“Nobody gets rid of us,” said Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp after his side beat Burnley 4-2 on Sunday to keep the pressure on Premier League leaders Manchester City.
There had been claims the Reds were “bottling” the title after slipping off the top, now one point behind champions City, following a run of two wins in five Premier League games – including last Sunday’s 0-0 draw with Everton.
“We did not have problems with confidence after the Everton game,” Klopp said.
“You don’t have to think that all that you write has an influence on us – it’s not like that, most of the things are not interesting to us, that’s the truth. So you make a big fuss when we score five and we are the best attacking side in the world, then we scored nil and we have an offensive problem.”
But, taking City out of it, Liverpool are having their joint-best ever season – and one of the most successful of any team in English top-flight history.
How Reds’ season ranks with the greats
This is one of only eight seasons – going all the way back to 1892-93 – when Liverpool’s 73 points is not enough to see them top or joint top of the table (if you adjust past tables to three points for a win).
Liverpool are the only team on or above that total to ever not be top at the time. Manchester United in 2011-12 are the only side to have had 73 points or more after 30 games and not won the league – with Manchester City pipping them on goal difference.
Liverpool’s tally of 73 points from their opening 30 league games is their joint highest, level with the 1904-05 second tier and the 1987-88 First Division.
|Teams to lose a maximum of one top-flight game in their opening 30 matches|
|0 – Arsenal (2004)|
|1 – Leeds (1974), Liverpool (1988, 2019), Arsenal (1991, 2008), Chelsea (2015), Man City (2018)|
|*Of these sides, only Arsenal in 2008 did not go on to win the league|
‘We had the perfect mixture’
The Reds have not won the English title since 1989-90, before the Premier League was formed.
They led by seven points from Manchester City going into their meeting on 3 January, but have since slipped to one point behind them. Ex-Liverpool midfielder and BBC pundit Danny Murphy was among those who wondered if Liverpool were becoming too cautious.
Klopp’s side fell behind against Burnley on Sunday to an Ashley Westwood corner, which flew in, but Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane both scored twice in a 4-2 win.
“Our message for today is that nobody gets rid of us if we play as we played today, because we had the perfect mixture of fighting the opponent, fighting the circumstances and playing football,” the German said.
He did not see the game as a missed opportunity to boost their goal difference. They are seven goals behind City as well as one point.
“We only needed three points – of course goal difference is important as well but what can you do?” he said.
“To score as many goals as possible, that’s what we tried. We could have defended better, but that’s not possible.”
|Remaining fixtures in the Premier League title race|
|1st – Manchester City (P 30, GD 58, PTS 74)||2nd – Liverpool (P30, GD 51, PTS 73)|
|*Date of fixtures may be changed because of clashes with potential cup ties or television coverage|
|30 March v Fulham (A)||17 March v Fulham (A)|
|6 April* v Cardiff City (H)||31 March v Tottenham (H)|
|14 April* v Crystal Palace (A)||5 April v Southampton (A)|
|20 April v Tottenham (H)||14 April v Chelsea (H)|
|24 April v Manchester United (A)||21 April v Cardiff City (A)|
|28 April* v Burnley (A)||26 April v Huddersfield Town (H)|
|4 May* v Leicester City (H)||4 May* v Newcastle United (A)|
|12 May v Brighton (A)||12 May v Wolverhampton Wanderers (H)|
Premier League 2018-19
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|Premier League’s top six form guide|
|Team||Form over the past 10 league games|