Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insisted his side were nobody’s ‘dreamless’ as he faced the prospect of playing twice in a league and FA Cup doubles against title rivals Manchester City in seven days.
iogo Jota’s 78th-minute goal secured City’s first win at the Nottingham Forest ground in 13 visits – denying Arsenal and Leicester this season – to book a Wembley date with City on April 16.
They meet Pep Guardiola’s side at the Etihad Stadium last Sunday in a game that could prove decisive in the race for the First League Title.
With the quadruple still in place for Liverpool, Klopp says they fear no one but admits they can’t afford to fixate on City as there are other games, particularly the Champions League quarter-finals, that are just as important are.
“We have Watford, Benfica, City, Benfica, City, United, Everton (after the international break),” said the Reds boss.
“From a Liverpool perspective, these are all massive games and we try to play them individually rather than all together.
“We knew before the game that City would be the opponents if we wanted to go to the final anyway. Now let’s go.
“The further you get in whatever competition, the more likely you are to face City at some point.
“I don’t think we’re the dream lot for anyone, but it’s going to be a tough duel and we have to make sure it’s difficult for City too.
“But before that, there are still many games to play.”
If Philip Zinckernagel hadn’t missed a one-on-one with goalkeeper Alisson Becker a few minutes before Jota’s goal, the result could have been different.
“It was the game we expected, especially when you don’t take your chances,” added Klopp.
“We could have played better but we should have scored in the first half. If we scored earlier it would be a completely different game.
“All credit to Steve (Cooper) and Nottingham Forest, a top, top performance, really professional, really well organised.
“It was a great atmosphere. Everything was prepared to hit us too, but because we were prepared for a fight, we came through.”
Cooper accepted that if you don’t take a risk like Zinkernagel’s against a team like Liverpool, you’ll probably always pay for it.
However, he also felt the visitors might be lucky with VAR decisions as Jota was on the side for his goal while Alisson’s challenge against Ryan Yates was not worthy of a late penalty.
“I think the game was decided in a crucial two minutes – we had a good chance which we didn’t take and they created one and then took it,” said the former Liverpool Academy manager.
“It’s the first time we’re experiencing it here (VAR) and you have to trust the process for what it is.
“I didn’t see them again, but I think they would have been interesting if they had been on the other end.
“Yatesy is one of the most honest players, too honest, so I felt there was no way he was going down – and could he go ahead and score?
“I’m not going to talk about VAR or what could have been in the game. Overall I felt we handled them pretty well and didn’t make the most of the moments we created.”
https://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/premier-league/liverpool-wont-fixate-on-massive-double-header-against-manchester-city-says-jurgen-klopp-41469538.html Liverpool won’t fixate on massive double header against Manchester City, says Jurgen Klopp