Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp attempted to put a positive spin on the 1-1 draw with Tottenham which damaged his side’s Premier League title ambitions.
Their first failure to win at home in the league since against Brighton in October means, although the Reds returned to the top of the table, they now require Manchester City to drop three points in their remaining four matches to stand a chance of finishing top.
Son Heung-min 20th league goal of the season was cancelled out by Luis Diaz’s deflected 74th-minute strike, but the home side could not force a winner, for only the third time in 2022 in the league.
“First and foremost we should stop behaving like it is a funeral. In my life much worse things happen,” said Klopp.
“It is an important point, because it is one point more than before the game. From 1-0 down it is massively better, but it was not exactly what we want.
“Now we have to deal with it, but we will, we all know the situation.
“We are now top of the table. My favourite situation is if we and City lose all our remaining games and we stay top, but we all know it will not be like this.
“I would love to sit here and say, ‘Yes, City will drop points’. We will see what happens.
“My problem in the moment is not City against Newcastle tomorrow, it is that we play Tuesday against Aston Villa.
“The only chance we have for things to go our way is to win now.”
That Liverpool managed only three shots on target from 22 attempts was partly due to Tottenham’s defensive organisation and resilience, but Klopp was not impressed.
“I don’t like this kind of football but that is my problem, I cannot coach it,” he added.
The draw also did little for Tottenham’s top-four hopes as they remain a point behind north London rivals Arsenal, who host struggling Leeds on Sunday.
“I think we have to be satisfied, it is not easy, not simple to play in this moment against an amazing team,” said Spurs boss Antonio Conte.
“On the other hand, I think maybe we have to be a bit disappointed. I have seen in the eyes of my players a bit of disappointment because we had the chances to win the game.
“But I asked my players to be good defensively and I think we didn’t concede many chances and we concede a goal from a deflection.
“We created a lot chances to score so I think a draw was fair.”
Tottenham play Arsenal on Thursday and Conte has not given up hope of overtaking them and moving into fourth place.
“There are three games to go for us, four for Arsenal, and in every game you have to gain points,” he added.
“We deserve to stay in this race because in November not many people believed Tottenham can fight until the end for Champions League qualification.
“On Thursday we have an important game, a north London derby against Arsenal, our rivals. We want to finish in the Champions League (places).”