Liverpool won’t let up in battle for top-four spot, says Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp vowed Liverpool will maintain the pressure in the race for the Champions League after a routine 3-0 win at Leicester.
Curtis Jones’ quickfire double and Trent Alexander-Arnold’s fabulous goal kept their push for the top four alive while plunging the Foxes closer to the drop.
Second-bottom Leicester are two points from Premier League safety with two games left and go to Newcastle next Monday.
Victory means Liverpool have booked European football next season and they sit fifth, a point behind Newcastle and Manchester United, who have both played a game less.
Klopp said: “Our job is to keep the pressure (on Newcastle and Manchester United), but if not this is already better than we could have expected six or seven weeks ago.
“I have no clue what it means to us. Four or five years ago we had Chelsea on our neck and they were winning all the time. I think it was the year we finished fourth and had to go in the qualification.
“We had to win the last game and until the last we had to win, win, win, because behind us they were always winning.
“We made it anyway and that’s what I expect them to do as well, if I am honest.
“But it keeps you on your toes and that’s our job – we have to keep them on their toes and then we will see what happens.
“Six or seven weeks ago I didn’t believe it could happen. What we lacked at the time was consistency.
“The game never became the game it could have been, a real fight, challenges everywhere, because we controlled it in a really convincing way.”
Alisson Becker snuffed out an early chance for Jamie Vardy and Liverpool swiftly took control, with Jones’ double ending the game as a contest before the break.
The midfielder opened the scoring after 33 minutes when he arrived unmarked at the far post to steer in Mohamed Salah’s cross.
Three minutes later he collected another Salah pass to swivel and blast past Daniel Iversen from just inside the box.
Leicester had capitulated and only Iversen’s smart save stopped Cody Gakpo making it 3-0 soon after.
Harvey Barnes tested Alisson early in the second half, but there was little fight from the Foxes and Liverpool ultimately eased to victory.
Alexander-Arnold rubber stamped the points with a stunning 25-yard strike following Salah’s short free-kick with 19 minutes left.
Salah should have made it 4-0 rather than shoot wide after going clean through and Leicester were booed off.
They are teetering on the brink of relegation two years to the day since lifting the FA Cup for the first time.
Boss Dean Smith said: “We are all supporters in here, we all support clubs, and you want to see your club winning. We got beaten by a team who physically overran us when they got a 2-0 lead.
“I wouldn’t question our fight, our attitude, but I understand and we all should hear the supporters. If you are losing 2-0 or 3-0 at home and fighting a relegation battle I understand fans react in certain ways.
“Of course I do (believe they can survive). I don’t like playing Monday nights, I don’t think it’s right. We will certainly know what we will have to do at St James’ Park next week.
“Goals change games. I could throw their goalkeeper 50 balls and they wouldn’t score from one of his big kicks.
“It was a really disappointing goal to give away. For the second, Wilf (Ndidi) has tried to read a pass and they play it to Jones who scores a good goal.
“Our minds get a little frazzled then and we needed to get into half-time without any further pain.”