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New Straits Times - - Sport - JURGEN KLOPP

LON­DON

LIVER­POOL man­ager Jurgen Klopp told his play­ers to gird their loins for the Premier League runin af­ter they re­tained con­trol of their top-four des­tiny with vic­tory at Wat­ford.

Emre Can’s stu­pen­dous midair scis­sors kick earned Liver­pool a 1-0 win at Vicarage Road on Mon­day that pro­vi­sion­ally gave them a three-point cush­ion over Manch­ester City in third place.

Vic­tory in Liver­pool’s last three games — against Southamp­ton, West Ham United and Mid­dles­brough — will guar­an­tee them a Cham­pi­ons League berth, but Klopp said there was still much work to be done.

“We need to stay fo­cused, we need to stay con­cen­trated,” said the Ger­man.

“We have pres­sure un­til the end of the sea­son, but that’s a pos­i­tive pres­sure. It means we are fight­ing for some­thing. LON­DON: Emre Can ad­mit­ted his sen­sa­tional bi­cy­cle kick that se­cured Liver­pool a cru­cial 1-0 win over Wat­ford in their Premier League clash on Mon­day was his best ever goal.

The 23-year-old Ger­man in­ter­na­tional — who took his tally to five for the sea­son — pro­duced his mo­ment of magic in time added on in the first-half.

Vic­tory kept Liver­pool in third place in the ta­ble but in terms of Cham­pi­ons League qual­i­fi­ca­tion it pushed them four points clear of fifth-placed Manch­ester United, who have a game in hand.

The top four only qual­ify for Europe’s premier club com­pe­ti­tion. “I have never scored a goal like that — maybe when I was younger. That is the best goal I’ve ever scored,” Can told Sky Sports.

“I saw the space and I ran be­hind and my first thought was that I wanted to head it, then I didn’t think too much. Coutinho’s con­di­tion, only to say that the in­jury — sus­tained in a col­li­sion with Wat­ford’s Adrian Mari­appa — had been “re­ally painful.”

Liver­pool also hit the bar through a dip­ping Lal­lana vol­ley and Wat­ford goal­keeper Heurelho Gomes had to make sev­eral sec­ond-half saves to keep them at bay.

But the hosts came within mil­lime­tres of snatch­ing a stop­page­time equaliser when cen­tre-back Se­bas­tian Prodl thun­dered an ef­fort against the cross­bar.

“I said to the play­ers af­ter the game, if they want to kill me, that’s a good way to try it. I thought I felt some­thing in this area,” Klopp said, ges­tur­ing to his heart.

Wat­ford man­ager Wal­ter Maz­zarri,

“But the most im­por­tant thing was three points af­ter knowing what hap­pened yes­ter­day. It was a big game for us.

“Ev­ery­thing is in our hands. If we win the three games we are in the Cham­pi­ons League. We are con­fi­dent. If we per­form how we can per­form then we can do it.” AFP whose side re­main 13th in the ta­ble, said the fi­nal score was not an ac­cu­rate re­flec­tion of the game.

“If you look at all Liver­pool’s games, they usu­ally cre­ate five or six clear chances,” said the Ital­ian.

“To­day we hardly con­ceded any chances and we also had a cou­ple of chances, so over­all it was a good per­for­mance.

“I usu­ally don’t like to speak about luck, but to­day we were com­pletely un­lucky.

“Apart from Prodl’s shot against the cross­bar, there were two in­cor­rect off­sides against (Ste­fano) Okaka and (Troy) Deeney. We played a re­ally good game.” AFP

We have pres­sure un­til the end of the sea­son, but that’s a pos­i­tive pres­sure. It means we are fight­ing for some­thing.

REUTERS PIC

Emre Can scor­ing the spec­tac­u­lar goal for Liver­pool against Wat­ford. Liver­pool won 1-0.

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