Jurgen Klopp agrees with Pep Guardiola as he tells Liverpool FC how to catch Man City

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is employing the same mindset as Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola in the title race. Just keep winning.

City went on a 12-game winning run between November and mid-January to open up a double-figures gap at the top of the Premier League, as Liverpool and Chelsea struggled for form in that period. However, City’s draw at Southampton this weekend offered Liverpool a chance to reduce the lead at the top to nine points, and the chasers took it with a controversial win at Crystal Palace.

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Liverpool raced into a two-goal lead at Selhurst Park, but were pegged back in the second period and Palace went into the closing stages with the momentum as they looked for an equaliser. Their chances were ended when the Video Assistant Referee urged referee Kevin Friend to give a laughable penalty to Liverpool for an apparent foul on Diogo Jota.

Fabinho stepped up and sealed the points for Liverpool, who now sit nine points behind City with a game in hand, as well as a trip to the Etihad to come in April.

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The results this weekend have lead to talk of the title race being ‘blown wide open’ again after Liverpool reduced the gap, but Klopp insisted they are taking things one game at a time.

He said: “No. The distance is too far to talk about it but we don’t have to. We just need to win football matches.

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“Each Premier League game is difficult like we saw today. We made it more exciting than necessary! We will see what happens in the final few months.”

That approach echoes Guardiola’s message that City must be fully focussed on each game in order to keep their lead, and that the title is never won in January. The City boss has also suggested his side will struggle as soon as they start thinking about what Liverpool are doing – an approach Klopp also discouraged this weekend.

Speaking to Sky Sports before the weekend’s fixtures, Klopp reiterated that Liverpool cannot control what City do, so can only concentrate on winning games themselves.

Suggesting Liverpool’s first priority is to secure a top four place, rather than challenge for the title, he said: “The problem is not the situation, the problem is that you ask about it to be honest. What is our situation? It’s 11 points with one game in hand?

“I could sit here and say [winks], ‘I can swear we’ll get them’. That would be really crazy, yeah? But if I would sit here and say that we don’t even try, it would be crazy as well.

“The only thing we can do is winning football games. We cannot wait for a slip, we cannot really influence a slip of City. The only thing we can do is influence our performance. So I thought it’s a good idea to do exactly that. So just win as many as you can.

“This group did it, two or three years ago, we won the last 15 games. It was never easy. We needed last-second goals, we needed all these kind of things. At Newcastle, Divock’s shoulder and that’s what we needed then.

“Nobody knows what will happen but we will try and win as many football games as possible. That’s very necessary because one spot will become champion. Three more qualify for the Champions League.”

Klopp continued: “This year is so crazy, Tottenham for example, they changed their manager because they weren’t happy and now they have three or four games in hand.

“If they win them all, they are all of a sudden third. I don’t know exactly but they are all of a sudden really close. United, you never know, Arsenal obviously have potential, Chelsea anyway, West Ham is around so we have to qualify.

“We have to win anyway, an awful lot of football games and that is exactly what we’ll try. And then we will see where we end up.”

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