Jurgen Klopp Saying the Right Things to Guard Against Complacency

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Liverpool FC are much more than the best team in the world right now. The Merseyside club are well beyond just their status as the top of the table side in the Premier League and holders of the UEFA Champions League and FIFA Club World Cup titles.

They are a finely tuned machine, which in this moment, looks pretty much unstoppable. It’s not about ending the league title drought now for LFC, it’s about achieving an undefeated season, which would put them on par with the 2003-04 Arsenal “Invicibles” squad.

With a 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur (the same score by which they beat them in the UCL final on June 1) the Reds have now achieved

1.) a record unbeaten league run in club history (38 games)

2.) the best start to a Premier League season through 21 games (20 wins and just the one draw at Manchester United)

3.) the best start by any team ever in Europe’s big five leagues through the first 21 games.

Jurgen Klopp and his players will not rest on their laurels however. The German says he is non-plussed, or not phased by what his side has achieved so far.

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His response when a reporter pointed out all the records was telling: “I really tried to respond in a positive way, but when someone told me I didn’t feel anything.”

Klopp is saying all the right things to make sure his team stays focused at a razor sharp level, instead of coasting down the stretch here.

“First and foremost the result is the most important thing. One team deserved to win and that was us,” Klopp said after the win on Saturday.

“To win at Tottenham is pretty special. That the game wasn’t decided after 50-60 minutes was our fault. It was very intense for us.”

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“You can expect them to defend deep in this stadium, but it was 4-6-0 in the first half. If it was easy to win here, a lot more teams would do it. I’m over the moon about the result, but we have to talk about the performance.”

“We should have scored more goals – that’s the truth.”

“We have to be honest with ourselves. We could have scored more and we have to – especially in this stadium against a team like Tottenham. We were on the ground towards the end and they were coming forward.”

“The spell we’ve had, it costs you rhythm. In the second half a couple of our players were slightly exhausted, but we fought through that.”

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Fixture congestion and a scheduling nightmare forced Liverpool to play their kids in the EFL Cup quarterfinals and thus they got bounced in the quarterfinals of that competition. Their opponent is to be determined when they resume FA Cup action in the fourth round on Jan. 26. Their UCL title defense resumes Feb. 18 when they begin their knockout round tie with Atletico Madrid.

They’ll host United in the arch-rivalry reverse fixture on Sunday.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No,  I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

You can follow Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com on Twitter here and his cat on Instagram at this link.

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