Jurgen Klopp says it’s up to Liverpool to show they are in the hunt for a Premier League top four after a 2-0 win at Sheffield United.
Liverpool ended a streak of four successive league losses with a win over Premier League basement club Curtis Jones and a goal against his side Kean Bryan giving them three important points.
With four of the five teams above Liverpool failing to win this weekend, it increases the Reds’ chances of finishing in the Champions League, now two points behind West Ham in fourth place.
He also establishes an incredibly important draw against Chelsea on Thursday night, live on Sky Sports, With Thomas Tuchel’s side just one point ahead of Liverpool in fifth after their 0-0 draw with Manchester United earlier on Sunday.
Klopp wants his team to prove once again that they remain in the race for a top-four spot.
He said Sky Sports: “It was very important [the result] because a lot of people have written us off and that’s great. It’s about showing us that we’re still here and tonight we’ve shown it. Thursday we play at Chelsea and we have to show it again.
“But with all the issues we’ve had, we’re still in exciting places and that’s where we want to be, which we want to fight for and that’s what we’re going to do.
“I never thought of controlling the situation or anything, you just have to win soccer games, we know that and the rest is controlled by itself and it’s always like that. There’s no way without Champions League results and that’s what we need. We got it tonight and now we’re continuing. “
Hasselbaink: Chelsea will imagine their chances
Chelsea have yet to lose under new manager Tuchel and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink believes his former club will have more confidence than usual at Anfield this week.
When asked if Chelsea would imagine their chances of winning, he said Sky Sports: “Of course. If you watch the game today Sheffield United had some chances. Liverpool are a dangerous team, we all know that, but at the moment you have chances against Liverpool than before, you never would have had.
“If you are at Chelsea you will watch that and you will definitely go to Anfield with a little more positivity and try to win this game and it is certainly possible.
“For Liverpool it is important that they are in the top four, if not what will happen with the Mane, the Salah, the Van Dijk if they are not in the Champions League?
“This story is a little different for Chelsea. They have younger players who can go a year without the Champions League. So for Liverpool they are under pressure.”
Praise be to the man of the match Jones
Jones was named as the Sky Sports man of the match for his performance at Bramall Lane, and dedicated his goal to goalkeeper Alisson and his family after his father passed away last week.
He said Sky Sports: “It has been a difficult time for me and the rest of the team and I am happy to have been on the scoresheet. I would like to take this time to say that this goal is for Ali [Alisson] Dad, may he rest in peace. If Ali sees this, it’s for you my brother.
“He’s a strong boy and a big part of the squad of course. He’s not here today but we miss him for sure and I would like to dedicate my goal to him, as well as to his father and to the rest of his family. “
Manager Klopp said of the 20-year-old: “He’s a top player, there’s no doubt about it. That’s why he’s playing and tonight he was very important. Even he needs to be more involved. in goal situations too and like everywhere, there is room for improvement so tonight he was involved, so it was good. “
Sky Sports specialist Graeme Souness added: “When you watch him play and you’ve played the game, you realize this boy is full of technique. He can run with the ball, he can dribble with the ball, he takes the ball in. narrow areas and he puts a change in.
“At 20 he is lucky to be a real player for this club. He is extremely talented, the fact that he is a Scouser is a real bonus for the club because of the passion he has for the club. and as he gets older he will have an influence in the dressing room, he could have a big part to play in Liverpool’s future.
“He seems to be comfortable at this level. He has the ability, he has the athleticism, he seems to have the attitude and he is one of the many young midfielders out there. English pitch who have a real chance to be real players in the Premier League, as long as they don’t have a big head on their shoulders. “
Wilder complains about poorer defense
Sheffield United coach Chris Wilder pointed to a poorer defense on his side as Liverpool won 2-0 but still saw the same high level of commitment.
He said Sky Sports: You have to be at your best to beat Liverpool and ignore their last two or three games. They are still one of the best teams in England and Europe so you have to be at your best and have your best players available and be in top form and unfortunately at the moment we are not.
“Aaron [Ramsdale] kept us in the game in the first half, but I would expect a team like us in the lower half [of the table] to get a result against Liverpool your goalkeeper has to play well, which he did in the first half.
“There were few half chances, but that’s another goal that goes with an incredibly bad catalog of goals. Our defense this year, continuity plays a key role but certainly individual mistakes, there is a bad tackle. timed that led to the first goal and we have enough body around the ball for the second goal to knock that out. Obviously it’s a deflection and you’re 2-0 against some very high level players and that turns into last 20/25 minutes.
“The players reflect the spirit of the fans, they reflect the club, I believe they reflect the way I want my team to play. I don’t think anyone can question their attitude or their commitment, they give everything and sometimes you’re just not good enough and you don’t have that quality to really compete. For long stretches of this season we haven’t shown those qualities. “
Sheffield United’s game against Liverpool is the first of three successive Premier League home games. They are back in action on Wednesday against Aston Villa; kick off at 6 p.m. The Blades will then host Southampton on Saturday, live on Sky Sports; kick off 3 p.m.
Liverpool also play twice on Sky Sports over the next week. First, they host Chelsea at Anfield on Thursday; kick off at 8:15 p.m. They will then play Fulham next Sunday; kick off at 2 p.m.