Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp refusing to think about Premier League points record
Jurgen Klopp insists he cannot afford to start thinking about smashing the Premier League points record after Liverpool ground out a battling 3-1 win at Brighton.
Mohamed Salah’s double and a fine strike from captain Jordan Henderson earned the runaway champions a 30th top-flight victory of a remarkable season.
The Reds require a further nine points from fixtures against Burnley, Arsenal, Chelsea and Newcastle to surpass the 100 points Manchester City accrued two seasons ago.
Klopp admits his side were far from their fluent best on the south coast and is taking nothing for granted in the pursuit of a record-breaking points haul.
“What can I say? When I think about the next four opponents and think we will get 12, 10, or whatever points, I can’t do that,” said the Reds manager.
“How could I assume we could get all these points? When I think about 92 points, I think how could we get 97 last year (finishing second), it’s unbelievable.
“First and foremost you have to fight for the three points.
“That’s what we did tonight and I like that a lot because that’s the mother and the father of each win that you really work hard for it, and the boys did that again, that’s great.”
Liverpool looked like making light work of lowly Albion after Salah and recalled captain Henderson each netted during a blistering opening eight minutes at the Amex Stadium.
But the visitors were made to dig deep after the Seagulls fought back and deservedly halved the deficit through Leandro Trossard just before the break.
Reds top scorer Salah eventually made the points safe 14 minutes from time by heading home his 19th league goal of another prolific campaign, while Klopp was left with some cause for concern after Henderson limped off late on.
The German is unsure how serious his skipper’s apparent knee issue is but is braced for bad news.
“I don’t know, honestly. I didn’t see the situation back on the pitch but I know that it will not be nothing, probably,” he said.
“That’s how it is but we have to wait, I cannot say more.”
Brighton paid a heavy price for their sloppy start and remain without a win against Liverpool in any competition since January 1984.
Albion stay nine points clear of the relegation zone, albeit having played a game more than both 18th-placed Aston Villa and second-bottom Bournemouth.
Seagulls boss Graham Potter dismissed suggestions his team are already safe and praised his players for their response to the costly early setbacks.
“I think the start made things difficult for us but the response from the players was fantastic. I thought we clawed our way back into the game,” he said.
“We had chances and moments. We pushed and pushed. I’m just really happy with the players how they put their personality in the game and pushed Liverpool as much as we could.”
Brighton host Manchester City on Saturday ahead of fixtures against Southampton, Newcastle and Burnley.
Asked about survival, Potter added: “We know that we have to keep fighting for points. We’re not celebrating or safe, we’re going to keep fighting.
“(We have to) focus on the next match, which is another really difficult game but that’s the Premier League.”