Jurgen Klopp admitted he was surprised to hear that Tottenham had beaten Man City 3-2 on Saturday, but insists “nothing changed” for Liverpool in the title race.
With Norwich the visitors on Saturday afternoon, the Reds were able to do their bit in the hunt for the title as they fought back for a 3-1 victory at Anfield.
Soon after full-time, Premier League leaders City kicked off at home to Tottenham, and a sensational performance from Harry Kane dealt them their third league loss of the campaign.
Liverpool now sit six points behind the reigning champions with a game in hand – that being at home to Leeds on Wednesday night – with a win bringing that gap down to just three points.
Klopp has repeatedly stressed that he and his side are solely focused on the task in front of them, rather than results at the Etihad, which showed as he revealed the manner in which he learned of City’s defeat.
“I was on the way home when it was 2-1 to Tottenham, then I arrived at home and didn’t follow it anymore, because I was sure they’d equalize anyway,” he claimed.
“Then we went out, and the driver was very excited and told me it was 2-2 and then 3-2.
“When he said 3-2, I thought ‘OK, City won 3-2’ and he said ‘no, Tottenham won 3-2’. ‘Oh!’, that was my reaction.
“For us nothing changed, really.
“We have to win all our games, we expect [Man City to win all of theirs]. Traditionally, historically, it happens more often than not, that they win pretty much all of their games.
“But OK, we play them once. That’s the one game we want to win, definitely.”
Klopp is sensitive enough to acknowledge that Liverpool are no longer to be considered ‘out’ of the title race, but his job is to steel the focus of his squad.
There is no room for a slip-up between now and May 22, and he is right to stress that Leeds are a “very difficult” opponent.
“Of course, if it would be 12 points, 15 points or whatever, it would be a completely different situation,” he continued.
“But for the game now, it doesn’t change too much. Nothing changed, actually.
“That’s why we have to be 100 percent focused on just this one game, because we cannot win the game and the league and everything in one game.
“We can just try to make sure that we win a very difficult Premier League game.”
Leeds find themselves in disappointing form ahead of their rescheduled trip to Anfield, having suffered their seventh loss in the last 10 games when they fell 4-2 to Man United on Sunday.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side are without Patrick Bamford, Kalvin Phillips and Liam Cooper for the tie – who Klopp described as their “spine” – and could be seen as a soft touch, particularly given their physical effort at the weekend.
However, the Liverpool manager does not agree.
“Obviously, you saw all the faces of Leeds United on Sunday,” he said.
“Very brave and very exciting offensively, go with everything they have, and then defensively yes, you can cause them problems, but it’s difficult as well because of the man-marking all-over-the-pitch system, it makes it really tricky .
“If you are not really in the game then they will eat you, just like that, that’s why it makes it so important that we are ready for the next very intense game.
“Leeds is pretty much leading in three of the decisive running stats in the Premier League – not all over, but high-speed running, high-intensity runs, it’s Leeds.
“So you have to be ready for these kinds of runs all the time.
“And they never give up on top of that, so they had pretty spectacular results, high scores in both directions, and we really have to make sure that we are 100 percent spot on.”