Jurgen Klopp Acknowledges Two Arsenal Players’ Vital Role in Title Race Following Liverpool’s Defeat to Everton

Jurgen Klopp credits Arsenal’s defensive prowess, anchored by William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes, as pivotal in the Premier League title race, especially after Liverpool 2-0 loss to Everton.

Liverpool’s setback against Everton has widened the gap between them and Premier League leaders Arsenal to three points. They now cling to a slim one-point lead over Manchester City, who have played two games less.

The defeat to Everton marks Liverpool’s third loss in six matches across all competitions, a slump that includes their Europa League exit at the hands of Atalanta.

Klopp attributes Liverpool’s fluctuating form in both domestic and European competitions to the team’s string of injuries. When questioned about the cause of Liverpool’s recent inconsistency following their defeat to Everton, Klopp responded: “There are different aspects, definitely.

“Players who played all the games are not that fresh, but that is for other teams the same. I don’t want to use that as an excuse, really, as long as the boys are fit, not injured, that helps.

“Let me say, Gabriel and [William] Saliba played all the games for Arsenal. Did they play a little bit less than us? I don’t even know 100 per cent but they played a lot of games as well.

“Coming back from injury obviously is then slightly different, because of the intensity, the game is not waiting for you. Up front it is a super-intense job to do, always high sprint, always go, go, go and that we cannot change [players] there is difficult.

“I know we had Dannsy [Jayden Danns] on the bench, but we didn’t know we had to bring him in [to the squad] because of the two situations – with Diogo [Jota] we only learned two days ago [about his injury] and with Cody [Gakpo] actually today really.

“So, that’s now not a game for an 18-year-old boy and [James] Tarkowski and [Jarrad] Branthwaite kill you in these situations and it doesn’t help. So, a lot of things came together [and] it’s not great timing, I admit that.

“I would prefer to be sitting here, winning 4-0, flying and can’t wait for the next game. How I said, the job is to win football games and the more you win, the more successful you are. In the moment, we didn’t win enough to get anything out of the season yet so we should better start winning again.”

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Klopp also contends that for Liverpool to clinch the Premier League title this season, there must be a ‘crisis’ at both Arsenal and City.

“I understand it, it’s part of the business, but I don’t know why I have to answer this question – obviously you can read the table,’ Klopp said.

“So, should I say now we are still fully in? We need a crisis at [Manchester] City and Arsenal, and need to win football games, because if they start now losing all the games and we do what we did tonight, nothing changed. And we are not safe in the Champions League as well so we should just play better football.

“You can see we are in a rush in front of the goal, you can see that. It’s long ago but I blame a little bit the [Manchester] United game for it; that many chances and you play really good but you don’t get anything for it. That’s really bad.

“Since then, we create but we don’t score often enough and that doesn’t help. It’s not like in a situation like that you don’t score and then just [think], ‘Ah, forget it, who cares?’ You cannot act like you scored 15 goals in the last two games or whatever. You can see that and that’s a problem.

“It’s always like this – you have to fight through these periods, it was never different. People asked me already about mentality. The mentality has different aspects. It’s not a problem of attitude. The boys want; nobody is doing anything like that on purpose.

“It’s my job to bring them into a situation that they feel confident to do it. With that part, I’m responsible for everything that happened tonight, so it’s not that I feel great. But that’s the most tricky part of football obviously, and in the moment it didn’t work out and now we have to keep trying.”

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