Jurgen Klopp satisfied as Liverpool secure top spot with a game to spare

Two goals from Cody Gakpo and one apiece from Luis Diaz and Mohamed Salah secured victory.

Carl Markham
Friday 01 December 2023 07:54 GMT
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Jurgen Klopp was delighted to take top spot with a game to spare (Peter Byrne/PA)
Jurgen Klopp was delighted to take top spot with a game to spare (Peter Byrne/PA)

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp declared himself satisfied with the 4-0 victory over LASK which secured top spot in their Europa League group with a match to spare.

Two goals from Cody Gakpo and one apiece from Luis Diaz and Mohamed Salah, his 199th for the club, saw them coast past the Austrians at Anfield.

Toulouse’s draw with Union Saint-Gilloise meant Klopp’s side cannot be caught at the top and crucially that means avoiding the play-off round when the competition restarts in February.

“Two top results for us tonight in the group,” said Klopp.

“It was clear, with the defeat at Toulouse (last time out) we made it a bit more tricky but because of our result and their result we are now top of the table and that will not change.

“That’s good, very important in the busy schedule we have from now on.

“A lot of positives in the game, a lot of good football. The thing I didn’t like too much, and told the boys at half-time, (was) this game should have been put to bed already at half-time.

“You cannot play better, you cannot set it up better, (but) you can finish it better obviously – but we didn’t.

“Caoimhin (Kelleher) worked for his clean sheet, which he desperately wanted, and that’s good.

“We scored a fourth goal in the last minute or whatever, so result top, performance really good (and) nobody got injured. All good.”

Liverpool are favourites for the Europa League but having put themselves firmly in the title race the demands on Klopp’s side are likely to be significant when the competition resumes.

However, the Reds boss refused to relegate Europe to a second-tier ambition.

“Unfortunately, my career is not like this where I can choose, to be honest,” he added.

“I have to take what I get. When we play the competition it’s the most important competition on the planet. Easy as that.

“But now we play Premier League on Sunday (at home to Fulham) and so that is then the most important competition, definitely.

“We want to go as far as somehow possible (in the Europa League).”

Gakpo said the squad were determined to compete in all competitions they were in.

“We have to keep going because we have big goals for the season. That’s it,” he told TNT Sports.

“We just have to keep going and win as much as possible. We have a lot of quality in the group and I think with this quality we can win a lot of games.”

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