The Reds’ seven-point table lead may be gone, but they aren’t quitting the fight for their first Premier League era top flight title.
Liverpool went down 1-0 when Alisson Becker was stopped from leaping for an Ashley Westwood corner kick, but the Reds responded with vigor.
Two goals each for Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino arrived in a comfortable win, made uncomfortable for a mere minute in stoppage time.
“We played our game,” Klopp said. “The first Burnley goal was maybe a little bit of the wind. In most countries it would not be allowed that goal. You cannot treat the goalie like that in the six-yard box.”
“At the end, there will be a really strong side wearing a Liverpool shirt going to Huddersfield and then we will see what we can get there.”
Klopp’s also going against one of his best pals in David Wagner, who needs goals and wins in a hurry. The Terriers are deep in a relegation fight already, and may be getting the Reds at an opportune time.
Can Jose Mourinho get another big win at Stamford Bridge? Chelsea vs. Manchester United, 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday on NBCSN [ STREAM ]
Well, duh. Do we need to write much under this one? Jose Mourinho’s had plenty of success at Chelsea, but needs to start stacking some wins for Manchester United. Five points adrift of the Top Four and seven back of table-topping Chelsea, now’s a time for a tactical masterclass and a win at the Bridge.
Spurs hope returnees can help win unpredictable derby West Ham vs. Tottenham Hotspur, 10 a.m. ET Saturday on NBCSN [ STREAM ]
The Irons have had two weeks to stew on a disappointing loss at Brighton, but all will be forgotten if Manuel Pellegrini leads West Ham past Spurs at the London Stadium.
Spurs defeat of West Ham last season was its first league away win at the Irons since 2014. But this derby is a real “throw out the records” affair, as the venue has been seemingly inconsequential. Spurs will have Christian Eriksen and Mousa Dembele back.
Will good Leicester City turn up to the Emirates Stadium? Arsenal vs. Leicester City, 3 p.m. ET Monday on NBCSN [ STREAM ]
The Foxes have stumbled a bit too often to be in the Top Four race, and will need to be at their very best against an Arsenal side which hasn’t lost since opening the season 0-2.
Which underachiever will emerge happy from Merseyside? Everton vs. Crystal Palace, 11 a.m. ET Sunday on NBCSN [ STREAM ]
Marco Silva‘s Toffees have won back-to-back matches to pull into 11th place in the league, five points clear of Palace. Neither expected to be as low as they currently stand. Judging by the way their seasons have gone, a draw where both teams claim they deserved better is coming to Goodison Park for Sunday’s only Premier League match.
Adam Lallana believes “the signs are really good” for Liverpool to “get to the next step” and win a trophy under Jurgen Klopp.
Liverpool have reached three major finals since Klopp took charge in October 2015 and although they’ve lost all three they’ve made major strides forward over the past 12 months with back-to-back top four finishes in the Premier League and finishing runners up in the UEFA Champions League in 2017/18.
So what’s the goal for this season? Lallana was asked if Liverpool are the biggest contenders to reigning champs Manchester City for the PL crown in 2018/19.
“That’s not for us to say, that’s for other people to speculate. But, of course, we are going to be in the pack who want to chase down City,” Lallana said. “Hopefully, Liverpool and three or four of the other top teams can squeeze a few more points out of City this year. That would make it more interesting.”
Lallana’s optimism is certainly shared by neutrals, pundits and supporters of the Anfield club, with Liverpool’s impressive summer spending set to give them a whole new dimension this season.
With Alisson arriving in goal, Fabinho in holding midfield, Naby Keita in central midfield and Xherdan Shaqiri as a back-up attacking midfielder, Klopp has upgraded in key areas and added plenty of strength in-depth.
Sure, it’s cost him $325 million over the past 12 months (if you count Virgil Van Dijk‘s $100 million arrival in January) but Liverpool now look like genuine title contenders and they certainly gave Man City plenty of problems in their record-breaking title campaign last season.
The pressing and pace of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino totally threw off City in a 4-3 defeat at Anfield in the league, while Liverpool beat them 5-1 on aggregate over two legs in the UCL quarterfinals to assert their dominance.
Although Lallana is correct to hope for help from the other title contenders in taking points off City, Liverpool must take care of business against bottom feeders in the PL. Last season they lost against Swansea and drew with fellow-relegated teams West Brom (twice) and Stoke.
For all of their high-pressing and speedy forward play, Liverpool must develop a Plan B this season if they’re going to chase down City. With Keita, Shaqiri and Fabinho on board, their options in midfield have been bolstered and with Alisson (the most expensive goalkeeper in history) in goal they should eradicate costly errors.
Adam Lallana has been out since limping off against Crystal Palace on March 31 after just five minutes, but according to Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, he’s nearing a return. Klopp said that Lallana’s injury is a thing of the past, and that he’s simply looking to regain match fitness to be able to fully contribute.
“Adam is here doing his fitness work,” Klopp said in his pre-match press conference ahead of Liverpool’s Premier League match against Stoke City on Saturday at 7:30 a.m. ET. “He’s not injured any more but he’s not fit yet. We hope still that one or two games might be possible for him. We will see.”
Lallana has truly struggled with with injuries this season, spending nearly the first three months of the season on the shelf with a hamstring problem plus he sat for another 12 matches after that for various reasons. Lallana hasn’t completed a full 90 minutes in Premier League play this entire season. However, should he prove fit before the end of the Premier League season, that would also see him available for a potential Champions League final if Liverpool can seal the deal in Rome.
Meanwhile, Klopp also spoke about Emre Can who has seen lots of time in the trainer’s room with a back injury, without an appearance since March 17. The prospects of Can returning are less promising thank Lallana, with Klopp saying, “Emre is a little bit further away. His rehab is improving a lot. It is much better, but it is quite close to the end of the season.
“I haven’t closed any doors on both of them,” Klopp said of the injured pair. “There is still a possibility.”