Jurgen Klopp makes Premier League title plea to Liverpool players

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 21: Jurgen Klopp, Manager of Liverpool, embraces Harvey Elliott of Liverpool after the team's victory in the Premier League match between Fulham FC and Liverpool FC at Craven Cottage on April 21, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Jurgen Klopp embraces Harvey Elliott after Liverpool's 3-1 win at Fulham -Credit:Julian Finney/Getty Images

Jurgen Klopp has urged Liverpool to keep the title race “exciting” as he dismissed questions over the character of his players.

The Reds dragged their Premier League title challenge back on track with an impressive 3-1 win at Fulham on Sunday afternoon.

Ryan Gravenberch and Diogo Jota scored in the second half after Trent-Alexander Arnold’s free-kick opener was equalised in first-half injury time by Timothy Castagne.

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With five matches remaining, Liverpool are again behind leaders Arsenal only on goal difference with Manchester City a point behind but with a game in hand. And of being involved in a fourth title race of his tenure, Reds boss Klopp said: “We won it once where we killed the league. I enjoyed it a lot but was a bit different because no supporters in the stadium. I would have loved to have it slightly different. All the other title races we lost in the end.

“We kept it quite exciting and maybe if we can keep it as exciting, then in the end fortune is maybe then on our side. We don’t know. We have to try win as many games as somehow possible, to win as many points as somehow possible.

“It is an intense season for all of us. Everybody needs luck in moments, each of the three teams need that. It will be an interesting race and I’m happy that we are in it.”

Liverpool had taken just one point from their previous two Premier League games and seen their Europa League hopes extinguished despite a 1-0 win over Atalanta in their quarter-final second leg on Thursday.

And after being asked about his team having bounced back in the last two games, Klopp said: “I don’t question these kind of things. Before that we didn’t gain a lot of points in that period. We should have won games but didn’t. That's not great but we created a lot.

“We are in the situation we are because of the character of these boys. Nobody expected us to be here and here we are. That’s because of the boys.

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“It’s the run-in, no interruptions any more. No European football, at least not for us, actually for no English teams besides Aston Villa. We can all concentrate on that and that’s what we will all do. I’m really happy with today.”

Liverpool, who now travel across Stanley Park to take on neighbours Everton at Goodison on Wednesday, had started strongly at Craven Cottage before losing their way before half-time, but responded with a hugely impressive showing after the interval.

And Klopp said: “I like big parts of the first half but the second half was a complete performance. Start of the game was good. For us, can’t really explain it, but Fulham is a tough place to go. We always struggle here a little bit.

“From my point of view, that was the best performance we've had so far against Fulham away. We won the last game already, no-one felt it really but we won against Atalanta. It didn’t help but it was still a win.

“I thought there was a good chance that we’d make the next step today. We tried that, and the boys did that. We played a really good football game, created a lot more chances than we used. That’s normal but we could have scored more often.

“We had one or two tricky situations to sort, self-created pretty much where we lost the ball in unnecessary moments. I’m really happy with the performance. Hopefully nobody got hurt, not that I heard anything. That will be great but we will see. We have to recover quickly because we play Wednesday again.”