Football

Juergen Klopp fighting for top four before thinking about EPL title

Manager Juergen Klopp said English Premier League champions Liverpool have a fight on their hands just to qualify for the Champions League this season before he can even think about a title defence.

Following yesterday morning's (Singapore time) 0-0 home draw with Manchester United, Liverpool have slipped to fourth in the table, three points behind leaders United.

"In the season when we came second (2018/19), the day when I started really thinking about the title race was the day when it was clear that we are in the Champions League," Klopp said.

"The most important thing is to qualify for the Champions League... This season will be a tough race for the top four."

The German also said there are no easy answers to why Liverpool have failed to score in three consecutive league games for the first time in 16 years, which have contributed to a run of four league games without a win.

"We always missed chances, even in the games we won, we just had another one..." said Klopp, who felt his side deserved to win.

"You have to create and create and create, then you will score."

United manager Ole Gunnar saw the draw as a "missed opportunity" to extend their two-point lead at the top, as they look to win the title for the first time since 2013.

"It's only a good result if we win the next game... We grew in the game and towards the end it was there for us to win," he said.

"We created two massive chances through Bruno (Fernandes) and Paul (Pogba), it was two brilliant saves by the goalkeeper (Alisson Becker).

"It's not just the result we're disappointed with, it's some of the performances. I know these boys can play better. We have improved and progressed."

Former United captain Roy Keane does indeed feel that the Red Devils have made progress, but added that for them to emerge EPL champions, they have win these kind of games.

"To even discuss that United are at the top of the table... there's been real progress," Keane, who won seven EPL titles with United, told Sky Sports.

"If you want to win the league, you have to win these tight games. They haven't quite shown that yet. But, overall, I'd be pleased with their performance. They showed a good mentality." - AFP, REUTERS

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