210204 Liverpool
The shell-shocked expression of Liverpool players stand after Brighton's Steven Alzate struck in the last game says it all. Coach Jurgen Klopp gave a pep talk, wanting his men to bounce back as they host Manchester City in a big name on Sunday. Image Credit: AP

London: Liverpool must look to make Anfield a fortress again after two straight Premier League defeats at home and the visit of leaders Manchester City on Sunday can help kickstart their campaign, manager Juergen Klopp said on Friday.

Klopp’s side, who romped to the title last season, went unbeaten in 68 league games at Anfield before narrow defeats by Burnley and Brighton & Hove Albion and are fourth in the table with 40 points from 22 games.

“We need to play really good football. It’s that I say ‘come on now, it’s Anfield’. We love playing there but lost the last two,” Klopp, whose side have managed two wins in their last eight league games, told a news conference.

“We were not interested in not losing 68 in a row, so why start now? It’s all about trying again, being positive and making Anfield a fortress again.


“We weren’t fresh enough (against Brighton on Wednesday) ... the passing was not as clinical as it should be. The reason? We weren’t ready. It wasn’t a mental issue it was just not only the legs. We have to prove we can get freshness back. We will.” Klopp was asked what a win against leaders City on Sunday would do for their title chances.

“After two years about this (title) question, I might have made some sense. I don’t see it in the moment. We have to win games,” Klopp added.

“In a specific moment it’s clear ‘now we go for it’. We aren’t in that moment, so why should we think about it? It’s not important.”

Goalkeeper Alisson has trained on his own after missing the Brighton game due to illness. Fabinho, who missed the last three games is back in team training alongside Sadio Mane, who was ruled out of games with West Ham United and Brighton.

No complacency, please

Elsewhere, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said Manchester United have immediately refocused after their 9-0 midweek mauling of Southampton, refusing to get “carried away” by the record-equalling Premier League scoreline.

United gave their goal difference a huge boost as they put Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side to the sword at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

Seven United players found the net as they matched their 9-0 win against Ipswich in 1995 and Leicester’s humbling of the Saints last season.

210203 United
The giant scoreboard says it all, but Manchester United coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants his team not to get carried away ahead of their Everton game. Image Credit: AP

The result lifted United level with Manchester City at the top of the table but Pep Guardiola’s men won the following day to restore their three-point lead, with a game in hand.

Solskjaer said it was important to put the result in context because the visitors played almost the entire match with 10 men and were reduced to nine players in the closing minutes.

“Well, you’ve got to take the good with the good and the bad with the bad sometimes,” the Norwegian said.

“What the boys took from that one is that we did the right things, we kept good habits.

“I don’t think anyone will get carried away with the scoreline because we know we played against 10 men for the full game and of course that’s demoralising when they lose players like they did.”

Solskjaer said the attention had quickly turned to Saturday’s home match against seventh-placed Everton.

The United boss expects forward Edinson Cavani to be fit but defender Eric Bailly is a doubt.

The 33-year-old Cavani scored his first Old Trafford goal on Tuesday but was taken off at half-time with an ankle knock.

“Edinson should be available, yes, definitely,” said Solskjaer. “He got a bad ankle knock there. Eric is a doubt and apart from that everyone’s raring to go.”


Saturday, February 6

Aston Villa vs Arsenal (4.30 pm UAE)

Burnley vs Brighton & Hove Albion (7 pm)

Newcastle United vs Southampton (7 pm)

Fulham vs West Ham United (9.30)

Manchester United vs Everton (midnight)

Sunday, February 7

Tottenham Hotspur vs West Bromwich Albion (4 pm)

Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Leicester City (6 pm)

Liverpool vs Manchester City (8.30pm)

Sheffield United vs Chelsea (11.15 pm)

Monday, February 8

Leeds United vs Crystal Palace (midnight)


Teams       P  W  D L  F   A   Pts

1 Man City 21 14 5 2 39 13 47

2 Man Utd 22 13 5 4 46 27 44

3 Leicester 22 13 3 6 39 25 42

4 Liverpool 22 11 7 4 43 25 40

5 West Ham 22 11 5 6 34 28 38

6 Chelsea 22 10 6 6 36 23 36

7 Everton 20 11 3 6 31 25 36

8 Tottenham 21 9 6 6 34 22 33

9 Aston Villa 20 10 2 8 35 24 32

10 Arsenal 22 9 4 9 27 22 31

11 Leeds 21 9 2 10 36 38 29

12 Southampton 21 8 5 8 27 34 29

13 Crystal Palace 22 8 5 9 27 37 29

14 Wolverhampton 22 7 5 10 23 31 26

15 Brighton 22 5 9 8 24 29 24

16 Newcastle 22 6 4 12 22 36 22

17 Burnley 21 6 4 11 13 28 22

18 Fulham 21 2 8 11 17 31 14

19 West Bromwich 22 2 6 14 18 52 12

20 Sheff Utd 22 3 2 17 14 35 11