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Jürgen Klopp

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Jurgen Klopp hails “perfect day” for Liverpool

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Jurgen Klopp has had far from an ideal week but his Liverpool side ruthlessly dispatched Southampton at Anfield to end it on a high note.

[ MORE: Liverpool batter Saints ]

Klopp was sent to hospital earlier this week when he felt unwell but the German coach was given a big boost as Mohamed Salah scored twice in the first half, which included a stunning opener, and Philippe Coutinho finished Saints off in the second half as the Reds eased to victory and stayed in touch with the chasing pack behind runaway leaders Manchester City.

Speaking to the BBC after the game, Klopp was happy with what he saw from his side after he was fit enough to be on the bench on Saturday.

“Difficult game, Southampton are a really good football side. It was an open game, we had more chances before we scored. We need to be patient in a lively way,” Klopp said. “The first goal, wow, I have nothing to do with the goal and the second was a fantastic pass and Mo Salah makes great runs. We could have scored more often but it was a perfect day for us.”

Klopp, 50, sees his side just three points off second place after 12 games of the Premier League season, while his side remain firm favorites to qualify for the UEFA Champions League Round of 16.

So far, so good.

Yes, Man City will take some catching (and a collapse of their own) but Liverpool’s aim should be to secure a second-straight top four finish and go from there.

With Sadio Mane, Salah, Coutinho and Roberto Firmino in the form they showed on Saturday, plus a fifth clean sheet in six PL games this season at Anfield, the defensive woes Klopp’s team have faced away from home this season aren’t troubling them at home.

Next up is Chelsea at home for Liverpool, which will be a supreme test of their newfound defensive solidity at home. Their results against title contenders this season have been up and down with a draw against Manchester United, hammerings at Tottenham and Man City and a thrashing of Arsenal at home.

Liverpool’s clash against top four rivals Chelsea is followed by five winnable games before they travel to Arsenal on Dec. 22.

Between now and then we will see if Liverpool’s season will amount to more than just a top four challenge. Saturday’s shellacking of a lackluster Southampton may have been “perfect” but a much tougher test awaits next week against a rejuvenated Chelsea side who have Alvaro Morata and Eden Hazard purring in attack

Can Liverpool’s oft-fragile defense cope? We are about to find out.

Klopp misses Liverpool training, visits hospital due to illness

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Liverpool’s manager Jurgen Klopp has missed training with the Reds on Wednesday to attend a hospital appointment.

Klopp, 50, is said to have gone to hospital after feeling unwell overnight on Tuesday and then being advised by Liverpool’s medical staff to seek further testing.

Liverpool’s website said their German manager may have to miss further training sessions in the coming days ahead of their game against Southampton at Anfield on Saturday (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET on NBCSports.com).

Below is the statement from the club in full.

Jurgen Klopp has attended a hospital appointment today as a precautionary measure, after feeling ill.

He is being assessed by doctors and will be absent from training on Wednesday as a result. There are currently no plans for Jurgen to remain in hospital beyond his appointment and he will therefore return home this evening; however, he may require further check-ups in the coming days.

The club urges that the privacy of Jurgen, his family and other patients is respected while attending hospital visits.

Klopp, along with his players, was due to attend the premiere of the Kenny Dalglish biopic ‘Kenny’ on Wednesday, but he will no longer be in attendance and it is unknown if he will take training at Liverpool’s Melwoodd training base on Thursday.

The nature of Klopp’s illness has not been specified.

Premier League Preview: West Ham vs. Liverpool

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  • Hammers 4-2-2 in last 8 vs. Reds
  • Liverpool won last tilt 4-0
  • Reds lead all-time 69W-37D-28L

Liverpool looks to build on a pair of clean sheets when it visits the London Stadium to face Slaven Bilic and desperate West Ham United on Saturday (Watch live at 1:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com).

Jurgen Klopp‘s Reds blanked Huddersfield Town last weekend before shutting out Maribor in the UEFA Champions League. West Ham has scored more freely than either opponent this season.

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

The Irons haven’t won in three-straight Premier League matches, but did pick up a significant League Cup win over Spurs last week. That win made a late concession to draw Crystal Palace on Saturday sting even more.

Klopp said Philippe Coutinho is out but Sadio Mane may be able to come off the bench. Georginio Wijnaldum could also make an appearance if need be.

What they’re saying

West Ham’s Aaron Cresswell on rebounding from Palace““We know it’s frustrating at times. If you’re a fan sitting there you can understand why and we certainly fully understand. We need to come together as one. We’ve been working hard week in and week out to put it right. We want to generate that atmosphere, against a team like Liverpool, and put it right.”

Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp on who will take the next pen“I really understand it’s a big story but in the past it is not to change. We will never try to get penalties, but when we have them in future we will score from the penalty spot, 100 per cent. We only have to make sure [we are] not getting this story all over the season because it’s a good opportunity to score when you have a penalty. The boys are all able to do it. As I said, (Milner’s) penalty was really, really good, but it was a brilliant save and that’s something we have to respect as well.”

Prediction

If West Ham’s men are still playing for their boss, they stand a good chance at getting a point or better against a banged up Liverpool. If the effort’s there, the Hammers just may scoot away with a 2-1 win.

Milner: Liverpool “waiting for it to click”

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Jurgen Klopp has been in charge of Liverpool for just over two calendar years, but according to Premier League vet James Milner, things just haven’t come together. Yet.

With Liverpool sitting in 6th position in the Premier League table and set to take on NK Maribor in Champions League play on Wednesday, the 31-year-old claims Liverpool still needs time to get things right with the squad.

“We have had injuries and I think we are waiting for it to click,” Milner said ahead of the game. “We have shown glimpses – when we showed it in Maribor, it was pretty devastating. We have to be on top of our game, set the tempo and come out all guns blazing.”

Milner is referring to the reverse fixture of this matchup, when they clobbered the Slovenian side on the road in Eastern Europe 7-0 14 days ago. Following that match, however, the Reds came home and lost to Spurs at Wembley Stadium 4-1, followed by a 3-0 win against Huddersfield. That inconsistency is what has thus far kept Klopp from challenging for the Premier League title.

Aside from a run of four consecutive wins in mid-to-late August, Liverpool has not won back-to-back games all year across all competitions. Coming off that Huddersfield triumph, Klopp would do well to keep the run going as they head back to the English capital for a meeting with West Ham this coming weekend.

Klopp: Beating best friend Wagner, Huddersfield “felt like Christmas”

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As a competitor, every victory feels good no matter the circumstances.

[ PL ROUNDUP: Man City’s historic start; Man United, Arsenal win ]

Victory over a friend — let alone a best friend — is an indescribable feeling. More importantly, it’s an achievement which also provides bragging rights for the foreseeable future. On Saturday, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp faced off against Huddersfield Town’s David Wagner, Klopp’s admitted “best friend,” and came away with said bragging rights, courtesy of a 3-0 victory.

[ MORE: Tactics session — Blame Liverpool’s midfield for poor defending, too ]

After the game, Klopp did little to hide his delight, saying the victory and relief of impending doom “felt like Christmas” — quotes from the BBC:

“Three goals, three points, clean sheet. Tottenham was the worst game we played in the season and you can’t ignore it. It can happen.”

“The first goal against Huddersfield we forced the situation. The second one after a set-piece felt like Christmas. We had a lot of good set-pieces today.

“The third one was nice play. Big relief.”

Klopp and Wagner will almost certainly meet another 50 times (or more) during their managerial careers, and the sweet taste of victory will never, ever sour for either of them.

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