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Klopp doesn’t care about records as Liverpool close in on title


Liverpool’s German manager Jurgen Klopp applauds the fans following the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Liverpool at The London Stadium, in east London on January 29, 2020. – Liverpool won the match 2-1. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) / 

Jurgen Klopp insisted Liverpool are not motivated by making history after the runaway leaders took another step towards the Premier League title with a 2-0 win at West Ham on Wednesday.

Klopp’s side has turned the title race into a procession and they moved 19 points clear at the top with their 23rd victory from 24 league games this season.

Mohamed Salah opened the scoring with a first-half penalty at the London Stadium and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain wrapped up Liverpool’s 15th successive league win after the interval.

Second-placed Manchester City is now so far behind Liverpool that the question is not if but when the Reds clinch their first English league title since 1990.

The Reds have won 31 of their past 32 league fixtures, only dropping points in a 1-1 draw at Manchester United in October.

With 14 games left, Liverpool’s incredible run has given historic overtones to their impending title coronation.

But Klopp is only concerned about getting Liverpool over the finish line, with any landmarks set on the way merely the icing on the cake.

“In a season you have to dig in, you don’t breathe pretty much, then after 38 games you come out of the water and see how you did,” Klopp said.

“I’m not too much concerned about records. We had a record at Dortmund and Bayern beat it the next season.

“I don’t want to be boring. We just don’t feel like that.”

The European and World champions are now 41 games unbeaten in the league — just eight away from the 49-match English top-flight record set by Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ across 2003 and 2004.

Matching that Arsenal team’s achievement in going an entire league season without defeat is within Liverpool’s reach, as is Manchester City’s Premier League record of 100 points.

‘Proper history’
Liverpool’s latest success on a chilly night in east London will be just a footnote when the full story of their likely title triumph is written, but they still managed to record another small piece of history.

They have now beaten all 19 of the other teams in the league at least once this season — the first time the club has achieved that feat in the top-flight.

Told of the milestone, Klopp maintained his only motivation was to get the best from his team in each match, but he did stop to briefly salute the achievement.

“This game, it was not a brilliant performance. The difficulty tonight was to get the rhythm, keep the rhythm and stay concentrated. Their biggest chances came because we gave them away,” he said.

“I trust these boys 100 percent with my kids, but they still made these ridiculous mistakes. It’s completely normal that you don’t always perform at the highest level.

“It is not a motivational problem for us. We are Liverpool, we have a proper history and everyone knows what we have to do to reach that.

“If it was easy to get this number of points other teams would have done it. It’s just really incredibly difficult.

“If we reach any records we will take that when it happens.”

West Ham manager David Moyes admitted Liverpool deserve their place among the Premier League’s all-time great teams.

But, as a former boss of Liverpool’s two greatest rivals, he unsurprisingly stopped short of anointing them the best English football has ever seen.

“They are as good as there has been at this moment in time. It’s very difficult when you have been the manager of Everton and Manchester United to say that!” Moyes said.

“They are an excellent side. They have so many strings to their bow. But when you think of some of the great Manchester United and Arsenal teams of the past, it’s difficult to judge them (as the best ever).

“Two years ago everyone was saying it was impossible to beat Manchester City.”

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