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Liverpool logo
Premier League | Gameweek 22
Jan 31, 2024 at 8.15pm UK
Chelsea logo

4 - 1

Jota (23'), Bradley (39'), Szoboszlai (65'), Diaz (79')
Nunez (47'), Konate (76')
FT(HT: 2-0)
Nkunku (71')
Caicedo (11'), Fernandez (33'), Chilwell (35'), Disasi (41')

Jurgen Klopp urges Liverpool fans to "ignore" impending exit against Chelsea

Klopp urges Liverpool fans to
© Reuters
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp implores Reds supporters to "ignore" his impeding exit from the club when Chelsea arrive at Anfield for Wednesday's Premier League clash.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has implored Reds supporters to "ignore" his impeding exit from the club when Chelsea arrive at Anfield for Wednesday's Premier League showdown.

The German made the admission after Sunday's 5-2 FA Cup crushing of Norwich City, which was the Reds' first match since he dropped the bombshell that he would be stepping down from his post at the end of the season.

In a tell-all interview with Liverpool media, Klopp stressed that he wanted to go about his business as usual between now and the end of the season, but he was inevitably serenaded by the Anfield faithful as he emerged out of the tunnel on Sunday.

Klopp and his team of departing assistants - Pep Lijnders, Peter Krawietz and Vitor Matos - had smiles etched across their faces as You'll Never Walk Alone boomed out around Anfield, before the Reds' attacking firepower overwhelmed their Championship counterparts.

David Wagner - a long-time friend of Klopp - witnessed his Norwich side give Liverpool a couple of scares through Ben Gibson and Carlos Sainz, but Curtis Jones, Ryan Gravenberch, Diogo Jota, Darwin Nunez and Virgil van Dijk all found a way past the Canaries backline.

Liverpool's Curtis Jones celebrates scoring their first goal on January 28, 2024© Reuters

A fifth-round tie with either Watford or Southampton will be Liverpool's reward, and Klopp has admitted that he needed to "pull himself together" on an emotionally-charged afternoon, but the 56-year-old is hoping that fans will pay no attention to his imminent departure while his side are battling Chelsea in midweek.

"It is [emotional] but my job is to... OK, it's not always easy but I have to pull myself together and I received all the messages the people sent, I'm not made of wood so I get all of these," Klopp said in his post-game press conference.

"I said not too long ago, 'Don't sing the song during the game' – people obviously stopped already listening to me, that's good! But it's fine, we won the game, we scored after that, so the reason for being superstitious is done in that case and it was great, and it's the first game after that and I am not here to tell the people what to do.

"It's just that we play on Wednesday again and if we could then ignore for 95 or 100 minutes that the manager is leaving at the end of the season and just do everything to make it as uncomfortable for Chelsea as possible that would be great. And I know the people know that as well so I actually don't have to say it. But it was a wonderful afternoon in all parts of it."

While five of Liverpool's more esteemed performers made the net ripple on Sunday, two of the Reds' academy prospects also stole the spotlight, as right-back Conor Bradley laid on assists for Gravenberch and Nunez in another eye-catching display.

Liverpool's Alexis Mac Allister during the warm up before the match on July 30, 2023© Reuters

Meanwhile, 19-year-old James McConnell was thrown into the first XI for his maiden Liverpool start, and the teenage midfielder provided a pinpoint delivery for Jones to head home the opening goal in the 16th minute.

McConnell earned his opportunity thanks to the absence of Alexis Mac Allister, who sat out the visit of the Canaries due to a knock, but Klopp expects the Argentine to be fine for the visit of the Blues.

"Alexis, I would say [if it was the] last game of the season, decider or whatever, he could have played, but in all games not," Klopp added.

"He felt a little bit and we just said no, no and I don't want to know more, so that's just it. We gave him a rest. I think he should be ready for Wednesday."

While Mac Allister was not passed fit for the match, all of Dominik Szoboszlai, Andrew Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold came off the bench for their first appearances since recovering from injuries.

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp pictured on January 24, 2024
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