After Liverpool beat Brighton over the weekend they were three points back of Manchester City in the Premier League title race. At the time, they will have expected it to be a six point gap by the time they took on Arsenal on Wednesday.
Now, thanks to an unexpected draw for City against Crystal Palace, the Reds head into their next game—which is also a game in hand—knowing they can shrink City’s lead to just a point with a match against them at the Etihad still to play.
“Why should it?” was Klopp’s response when asked if Palace’s result changes anything for him or Liverpool’s players. “It could impact mood if in our minds we were thinking this competition is just with City but the fact is we play Arsenal.
“I don’t know how you can count points away at Arsenal already and think, ‘It’s only one point.’ I think it’s easy for [the media], but for us it is four points and we have to play this game if we want to reach something in this Premier League.”
Such is Liverpool’s recent form that it might reasonably expected they will win any and every game they play, but then the same could have been said for City before dropping points to Palace—or before they lost to Tottenham last month.
Arsenal, meanwhile, are in the midst of their own run of form—form that sees them favourites to reclaim a top four finish this season. Counting Wednesday’s game, on the road at their stadium, as a win before it’s played would be reckless.
Still, Monday’s draw for Palace and those two dropped points for City do mean that if Liverpool can win away at the Emirates under the lights on Wednesday night, they will be in control of their league destiny for the first time in 2022.
“When you are not top of the table sometimes you need the other teams to drop points,” Klopp added. “Now we will see, but it all depends on our results still. That’s why we think about [Arsenal] and not any others.”