Klopp drops Prem title claim as Liverpool would have ‘good chance’ of winning on one condition

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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp claps during a Premier League match.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp remains positive about their chances of winning the Premier League title despite losing to Crystal Palace last weekend.

A difficult run of results – which began with a 2-2 draw at Manchester United and was followed by home losses to Atalanta and Crystal Palace – ended with a 1-0 Europa League victory in Bergamo but this could not prevent their elimination from the Europa League 3-1 on aggregate at the quarter-final stage.

A first clean sheet in 10 matches was a much-needed confidence boost, especially as Liverpool continue to struggle to find their best form in an attacking sense, and Klopp believes the two-point gap to leaders Manchester City can be overhauled with a perfect run-in.

“It’s not obviously in our hands, it is not about that,” said Klopp.

“Maybe we only have to win five…”

“I think if we would win all our games there is a good chance we will be champion. If not there is a good chance someone else will be champion.

“Maybe we only have to win five, but nobody knows. Who would have thought that Arsenal lose against Aston Villa?

“We all sit here and think ‘OK, yeah. City will win all their games’ and that’s happened quite frequently, but they have a lot of games to play and difficult opponents as well.

“We don’t think about that. We don’t think about them. It is just how can we make sure we start winning games again.”

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Over the course of their recent rivalry, Liverpool have had a couple of seasons where the race to the line with City has seen them miss out by just a point despite matching each other win-for-win for the majority of the run in.

But Klopp said that experience was not necessarily as positive as onlookers may believe.

“When we were in the position we didn’t win the league in the end. We lost by a point and stuff like that. What kind of experience is that?” he added.

“We know how to get there – and then don’t (win). It’s not about that.

“It’s good to know that you are good and you can cause other teams problems.

“But the thing is clear: if you want to be champion in the Premier League you have to be close to perfect and if you are not perfect you have to deal with the setbacks in the best possible way or in a perfect way.

“That is what we are now doing. We had a setback week with three games we didn’t like too much, the results especially, and now we have to start turning it around.”

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Key to turning things around will be a change in fortunes in front of goal.

Three goals in their last four matches has stalled their progress with the forwards failing to take numerous opportunities they have created.

Mohamed Salah, whom Klopp defended after he missed a key chance to make it 2-0 against Atalanta, has scored six – two of which were penalties – in 11 matches since returning from two months out with a hamstring injury.

Luis Diaz has two in eight games, Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo have just one in their last seven, while Diogo Jota has yet to find the net in three appearances since returning injury.

“We had good moments and had an awful lot of chances, and didn’t use one of them more of less,” said Klopp.

“That’s not great but the worst thing in football is not to have chances. It is better you deal with chances you miss than you have no chances.

“That’s why I’m absolutely positive and after processing things properly, yeah, I’m more than happy with the situation.”