Jurgen Klopp has told his Liverpool players that they “cannot begin a party” yet following the Reds’ 2-0 away win at Wolves ensured they’ll lead the Premier League table come Christmas Day.
Liverpool was not at their incisive best at Molineux, with the match played at a sticky rate under heavy rainfall, however, aims from Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk either side of half-time saw them saunter to a different comfortable clean sheet victory.
After the match, Klopp claimed it was one of Liverpool’s toughest matches of this year and effused pride in his side’s performance.
“It was clear that the entire game would be difficult,” Klopp informed BBC. “Everybody would like to press. We want to be streamlined but wide as well which makes it difficult. We defended it pretty nicely. The heavy rain was not difficult for both teams. It was a significant struggle. We understood that we had to be ready.
“The first purpose was magnificent, it was cool. And the next goal — yes, nicely done! I am completely pleased with the result and it is large for us. We wanted to surprise our competition. It was perfect soccer, especially on a night like tonight when it was difficult to play soccer.”
Nevertheless, Klopp revealed that there would be no let-up because of his side, irrespective of the triumph and that he expected his players to pitch up for training as usual on Christmas morning before hosting Boxing Day’s fixture with Newcastle at Anfield.
In eight of the last nine league attempts, only 1 side who have headed at Christmas have not gone on to win the league — Liverpool at 2013 beneath Brendan Rodgers — so with Manchester City under a sliver behind, Klopp has put his group the target of 105 things to become winners.
“I saw some excellent things tonight,” Klopp continued. “We’ll be coaching on Christmas morning so that it is like every other moment. It’s an outstanding number [of points in the league] — it is absolutely cool.
“We’ve got Manchester City waiting and which will be really tough for the boys. We need to have different game plans but the boys showed that they are prepared for this.”