LONDON, England — Jurgen Klopp insists Liverpool will not crack from the pressure applied by Manchester City in the Premier League title race, but admitted his side were fortunate to get away with scoring an offside goal against West Ham United on Monday night.
Liverpool’s lead at the top of the table is now at three points following the 1-1 draw at the London Stadium.
Reigning champions City can move into first place if they beat Everton at Goodison Park on Wednesday night, although they will have played one more game than Jurgen Klopp’s side.
“Yes, I’m confident about that [we won’t crack],” Klopp told a news conference after the West Ham game.
“I think since five, six, seven, eight weeks we talk about a two-horse race now and Tottenham came from behind. They had a very difficult situation and deal with it brilliantly. I have to say, all credit to Pochettino and his team how they did it, winning games late with a lot of injury problems as well. For me, they are 100 percent in the race. So that’s the situation.
“If you want to be top of the table at the end of the season then you have to deal with much tougher situations than we had today. That’s the truth. Of course, you need players fit and available, that helps a bit.
“We have to fight. It’s not about pressure, it’s about enjoying the situation you are in. We have 62 points, lost one game in the full season so far, which is very positive.
“But I see your faces already, you feel a bit sorry for us — you don’t have to, we are fine, everything is good.
“Tonight was just a tough game. But if you have a day like that with the things that happened yesterday and then you get a point at West Ham, for me that’s absolutely fine.”
James Milner was clearly offside in the buildup to Mane’s goal, although Klopp felt a draw was a fair result.
“Obviously, our goal was offside,” he said. “I didn’t know that in the game and at half-time nobody told me, I didn’t ask.
“After the game, our analysts told me immediately. They scored a goal, we scored an offside goal.
“Yesterday night we trained and after the session we had to change three positions. That, of course, is not perfect. You saw that around the set-pieces with the organisation especially. That’s where we struggled a bit.
“Apart from that, it’s a game where if Divock [Origi] scores the late goal then that would be a lucky moment. But the point is absolutely deserved.”
Meanwhile, West Ham captain Mark Noble told Sky Sports after the match that he and his teammates “scared” Liverpool for the 90 minutes.
“I don’t know him really well, so I don’t know why he speaks about us after a game like that,” Klopp responded. “They defended well, that’s true. They didn’t scare us. It’s a normal away game.
“They have quality — no doubt about that. Why they don’t have more often results? I don’t know. But tonight they had a result, 1-1, but I didn’t see that they scared us.”