Chelsea clash is another Champions League semi: Klopp

LONDON • Despite leading Liverpool into the Champions League final, Jurgen Klopp insisted that today's Premier League clash against Chelsea represents the "most important game of my career".

Chelsea are six points behind Liverpool but with one fewer game played. A point for the Reds at Stamford Bridge will effectively secure the Merseyside club a top-four finish because of their superior goal difference.

"Chelsea is a similar situation to the (Roma) game - fighting with all they have, they don't have anything to lose," Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com. "If we draw it's not good for them, if we win it's not good for them. They have to win and they will try to do so. It's like a Champions League semi-final."

Liverpool defeated Roma 7-6 on aggregate in Europe's elite club competition. But Klopp is not thinking about the May 26 title showdown against Real Madrid just yet and has no intention of resting key players like Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino today.

"There is no chance to think about anything else," the Liverpool manager added. "The most important game of my career so far is the Chelsea game on Sunday."

He believes if Liverpool can secure a Champions League berth for a second successive season it would show huge progress.

Asked what it would mean to qualify for the competition for a second year running for the first time since 2009, he said: "It would be massive. It was actually the main target we had at the start of the season.

"You want to be champions but it was clear after a few months that would not be possible. The target is qualifying for the Champions League. That would be a big success. With the group we've got, with how we came to the final and playing with the biggest intensity, being ready again, then the injuries we had, it would be a massive success."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 06, 2018, with the headline 'Chelsea clash is another Champions League semi: Klopp'. Print Edition | Subscribe