Klopp warns Liverpool not to undersestimate United threat

Manager says players must play ‘like it’s the most important three points in your life’

Jürgen Klopp has said Manchester United’s visit to Anfield must be considered the most important three points of Liverpool’s lives when they attempt to displace Manchester City at the Premier League summit tonight.

Liverpool can follow their FA Cup semi-final victory against City by replacing Pep Guardiola’s team at the top of the table, for 24 hours at least, with a point against Ralf Rangnick’s underachieving side.

United’s caretaker manager admitted after the win against Norwich on Saturday that his team needed to raise their game to get anything at Anfield. Klopp, however, insists Liverpool’s old rivals remain a dangerous foe and victory is of critical importance to his team’s title chances.

“If we let United do what they want they will cause us massive problems,” the Liverpool manager said.


“We have to be in the right mood to fight for the three points, and not want to show we are in a better moment than United. Who is interested about that? There are times when you have better moments than other teams but then you get a knock and that’s it with the better moment. Who cares?

“They want the three points we need. We have to be angry in a good way, greedy, like you are if you have won nothing and would be with nil points and it’s the most important three points in your life. That’s the attitude we need for this game, otherwise the quality is too high. United are too good for not being in that mood.”

Liverpool humiliated United at Old Trafford in October with a 5-0 win that signalled the beginning of the end for Ole Gunnar Solskjær. Rangnick, his temporary replacement, has been unable to spark an improvement, winning 50% of his Premier League games to leave United’s Champions League qualification prospects in jeopardy. But Klopp maintains there is no short-term solution to transform any major club.

“We had a similar situation when I started here,” Klopp said. “We were not flying from the first day, let me say it like this, and you might have thought after six or seven weeks: ‘Is it really much better than before?’ When you are in that situation, you just accept that you need all the steps. You cannot just put on a magic sprinkle and go from there.


“What is a good example is the 3-2 against Norwich. You win 3-2 at home, it’s the Premier League, it is a home game you have to win it and you won it. Great. But because of the situation they are in they have to explain why it is only 3-2. What was our result at home to Norwich? 3-1, so not much better and we struggled in moments and they had good football situations and you think: ‘Come on, forget it, 3-1, three points, professional business, go from here.’

“But with the situation they are in, they have to explain why it is only 3-2, why you have to give them two goals and things like this. That would be the same in all big clubs in the world and that’s what we all have to deal with.

“It is completely normal that expectations are always short-term, never long-term. You want the advantage now and forever, and not from five months on and forever. That is the problem we all have. That might be the situation there. But we don’t face the team who has problems, we face Manchester United.

“The goalkeeper is world class, the last line absolute top, then [in midfiel] I’m not sure if McTominay and Fred can play and it might be Pogba and Matic, then up front you can choose from Sancho, Fernandes, Elanga or Rashford, and a guy who scored his 60th hat-trick [Cristiano Ronaldo]. That’s what we have to prepare for, not what happened last week.”