Soccer

Liverpool are still in top-four race after ‘deserved’ win at Man Utd, says Klopp

The German manager says his team will have to pick up maximum points from their final three fixtures to secure Champions League qualification

Jurgen Klopp has insisted that Liverpool are still in the race for a top-four finish after picking up a “deserved” win at Manchester United.

Liverpool moved up to fifth in the Premier League standings after beating United 4-2 at Old Trafford on Thursday night, thanks to a Roberto Firmino brace and goals from Mohamed Salah and Diogo Jota.

Klopp’s side are now just four points behind fourth-placed Chelsea with a game in hand, but the German tactician has warned that they will need to pick up maximum points from their final three games to secure Champions League qualification.

What’s been said?

“We are still in the game, in the race. That is all we could have done tonight. It is very intense,” The Liverpool boss told BBC Sport.

“We have to recover quickly and go again. We played a good game and did good enough to win so obviously we did a lot of right stuff tonight.”

Klopp added: “[Roberto Firmino] was very helpful and these kind of things are really important. That’s what we needed to stay in the race.

“We have really tough games coming up. West Brom will be completely free of pressure, which can do strange things, Burnley with supporters is a tough one and we will see what we have to do against Crystal Palace.

“We have to win all the games. That’s why the draws we have had against Newcastle and Leeds felt like defeats. Being in a position where you have it in your own hands to qualify for the Champions League is a big thing. Two or three years ago that was our life.”

Klopp lands first win at Old Trafford

Liverpool’s thrilling victory over the Red Devils marked Klopp’s first at Old Trafford since taking over at Anfield in 2015, but they had to come from behind after Bruno Fernandes’ 10th-minute opener.

Jota equalised just after the half-hour mark with a delightful flick after a scramble in the box before Firmino completed a first-half comeback for the Reds by heading home a Trent Alexander-Arnold free-kick.

Firmino scored again two minutes into the second half after Dean Henderson fumbled a shot from Alexander-Arnold, but Marcus Rashford got the hosts back into the game with a cool finish in the 68th minute.

Liverpool weren’t to be denied, though, with Salah racing through to score on the breakaway in stoppage time and secure a crucial three points for last season’s champions.

What else did Klopp say?

Asked to assess his side’s latest performance, Klopp responded: “Great fight, good game, intense – all derbies should be – and my first win at Old Trafford. Good timing I would say. We needed it. We deserved it. All good.

“It was good. All good performances. Our two centre-halves were a little shaky at the beginning of the game with passes but then did a really good game. Trent was in proper shape tonight and played pretty much everything.

“They couldn’t chip the ball through to Bruno Fernandes anymore and step by step we got control of the game. It was of course tricky at 3-2 but we scored that fourth goal.”

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