Jürgen Klopp

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 11: Jurgen Klopp, Manager of Liverpool celebrates with Emre Can after the Premier League match between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield on February 11, 2017 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Klopp pleased by Liverpool response after recent struggles in form

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While a Premier League title may be out of the team’s grasp, Liverpool got back to winning ways on Saturday.

And the club’s manager was very pleased with his side’s resiliency.

[ MORE: Liverpool victory creates tight race for second spot ]

Prior to Saturday’s 2-0 win over second-place Tottenham, the Reds had fallen into a rough spell of form, going winless in five straight Premier League matches and dropping out of both the FA and EFL Cups.

“I had no idea that first half would happen but the boys are serious,” Klopp said. “They were not happy with their own performance and knew they needed to show a reaction. Of course the atmosphere at training was not like it is before a friendly game this week. Everything was more on the angry side.

“Today the pressure was on us but we dealt with it. We had a really bad period. We are still around, not with Chelsea but with the rest.

“It shows we are able to do some good things. To qualify for the Champions League has top be our aim. We need this performance consistently.”

The Reds currently sit in fourth place in the PL, just one point behind both Spurs and Arsenal.

Klopp and co. face Arsenal and Manchester City in two of their next four PL fixtures, both of which could ultimately determine the club’s Champions League fate for next season.

Liverpool victory creates tight race for second place

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 11:  Sadio Mane (2nd R) of Liverpool celebrates scoring his side's second goal with his team mate Philippe Coutinho (1st R) during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield on February 11, 2017 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images for Tottenham Hotspur FC)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images for Tottenham Hotspur FC
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It had been a rough spell of results for Jurgen Klopp‘s side heading into Saturday, but Liverpool picked up a much needed victory against one of the Premier League’s elite.

[ MORE: PL Saturday roundup — Liverpool, Arsenal & United all win ]

The Reds entered Saturday’s clash against Tottenham winless in their last five matches across all competitions, and with the PL title slowly getting further and further away, three points was exactly what the doctor ordered for Klopp and co.

[ MORE: Three things we learned from Liverpool’s win over Spurs ]

After missing time while away at the African Cup of Nations, Sadio Mane quickly proved his value once more to the Reds after netting a first-half brace for the home side, which ultimately proved to be the difference at Anfield.

The Senegalese attacker scored twice in three minutes to put Liverpool within one point of second place in England’s top flight.

“What is important is the team. We have had a difficult few weeks but that can happen in football,” Mane said. “We are all going in the same direction. We deserved to win. We controlled the game from beginning to end.”

Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson reiterated Mane’s sentiments, stating that the win over Spurs could jump start the team’s spirits as the season heads into its most critical juncture.

“I thought we played well, even without the ball we were still in control,” the Liverpool captain said. “We were much better in terms of performance and the result. It’s a start in the right direction and we need to keep going like that until the end of season.

“Tonight you could see a lot of good things in our play. We have been frustrated in recent games. Today it was nice to have good performance.”

Klopp reacts to another miserable Liverpool display

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp prior to the English Premier League soccer match against Hull City at the KCOM Stadium, Hull, England, Saturday Feb. 4, 2017. (Danny Lawson/PA via AP)
Danny Lawson/PA via AP
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This was not supposed to happen to Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool. Frankly, it probably wasn’t supposed to happen to anyone at Liverpool.

The Reds lost again on Saturday, another loss to a Premier League relegation candidate. Liverpool is now winless in five, a draw with Chelsea living amongst losses to Swansea, Hull, Southampton, and Wolves.

[ RECAP: Hull City 2-0 Liverpool ]

Overall, Liverpool has one win in 2017 and that came in an FA Cup third round replay against Plymouth Argyle. Klopp, as expected, is angry.

From the BBC:

“It makes no sense for us to play like this. If we played like we did in the second half for the whole game no team can cope with us. But we need to wake up, that was not acceptable.

“We had a lot of possession, but what is possession? Possession is only good if you create something. It was not like we expected from ourselves. We have to take the criticism, think about it, find a few answers and react.”

