Football

Klopp relishes the pressure in top-four bid

Juergen Klopp saw Emre Can score a "fantastic goal" to seal a 1-0 victory over Watford - but the Liverpool boss is refusing to get carried away as the Reds move closer to securing a return to the Champions League.

After Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal all dropped points over the weekend, the spotlight turned on Liverpool as they visited Vicarage Road yesterday morning (Singapore time).

While the match will not live long in the memory, Can's superb overhead kick in first-half stoppage time is a bona fide contender for goal of the season.

The Reds now have a top-four finish in their own hands, after moving four points clear of fifth-placed United, who have played a game less.

Klopp was delighted with Can's effort but said their position will count for nothing if they let it slip between now and the finish line.

"We scored a fantastic goal," he said.

"I only saw it once but it looked already pretty nice. I turned a little early and didn't see it hit the back of the net.

"It (their current position) is not important, if we give it away it means nothing.

"We have pressure and it means you fight for something that is good. It is positive pressure. We want to stay focused.

"We don't expect for a second it will be easy. If people think we have the three points against Southampton (next weekend) they can not have seen Southampton this season."

Can admitted that the goal was the best he has scored.

However, the 23-year-old German international - who took his tally to five for the season - feels that the win was way more important than the spectacular strike.

He told Sky Sports: "I have never scored a goal like that - maybe when I was younger. That is the best goal I've ever scored.

"I saw the space and I ran behind and my first thought was that I wanted to head it, then I didn't think too much.

"But the most important thing was three points after knowing what happened yesterday. It was a big game for us.

"Everything is in our hands. If we win the three games, we are in the Champions League.

"We are confident. If we perform how we can perform then we can do it."

Watford were poor for large parts of the game but could have salvaged a point when Sebastian Prodl crashed a volley against the crossbar in injury time.

The Hornets still face Chelsea and Manchester City between now and the end of the season and can still have plenty to say on the outcome at the top of the table.

Walter Mazzarri's side remain on 40 points in the table, eight points clear of the bottom three, and the Italian expressed his unhappiness at the officials.

He said: "Aside from the crossbar from Prodl, there were two mistakes from the referee, offsides against (Stefano) Okaka and (Troy) Deeney, so I think we played a good game.

"This is a team that if you leave them a lot of space they can be extremely dangerous.

"They were very concentrated at the back but my players had a good game." 
- WIRE SERVICES

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