are in the top four, we are in quarter-final of the Champions League and we have seven games in the Premier League.

"We need to forget everything and focus ahead. We have a mini-league that starts on Wednesday in our new stadium."

Klopp admitted that Liverpool had luck on their side, but refused to accept any sense of title destiny given the freakish nature of the win.

"I don't go that far but if you go through the season of other teams, you will find these moments as well," he said.

"For all the points we have now, we worked really hard. It is not important when you score but what it is on the scoresheet afterwards.

"Momentum is not a coincidence, it is something you take, you keep and you use. We showed again that the boys are ready to fight and we will be ready again."

Asked if it feels better to win like that, he replied: "One hundred per cent of course. If you win 5-0 - I don't think that would have been possible today - it can lead you on the wrong path.

"We are all human beings. Nine months ago, we started this mission, this ride, and wanted to go for the highest stakes in two competitions.

"We did it our way. The boys improved so much.

"If we would be first of the table after the last match of season, it would be a championship of will." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Liverpool - P 32, Pts 79, GD +53

April 5: Southampton (a)

April 14: Chelsea (h)

April 21: Cardiff (a)

April 26: Huddersfield (h)

May 4: Newcastle (a)

May 12: Wolves (h)

Man City - P 31, Pts 77, GD +60

April 3: Cardiff (h)

April 14: Crystal Palace (a)

April 20: Tottenham (h)

April 24: Manchester United (a)

April 28: Burnley (a)

May 4: Leicester (h)

May 12: Brighton (a)

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