Klopp not worried by downturn in Liverpool’s results against big six
The Premier League leaders have won only one of their past 12 games at the division’s other leading clubs
Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp: “We lost 1-0 at Chelsea two seasons ago when we came from a Champions League game and they were not involved any more.” Photograph: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images
Jürgen Klopp has said he is surprised but not worried about the downturn in Liverpool’s results at the big six sides going into Sunday’s visit to Chelsea.
The Premier League leaders have won only one of their past 12 games at the division’s other leading clubs, the 2-1 win over Tottenham at Wembley last September, with six draws and five defeats in that sequence.
A return of nine points from a possible 36 is in stark contrast to the excellent record Klopp enjoyed at the start of his Liverpool tenure when his team won four and drew two of six away games.
Liverpool’s record has deteriorated since a 2-1 win at Chelsea three years ago. Klopp believes his team’s Champions League success in the past two seasons, rather than performances, provides an explanation.
“Performance-wise, that’s why it’s so surprising,” the manager said. “I cannot remember all these games, but I know we were often close to winning these games. There was one at Arsenal where we should have won when Virgil [Van Dijk] had two no-brainers that he didn’t score, the header against the post. Against Man City we lost last year but that is not a match you lose usually. The margins at the end were so small with the ball not over the line.
“But these are results over an intense period. We were always the [Premier League] club that was in the Champions League the longest. We lost 1-0 at Chelsea two seasons ago when we came from a Champions League game and they were not involved any more. That helps.
“I don’t remember these specific away games but it was pretty rare that it was a performance that deserved to lose an away game. That is the only thing we can think about. We cannot plan winning against a side like Chelsea, City, Tottenham, United. You have to play how you play to deny their strengths and push through your strengths. Then you have a chance.
“The last game we won at Tottenham was pretty early in the season. That makes it all different. We played against Arsenal early in the season. It was one of the best games for a while, and we did really well in that game. So let’s just keep going and we will see what happens. It is not an obvious problem.”
Klopp, meanwhile, believes Andy Robertson’s outstanding Liverpool form has been taken for granted after the left-back came in for harsh criticism on social media for his part in Napoli’s penalty on Tuesday.
“The criticism has nothing to do with expectation,” said Klopp. “It is to do with the world out there. He has played well for weeks and months, and then you take it for granted. The game before [Newcastle] he was maybe the best player on the pitch.
“We all agree that it was not a penalty. When you face very experienced players they try everything to decrease your quality. It was a completely normal game from Robbo.”