Jurgen Klopp pondered whether Liverpool are irritating Chelsea after they maintained their pursuit of the Premier League leaders with a 1-0 win over Manchester City.
Liverpool remain six points shy of Antonio Conte’s men, who recorded a record-equalling 13th consecutive league victory against Stoke City before Georginio Wijnaldum headed the only goal in Saturday’s late kick-off at Anfield.
Asked whether keeping the gap to the leaders down marked a significant moment as the season reached its halfway point, Klopp declined to issue a rallying cry, but could not resist a little mischief.
“I don’t know if I need anything plus to really be happy when we win against Man City,” he told a post-match news conference.
“Actually I know I don’t need anything else, so it’s all good. It’s hard work and I said before we cannot have a look at Chelsea.
“Obviously they are unbelievably strong of course and are on an outstanding run now – they’ve won now 12 games in a row? Thirteen already!
“Not bad, but can you imagine how annoying it is when you’ve won 13 games in a row and there’s still one team only six points behind.
“But I’m pretty sure they don’t think about this so why should we?
“It is completely not important what happens in this moment apart from that we win games.
“That’s the only thing that we’re really interested in and it’s so difficult in this league. It’s unbelievably difficult.”
Klopp’s men take on perennial strugglers Sunderland on Monday, but could be without captain Jordan Henderson against his former club.
Henderson was replaced after 64 minutes with pain in his heel, although Klopp confirmed it was not the same foot that gave the England midfielder persistent problems last season.
“In this moment it is the heel, a little bit of pain in the heel,” he said.
“We will see [how long he will be out]. We don’t know exactly in this moment.”
Determined to keep a lid on title talk, Klopp added: “I know what we have to do to win the next game, but not what we have to do to get Chelsea or whoever.
“We are in the region of the table that we want to be and when you are still there in the last five, six, seven matchdays then probably you can think differently.
“But at the moment you only have to collect points, that’s all.”