Liverpool might need to surpass Manchester City’s record points total to win the English Premier League after a 2-0 win at Wolverhampton Wanderers on Friday guaranteed them top spot at Christmas, Reds manager Juergen Klopp said.
Goals by Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk were enough to take Liverpool four points clear of champions Manchester City, who were to face Crystal Palace yesterday.
Liverpool, who have topped the Premier League table on three previous occasions without winning the title, have 48 points from 18 games and only two teams — Chelsea in 2005-2006 and City last season — have had more points at that stage.
City won the title last season with a record 100 points, but such has been the pace at the top this season that Klopp believes even more might be needed.
“Everybody asks me about the situation, first in the table and all that stuff and that the last four times a team was first in the table at Christmas they won the league, but was it ever such a tight race?” Klopp said.
“So far it looks like a really special season, 48 points before Christmas is crazy,” he said. “But there are other teams. Chelsea, Manchester City, Tottenham, Arsenal, they will probably win, then they will have 40-something points, nobody is dropping points from one down to five.”
“You will probably need 105 to be champions, you don’t know,” he added.
Tottenham Hotspur, in third place, had 39 points ahead of this weekend’s clash with Everton, while fourth-placed Chelsea were on 37 before their home clash with Leicester City.
Liverpool’s title challenge has been built on a rock-solid defense that has been breached only seven times in the league so far this season with Van Dijk outstanding.
The Dutchman even proved effective at the other end of the pitch on a rainy night in the Midlands as he scored his first Premier League goal to double Liverpool’s lead.
“I’m more happy that I’m keeping clean sheets with my team and winning games,” Van Dijk told Liverpoolfc.com. “Obviously, scoring a goal is a bonus and obviously a very proud moment and hopefully there’s more to come, but I’m more focused on winning games.”
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