Jurgen Klopp: Liverpool manager looking forward to 'exciting' top-four battle as season nears conclusion

Liverpool's 4-2 win over Manchester United on Thursday closed the gap on fourth-placed Chelsea to four points; Jurgen Klopp's side also have a game in hand; West Brom vs Liverpool is live on Sky Sports Premier League from 4pm on Sunday - kick-off 4.30pm

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is looking forward to an 'exciting' end to the Premier League season and says he is used to chasing teams as the top-four battle heats up

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is looking forward to an "exciting" end to the Premier League season and says he is used to chasing teams as the top-four battle heats up.

Liverpool are four points behind fourth-placed Chelsea with a game in hand after Thursday's impressive 4-2 win over Manchester United, but just three games remain for Klopp's side to qualify for next season's Champions League.

After 35 games last term, Liverpool were already champions and 21 points clear of Manchester City in second, but Klopp insists he is usually the one playing catch-up.

MANCHESTER UNITED 2-4 LIVERPOOL 3:08
FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Liverpool's win over Manchester United in the Premier League

"Most of the time I've been in a chasing role so if I'm enjoying it, I don't know. Sometimes yes, but I'm used to it," he said ahead of Sunday's trip to West Brom, live on Sky Sports.

"It hasn't happened a lot to me that the teams I've coached were running away or whatever, so it's a normal situation. It's a good situation.

"Usually, when I'm involved, seasons go to the wire. I can't remember many seasons when we didn't play for anything in the last few games. It's like this again and it's all good. It's exciting.

"Last night was very much needed, but it gave us a good feeling as well. After a long season, playing Thursday, Sunday, Wednesday, Sunday is a tough one, but let's give it a try."

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Roberto Firmino celebrates with Trent Alexander-Arnold after putting Liverpool 3-1 up at Old Trafford
Image: Roberto Firmino celebrates with Trent Alexander-Arnold after putting Liverpool 3-1 up at Old Trafford

After travelling to already-relegated West Brom on Sunday, Liverpool face Burnley away on May 19 and then host Crystal Palace in their final game on May 23.

With Chelsea and Leicester - two sides currently above the Reds - both yet to play each other, Liverpool now know if they win all their games - and overhaul Leicester's goal difference advantage of one - they will qualify for the Champions League next season.

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"These three games can have an extremely positive outcome," Klopp added.

"Most of the teams in the world fight the whole year to be in a position where three matchdays before the end they have it in their own hands to go to the Champions League, and we are one of them.

"So as much as the season was full of different challenges and problems, we are in a situation all of a sudden and that's good.

"Yes it's positive, but we don't now make the second step before the first. We played last night, we recover now, we are fully focused on West Brom and we will see what will be the outcome there. If we can make it, that would be really good."

Klopp relaxed about Mane relationship

Klopp again played down Sadio Mane's handshake snub after the game against Manchester United.

The Liverpool boss shook hands or bumped fists with players from both sides after the final whistle but as he approached Mane - who had come off the bench - the forward refused to shake his hand and instead uttered some angry words.

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Klopp insists there is no issue between him and Sadio Mane after the Liverpool forward appeared to snub a handshake from his manager at Old Trafford on Thursday

"I cannot make a bigger story of it as it is," Klopp said. "Football is an emotional game and everyone expects from us to control our emotions but it doesn't always work out.

"It happened to me as a player, it happened to other players when I was their coach.

"We had so far no real chance to talk about it but we will and there will be nothing left. Everything will be fine.

"Do you want these things to happen? No. But it's not the first time in my life and I'm afraid to say it won't be the last time.

"Even when I speak about that, already I can see the headlines but that's not the case. I am completely relaxed about that."

Klopp on Mane snub 2:00
Graeme Souness, Roy Keane, and Jamie Redknapp discuss Mane not shaking Klopp's hand after Liverpool's 4-2 win over Manchester United in the Premier League

Klopp rejected the suggestion Mane had been disrespectful to him and that in any other workplace he would be disciplined for his show of dissent.

"If somebody shows me five million times respect and one time not, what is then more important?" he added.

"The world is in a situation when you make this one time bigger than necessary. That's unfortunately the case.

"If you had seen me as a player what I did out of emotion it was insane - and I'm a completely normal guy but it happened to me.

"We will talk about it, then it will be sorted. That's all."

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