Liverpool sent more records tumbling at Tottenham as they moved another step closer to the Premier League title – but Jurgen Klopp insisted there is still a long season ahead.
The Reds roared a massive 16 points clear at the top of the table thanks to Roberto Firmino’s first half-strike which secured a 1-0 win over Spurs, extending their unbeaten record to 38 league games.
In amassing an astonishing 61 points from a possible 63 over the first 21 matches of the campaign, Liverpool have now made the best-ever start to a top-flight season in any of Europe’s top five leagues.
Such records do not concern Klopp, though.
We've now made the best-ever start to a season across Europe's big five leagues after 21 games (61 points) 👏— Liverpool FC (@LFC) January 11, 2020
He said: “When somebody told me I didn’t feel anything to be honest.
“I’ve been in football 50 years and if somebody told me that would ever happen I would say it wasn’t possible. Now it’s happened and I don’t know exactly what’s wrong with me.
“But it’s cool, it’s exceptional. If that winning streak was easy then many other teams would have done it. But we didn’t think about it before the game and someone had to remind me afterwards.
“At the moment I can just say what we tried to do is still to create a basis for the rest of the season, and the rest of the season is long.
“Today was difficult, we made it difficult because we didn’t finish them off.”
Liverpool should have been out of sight by half-time but Firmino saw an effort cleared off the line and Mohamed Salah was not his usual ruthless self in front of goal.
Instead they only led by Firmino’s well-taken strike, and in the second half Son Heung-min blazed a glorious chance to equalise over the crossbar before substitute Giovani Lo Celso slid in to meet Serge Aurier’s cross but somehow missed the target from six yards.
Had Harry Kane, out until April with a hamstring injury, been fit Spurs surely would have taken something from the match.
“I think we deserved a point,” said boss Jose Mourinho. “That’s why I have a good feeling from the boys.
“We’re talking about one of the best teams in the world at the maximum of their potential. We are a team with the difficulties you know. I think we deserved more.”
Reds full-back Andy Robertson was perhaps fortunate to stay on the pitch after catching Spurs debutant Japhet Tanganga with a high tackle.
And Mourinho was quick to point out it was a far worse offence than the one which saw Son sent off against Chelsea recently.
He also felt hard done by that Firmino’s goal seemed to come from a throw-in which should have been awarded to the home team.
“It was our throw-in from their goal,” he said.
“From that they score a goal. But I am a player’s coach, though, not a referees’ coach, so I have to be a little upset with them, because yesterday we spent a lot of time working on defensive throw-ins.”
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