Changes are needed, and we’re not necessarily talking about players. Top managers, like Klopp, need to react and be willing to change a bit of their philosophy. Can’t tell you what the right change is — that’s Klopp’s job — but his system isn’t working right now, and he’s been at the gig for more than a year now (even if some of the players have not).

Mourinho asks why Klopp can lash out, but he cannot

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 01:  Jose Mourinho, Manager of Manchester United waves as he leaves the field after the Premier League match between Manchester United and Hull City at Old Trafford on February 1, 2017 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images
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Earlier we relayed post-match comments from Jose Mourinho questioning the officiating in Manchester United’s 0-0 draw with Hull City at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

It wasn’t a fun time for Mourinho, who left another interview early.

More comments have emerged, and these struck us as worth a second post. Mourinho was nearly sent to the stands on Wednesday when he argued with a fourth official, and he’s questioning a pretty understandable double standard.

[ MORE: Guardiola compares Gabriel Jesus to melon ]

That is, of course, if Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp is not punished for screaming “nobody can beat us” at an official after Simon Mignolet stopped a late penalty.

From the BBC:

“Yesterday a fourth official told a manager ‘I enjoy very much your passion.’ Today I am told to sit down or I am going to be sent to the stand.

“Everything is different for me so don’t ask me questions that put me in a difficult situation.”

To be fair, why would Mourinho want to continue to answer questions when some managers are held to a different standard?

Now Klopp may be punished for his furious outburst, but it does bear some conversation as to whether Mourinho gets a bit more stick than he deserves.

Then again, Mourinho has certainly earned his reputation over time. Is it as simple as Mourinho is reaping what he’s sown over years in the Premier League, while Klopp remains a bit shinier and newer?

Klopp apologizes to official, reveals true feelings on Costa

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Jurgen Klopp wears his heart on his sleeve.

[ MORE: Grades for January window ]

It’s why Liverpool fans and neutrals love him but sometimes his emotions boil over. That happened at Anfield on Tuesday as Liverpool drew 1-1 with Chelsea and Klopp screamed furiously in the face of the fourth official.

With the game level with 14 minutes to go, Chelsea were awarded a penalty kick after Diego Costa was fouled in the box by Joel Matip. It was a clear penalty kick but Klopp vented his frustration to the fourth official.

He explained that his beef was with a foul not being called on Costa earlier in the play as he appeared to nudge Dejan Lovren off the ball. Still, he realized his reaction (see in the video above) towards fourth official Neil Swarbrick was unnecessary.

“I turned to him [Swarbrick] and said: ‘Nobody can beat us.’ Obviously that is absolutely not true but that’s what I said in this moment,” Klopp said. “I went back to the fourth official and said: ‘Sorry – you are the wrong person to speak to.’ He said: ‘No problem, I like your passion.’ I have never heard that from an official before. That was cool.”

With Arsene Wenger receiving a four-match touchline ban for slightly pushing a fourth official, some would argue Klopp should be charged by the FA. Let’s see how this plays out.

As for Costa — the man who won and then had his penalty kick brilliantly saved by Simon Mignolet — Klopp revealed his true feelings about Chelsea’s leading goalscorer.

“If I had played against Costa we could never be friends,” Klopp added. “That’s how it is but when you have him in your team it’s much more fun. I don’t know if it was a dive for the penalty. No one has said anything to me.”

In a way that was a back-handed compliment for Costa from Klopp and although Liverpool remain 10 points behind league leaders Chelsea, they showed spirit and determination to battle back into the game and grab a point. Roberto Firmino had two wonderful chances at the start and end of the second half which he made a mess of, but overall a draw was a fair result as Pedro went close twice late on.

What must be the most frustrating thing for Klopp is that Liverpool has the best record in the PL against the current top six this season, but they’ve dropped 15 points against teams from outside the top six.

That’s what has likely cost them a shot at the title but Klopp’s side are still well and truly in the top four hunt and clinching a spot in the UEFA Champions League would be a great achievement.