Klopp sees small steps of Liverpool's progress in Chelsea's stalemate

Klopp sees small steps of Liverpool’s progress in Chelsea’s stalemate

Jurgen Klopp said a 0-0 draw with Chelsea on Saturday is a step in the right direction for Liverpool despite the point doing little to their chances of catching the top four.

Both teams remain nine points off Champions League places after a poor game summed up their woes this season.

Chelsea had a Kai Havertz goal disallowed for offside early on and there were promising glimpses of new €100 million ($108 million) signing Mykhailo Mudryk from the bench.

But the Blues remain tenth, without an away win since October.

Liverpool advance to eighth place, ahead of Brentford on goal difference.

But Klopp took heart with his first clean sheet in the Premier League since October after a 3-0 thrashing at Brighton last weekend that he described as the worst performance of his managerial career.

“It’s clear to me, in this situation you have to be ready to take small steps and this was a small step today,” Klopp said after his 1,000th game in charge of Mainz, Dortmund and Liverpool.

“It is so. I hope for progress and I think that since the last league game there has been progress, definitely, and that is important.

“I know we have to do the good stuff even better and longer, in an ideal world for the full 95 or 100 minutes and then we’ll be there. We’ll go in that direction, I’m sure.”

Klopp made sweeping changes with Fabinho, Jordan Henderson and Trent Alexander-Arnold among those left on the bench.

The change in personnel did little to ignite a drastically improved performance as the Reds were boxed out in the first 45 minutes by a similarly out of sorts Chelsea side.

“We wanted to win but we took the point and moved on,” Chelsea manager Graham Potter said. “I liked the energy of the team and what we tried to do.”

The visitors had the ball in the net after three minutes when Havertz spiked Thiago Silva’s corner kick off the post.

However, the German was declared offside after the VAR review.

Cody Gakpo twice swept Liverpool’s best two shots on goal before the break, but it was Potter’s men who came closest to breaking the tie when Benoit Badiashile’s header was well saved by Alisson Becker from another dangerous play to stopped ball.

Mudryk had to wait for his debut, but the Ukrainian’s introduction 10 minutes into the second half brought Chelsea to life when he fired into the side netting after some quick footwork.

“He’ll only get better the more he’s with us, and the more we understand each other, but promising signs,” Potter added.

“He’ll get the fans out of their seats. His dribbling action is really high and he knows where the goal is.”

The arrival of Darwin Núñez from the bench had a similar impact on Liverpool’s attack, but the Uruguayan also failed to break through.

After a riotous run, Núñez’s shot lacked the power to beat Kepa Arrizabalaga before Alexander-Arnold took a shot to cut off Liverpool’s best chance of the game.

After draws in last season’s League and FA Cup finals, which Liverpool won on penalties, a third successive meeting between the teams ended goalless.


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