LONDON: Liverpool have what it takes to beat both the pressure and Manchester City in the battle for the Premier League title.
That was the message from Reds boss Jurgen Klopp after he saw his side beat Burnley 4-2 at Anfield.
After going behind in the sixth minute in the windy conditions, Liverpool stormed back though a brace from Roberto Firmino and a Sadio Mane double to maintain their title charge and move to just a point behind City, who beat Watford 3-1 on Saturday.
Having witnessed the Reds avoid a potential banana skin, Klopp warned their rivals it will take a lot to get in the way of his side and their title dream.
“Nobody gets rid of us,” the Liverpool boss said.
“You had to be on the pitch to realize how windy it was. You have to deal with it and we did that well, we played our own game.
“We scored really good goals, we forced it more. The three points is good, obviously, it is all good.
“We created chances. I am completely happy with the performance — you have to be ready for a fight with Burnley, and we fought and played well.”
Coming into the match all the pressure was on the Reds who, by their own admission have not been firing on all cylinders recently. Last week a lackluster 0-0 draw with Everton allowed City to top the table and coming into the match Klopp was complaining about the timing of the clash, just three days before Liverpool’s crucial Champions League meeting with Bayern Munich.
But despite the distractions and the windy conditions, the hosts looked more like their old attacking selves and deserved the three points, having gone 1-0 down after a controversial Burnley opener. Ashley Westwood scored direct from a corner, although it appeared Reds’ goalkeeper Alisson had been impeded by James Tarkowski.
“Are we allowed to talk about the conditions?” Klopp joked.
“We played our game. The first Burnley goal was maybe a little bit of the wind. In most countries it would not be allowed that goal — you cannot treat the goalie like that in the six-yard box.
“At 3-1 up, all the balls Burnley got were from us. I’m completely happy with the performance, especially as it was against a tough Burnley side.”
Liverpool’s tally of 73 points from their opening 30 league games this season is their joint-best total at this stage of a league campaign (adjusting for three points for a win), level with the 1904-05 second tier season and 1987-88 in the top flight.
Beaten only once all season, it would be overstating the importance of the match to say that was a vital test of character, Liverpool have been in imperious form since the start of the season and a run of four draws in six matches does not change that. But with just eight matches of the season left any slip-up could prove significant.
In the day’s other matches Chelsea needed an injury-time equalizer to snatch a point at home to Wolverhampton. The visitors to Stamford Bridge went ahead thanks to a 54th-minute goal from Raul Jimenez. But Hazard, whose future with the Blues is still the subject of speculation, curled a shot into the bottom corner two minutes after the 90 minutes were up to spare Chelsea’s blushes.
In the late kick-off Arsenal beat Manchester United 2-0 to leapfrog over the Old Trafford club into fourth. Goals from Granit Xhaka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were enough to give the Gunners all three points at a wet and windy Emirates Stadium.