‘I can’t see the race’ – Jurgen Klopp responds to top-four talk at Liverpool following battling win over West Ham

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Jurgen Klopp says he still “can’t see the race” for Champions League qualification despite Liverpool claiming three successive league wins.
  • Reds up to sixth in the table
  • United & Newcastle have games in hand
  • European qualification in sight

WHAT HAPPENED? The latest of those came away at West Ham, with the Reds recovering from going a goal down at the London Stadium to prevail 2-1 courtesy of efforts from Cody Gakpo and Joel Matip. Klopp has also seen his side overcome Leeds and Nottingham Forest of late, while picking up draws against Arsenal and Chelsea. Liverpool are now just six points adrift of the top four, but Manchester United and Newcastle both have games in hand and Klopp is reluctant to put his team in the mix just yet.

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WHAT THEY SAID: Klopp told reporters when asked about a sprint to the finish and the possibility of securing elite European football for 2023-24: “I can't see the race yet, I can't. That's because we are not in the position for a race. So the only thing we can do is keep winning football games. If that puts pressure on other teams, that's not in our hands because we don't play them. We play Tottenham – that's it from that area, I think, of teams above us. If they win all their games, that's it for us. But I don't think about that. I want us to finish the season as good as somehow possible. I want to take something out of the season for next year. If that is European competition, great. If not, we have to accept it as well and go from there. That's what I want now.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Klopp added on what he is looking for from Liverpool in their six remaining fixtures, with the Reds – who have grown accustomed to claiming major honours – set to end the campaign empty-handed: “I want us, at least for a few weeks, [to] show our real face – and not the nice one, the ugly one, the nice one, the ugly one. It's really tough to do that. So now we did it for kind of three games – three-and-a-half, the second half against Arsenal was brilliant as well – all in a different way.

"Tonight, the first half I liked the most for a long, long time, like the way we controlled the game. We played here plenty of times, it's always tough. Result-wise, it looked better from time to time but the goals we scored were then counter-attacks, stuff like that, quick reacting, all these kind of things. We controlled the game in a way we never did before against West Ham and I really liked that.”


Cody Gakpo Liverpool 2022-23

20230409 Jurugen Klopp

WHAT NEXT? Liverpool will be back in action on Sunday when playing host to Tottenham, with Klopp’s side having already clambered above out-of-sorts Spurs on goal difference.