Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said on Friday that he was not worried about whether the result of their top-of-the-table clash with Manchester United this weekend would have a say in the title race.
Leaders United and champions Liverpool, the two most successful sides in the division, are separated by three points ahead of Sunday’s match at Anfield where Klopp’s side have not lost since April 2017.
However, Klopp said he was not worried about their home record or United stealing a march in the title race as there was still a “long way to go” in the season with third-placed Manchester City also in the running.
“Winning a football game, winning against United is enough in itself, it’s not necessary that there’s a special element that we have a home game and we want to win,” Klopp told reporters.
“There’s no extra add-on in the game because they are in the situation they are. They deserve the points they have so far and we have ours.
“Manchester City is one game behind and they’re very close as well… We don’t constantly think about other teams. We just try and win football games and United are good, they always were.”
Klopp had already stoked the fires before the derby when he said earlier this month that United won more penalties in two years than he had in 5-1/2 years at Liverpool.
United forward Marcus Rashford said former manager Jose Mourinho had helped him become more “savvy” in the box to win penalties but Klopp said he had never advised his players to do the same.
“I can 100% honestly say I’ve never mentioned anything like this to any player I’ve worked with,” Klopp said while explaining how he felt hard done by when Sadio Mane was denied a penalty in the 1-0 loss at Southampton.
“It’s not the player who should make the decision whether it is a penalty or not, it is the referee.”