Klopp hails 'exceptional' group after Liverpool beat Southampton

‘It’s like having Ferraris in the garage’: Jurgen Klopp hails his  ‘exceptional’ group of Liverpool players after beating Southampton to take title race down to final day despite making NINE changes

  • Klopp made nine changes to the team that won the FA Cup on Saturday
  • Liverpool fought back from a goal down to beat Southampton at St Mary’s
  • Manchester City hold a one point advantage heading into last day of the season 

Jurgen Klopp lauded his ‘Ferraris in the garage’ after a second-string Liverpool side took the title race to the last day of the season with a 2-1 win at Southampton.

After Klopp made nine changes to the team that won the FA Cup on Saturday, Liverpool trailed to a Nathan Redmond strike before goals from Takumi Minamino and Joel Matip moved them within a point of Manchester City.

Hailing a line-up comprised predominantly of fringe players, Klopp said: ‘I’m so happy with the performance, it’s quite touching. It’s like, wow, these boys – it’s like having Ferraris in the garage.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp celebrates the victory at Southampton with Curtis Jones

‘You let them out and they do it like this. Harvey [Elliott], I’m not sure the last time he played, Curtis [Jones] no rhythm, he has only played from time to time, Takumi Minamino, it is a crime he is not playing more often. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain did not even play and he is in outstanding shape. 

‘It is really tough for the boys sometimes. Whatever happens this year happens because of this group. They are exceptional and they have showed that again.

‘Incredible performance. Making nine changes, if it didn’t work out it was my responsibility, but now it did, it’s 1000 per cent the boys’ responsibility.’

Harvey Elliott made his first start since the FA Cup win at Nottingham Forest in March

Ahead of the final round of games on Sunday, with City facing Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa and Liverpool against Wolves, Klopp added: ‘If I was in the (City) situation, then I don’t feel like I am champion already, that is how it is.

‘From my point of view in second you are thinking that of course City will win that game. But it is football.

‘We have to first win our game. It is not like we are talking about Wolves like they are not there.

‘It is possible, not likely but possible. That is enough.

Takumi Minamino capped an impressive display by scoring the equaliser at Southampton

‘We never gave up. We’ll give it a try, It’s our home game, last home game of season. The atmosphere will be outstanding. We’ll try to use it. We have to do our job. Football is a tricky game sometimes. Aston Villa play on Thursday and then Sunday. We’ll see but you have to focus on yourselves.’

The final-day showdown comes after Liverpool trailed City by 14 points in mid-January. James Milner said: ‘”We had a reset in January when we were so far behind and we went for it. We had a mental reset and we’ve really pushed.

‘City are an incredible team to go up against. Whatever happens we’ve done ourselves proud. All we can do is try to win our games.’

Liverpool’s fitness difficulties were heightened by a first-half injury to Joe Gomez, who left the ground on crutches with his left foot in a protective boot. Klopp said: ‘I hope we were lucky. He has pain but not too much.’

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