Jürgen Klopp insists Liverpool's feared front three of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mané and Roberto Firmino are not in a goalscoring competition as the trio are focused solely on winning matches. The Reds started the new Premier League season with a 4-0 hammering of West Ham at Anfield last weekend, a contenst in which Mané scored twice, while last season's PFA Player of the Year Salah and substitute Daniel Sturridge were also on target.
After the game, Mané was asked about the competition among the team's forwards but Klopp – addressing the media before Monday's contest at Crystal Palace – believes none of his stars pay attention to the numbers achieved by their strike partners.
Reds frontmen "love leading the attack" says Klopp
"I think I saw that [Mané talking about being in healthy competition], he was Man of the Match and it was a question put to him - he was asked 'is there a competition'...," Klopp explained this afternoon. "They don't count the goals of the other guys, they like and enjoy playing together, it's very good. I love the fact we have the possibility to bring in other players with similar qualities it's really nice. It's not about the competition between them, it's about strikers who love playing together - that's obvious; I don't think they are bothered in the moment about specific number of goals, they only want to win football games. As a striker - I'm not sure if Sadio is a striker, he is very offensive midfield player it's true - they want to win football games and they like the way we play. They get benefit of that and give lots back to the team with defensive work. You cannot win football games if you have players that don't like to work."
Liverpool have been tipped to provide a sustained challenge to reigning champions Manchester City in the Premier League this term, a viewpoint that was enhanced by their showing against the Hammers. But Klopp warned Palace at Selhurst Park provides an altogether different prospect and challenged his side to 'stay angry'.
Great crowd at Selhurst Park
"There is a fantastic atmosphere there. They won their first game and they are full of confidence. It's a completely different game," he added. "We need to stay positive, but stay angry as well. We are still in a process. We have to develop. We are not the best team in the world. There is a lot of space for us to improve. It's very important because we are not alone. Our supporters like the way we are doing it. If you cannot deliver or the supporters ask for something impossible, that's not healthy. Against West Ham was good, but I saw Palace play against Fulham and they have grown as a group. Roy is doing a fantastic job there."
Klopp on #LFC’s front three: “I don’t think they are bothered about a specific number of goals [scored], they only want to win football games. They like the way we play and they get the benefit of it, and give a lot back to the team with their defensive work.” pic.twitter.com/7g3tu2qznd— Liverpool FC (@LFC) August 17, 2018