Mar 22, 2016

    Reds can still make it despite loss: Klopp


    JUERGEN Klopp refused to write off Liverpool's hopes of forcing their way into the top four despite squandering a two-goal lead at Southampton.

    Liverpool's 3-2 defeat meant they were unable to take advantage of Manchester City's home loss to Manchester United and move to within four points of Manuel Pellegrini's side who lie fourth, having played a game more.

    But Klopp insists that with nine games remaining, his side can still challenge although he conceded they cannot afford a repeat of their second-half performance at St Mary's Stadium.

    "There are 27 points still to play for," said the Liverpool manager.

    "We can get all of them, there's a chance."

    Klopp was left stunned after his side had apparently been in control of the game at half-time after goals from Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge.

    Southampton recovered to take the points with Sadio Mane scoring twice, the second an 86th-minute winning goal two minutes after Graziano Pelle had equalised.

    "I'm not that good a loser so I don't feel brilliant at this moment but this is football," said Klopp.

    Southampton manager Ronald Koeman greeted the winning goal with a dash down the touchline to join his players' celebrations.

    The manager, who was due to celebrate his 53rd birthday 24 hours later, admitted his reaction summed up the importance of this win to his side's hopes of regaining a place in the Europa League next season.

    "I'm proud of the team. We had a great spirit after half-time and it was hard to imagine it after 45 minutes.

    "It's my birthday tomorrow and this is the best possible present."