Football: Stay calm, Klopp tells table toppers

Liverpool's Sadio Mane stooping to head in the opening goal against Watford at Anfield. His double and strikes by Philippe Coutinho, Emre Can, Roberto Firmino and Georginio Wijnaldum gave the Reds a 6-1 win but manager Jurgen Klopp is not keen on any
Liverpool's Sadio Mane stooping to head in the opening goal against Watford at Anfield. His double and strikes by Philippe Coutinho, Emre Can, Roberto Firmino and Georginio Wijnaldum gave the Reds a 6-1 win but manager Jurgen Klopp is not keen on any title talk.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

LONDON • Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has urged his players to "be cool" after the Merseysiders went top of the English Premier League for the first time since he arrived at Anfield.

The German watched Liverpool produce one of their most emphatic displays of the season as they thrashed Watford 6-1 on Sunday.

The stylish outfit produced the kind of performance that will further fuel talk of a title.

However, Klopp was keen to urge caution despite the fervour whipped up by the red half of Merseyside, who have not seen Liverpool win the league title since 1990.

"If somebody thinks being one point ahead after 11 matchdays is a big sign for the rest of the season, I can't help this person, so sorry," he said. "We stay cool, it's the best position I can imagine, nothing else happened.

"The only thing you can do is work and stay concentrated, because a lot of different things could happen in the next few weeks and months."

He insisted that the extra scrutiny on his side as they head into the international break top of the pile for the first time since May 2014 will not affect them.

"There is no pressure after 11 matchdays," he said. "Chelsea played yesterday, quite impressive. We saw Manchester City play Barcelona, quite impressive.

"Never write Manchester United off. Tottenham, good side. I'm not sure if I've forgotten anybody but there are a lot of really good teams around.

"You can play a really good season but finish fifth or sixth and nobody would be really happy.

"Stay cool, take the things like they are, play your best football and win football games. That's the only thing you can do."

While Klopp was keen to take the sting out of any title talk, Watford manager Walter Mazzarri was happy to rank Liverpool as his favourites. The Hornets have played Arsenal, Chelsea and United this season but he was adamant where Liverpool are in the pecking order for Premier League title challengers.

"From the teams we have played against, there is no doubt they are the team I am most impressed with," said the Italian. "If they continue like this, they are No. 1 in my list for winning the Premier League.

"I am very, very impressed, not only tactically but on their running, their pressing, they are really a great team."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 08, 2016, with the headline 'Stay calm, Klopp tells table toppers'. Print Edition | Subscribe