'Who cares about points in December?' – Klopp expects tight games as Liverpool continue Premier League title push

Pedro Neto had a goal ruled out for a marginal offside call in the Reds’ 1-0 win over Wolves and the manager expects it to be a sign of things to come

Jurgen Klopp told Liverpool’s players to expect another half-season of tight battles after a 1-0 victory over Wolves at Anfield moved them 13 points clear at the top of the Premier League.

Sadio Mane’s goal proved the difference between the two teams as Liverpool survived a scare when Pedro Neto had an equaliser ruled out for offside following the latest in a string of controversial VAR rulings.

The Reds have played half of their fixtures for the season and look destined to win their first domestic league title for 30 years, but Klopp said the second half of the season would bring with it a shift in intensity.

“We are halfway there,” Klopp told reporters. “We still have 19 games to play and probably 18 or 19 of them will be like this tonight, for different reasons.

“We will now face teams who fight for the league with all they have, then the fight for the Champions League and European spots is reopened again so they will fight with all they have and we have to be ready.

“Who cares about points in December? We just created a basis which we will work with from now on, that’s all.”

Klopp underlined the importance of squad strength after seeing his players collect a 17th consecutive Premier League home victory and extend their unbeaten domestic run at Anfield to 50 matches.

The result means Liverpool can reflect on having won all but one of their nine matches in all competitions across the month of December, and Klopp praised the contribution of Naby Keita and James Milner from the bench in the second half against Wolves.

“Naby and Millie helped immediately, you could see that,” said Klopp, who will prepare his players for the visit of Sheffield United at Anfield on Thursday.

“My God, Adam Lallana and Gini [Georginio Wijnaldum], what they played today effort-wise, miles-wise, was really great, but then fresh players there in the half-space helped obviously.

“Then we caused them problems again but didn’t finish them off, it was not a game for two or three goals for us tonight, so we had to fight until the end. As I said, no problem with that.”

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