Klopp still not willing to say Liverpool winning the title is all but inevitable
Liverpool racked up more remarkable figures as they took another giant stride towards the Premier League title, but Jurgen Klopp is still refusing to play the numbers game.
Mohamed Salah’s first-half penalty and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s second-half strike swept aside West Ham 2-0 at the London Stadium.
But not even Liverpool’s mammoth 19-point gap at the top, having now beaten all other 19 teams in the division, on their way to an increasingly inevitable 19th title, could get Klopp excited.
“No, I don’t feel anything like that. It’s not about feeling satisfaction or whatever,” said the Reds boss.
“I was in the game completely. I wanted to win it like my boys wanted to win it desperately. Nobody thought before the game, ‘we won against 18 different teams in the league, so let’s make it 19’.
“When you jump in the water you don’t breathe and then you come out after 38 games and have a look at what’s happened.
“That’s how we really see it. Again, nothing like that in the dressing room. I don’t want to be extremely boring, it just doesn’t feel like that.
“I think this game again is a really good example – it was not a brilliant performance. We’ve played some super games, this was just a game.”
Liverpool did not need to be brilliant after Salah tucked away his first goal in London since March 2018, from the penalty spot before half-time.
Struggling West Ham briefly threatened an equaliser but Manuel Lanzini missed his kick in front of goal.
Instead Salah teed up Oxlade-Chamberlain to rifle in the second and keep Liverpool’s inexorable title march on track.
Midfielder Lanzini has not had a good season, struggling to reach the heights he hit two years ago in David Moyes’s first spell in charge, and a huge cheer went up when he was substituted.
But Moyes said: “He is arguably one of our best players, if not our best player, and when I was here before I needed him as much as I needed Marko Arnautovic.
“He was such a good player for us and I am desperate to get him back to the levels he was at.
“I trust him, I believe he can get back to those levels. He has had a bad injury and I need the supporters to be right behind him because we need him.
“At the moment he is our flair, he is our person that might make the difference. There is nobody more behind him than me.”