Liverpool had a harsh week to deal with after the loss in the League Cup final on penalties to Manchester City. But they bounced back in great fashion and beat them 3-0 at Anfield to extract revenge in a solid performance in the mid-week.
Jurgen Klopp was delighted by the response from his side and urged them to ‘stay angry’ if they are to surge and push forward for a Champions League squad come the end of the season.
The performance at the Etihad showed what Liverpool can do when they are on top of their game with an aggressive approach and that victory took Liverpool to within 6 points of 4th placed Manchester City in the points table.
However, they face a tough trip to Selhurst Park having already been beaten by Palace 2-1 at Anfield and the manager wants his team to show the same kind of aggression once again.
Angriness in a sport is good,” Klopp said.
“We need to stay angry. Against Crystal Palace, there is a reason to strike back,” he added.
This Liverpool side have been criticized in the past of being too nice and been bullied by opponents too often during a rollercoaster campaign this season.
The likes of West Ham, Watford and Palace have shown earlier this season that the Reds are susceptible against such a game and Klopp who recognized it wanted his team to start the game on a high.
“There are a lot of reasons to be angry. Crystal Palace are a really physical side. They will give you in the first two minutes 500 reasons to be angry.”
“We need physicality. You can’t go to Crystal Palace and say we will play a little bit of football. I hope we can say (we are suited to being physical),” he said.
“I really believe in this team. We have to be angry.”
With recent results for the sides in the top four, Liverpool have once again been given a glimmer of hope in their race to the top 4. They are just 6 points away from the 4th place with a game in hand and will be hoping to find some consistency before the end of the season to push the teams above them for a Champions League spot.
But the manager explained that it was important for the team to focus on the immediate games and that his team needs to put in a winning run to see where it takes them.
“I think about bigger wonders in life (than reaching the top four),” he said.
With 33 points still on offer in the Premier League, Liverpool can easily end up in a top 4 place with consistent results but they will need teams around them to slip-up every once in a while and Klopp acknowledged it in the recent interview.
He said, “We can only go in the top four at this moment if the others makes mistake. We have to do everything right and they have to make mistakes.”
However, the real route to the Champions League at the moment for Liverpool seems to winning the Europa League. They are in the Round of 16 and were drawn against Manchester United and Liverpool will have to stay strong against their rivals if they are to get through to the next round.
But Klopp explained that it will not be easy for the club to only concentrate on one tournament and said that they will have to consistent in every game they play.
“I don’t believe that football works like this that you can pick out one tournament and say come on, the rest is s***,” he added.
“We only have for sure two games in the Europa League. even though of course we want more. In the Premier we still have 11, so of course we should still be concentrating on the Premier League and the top four.”