Published: 22:49 | 1/2/20

Klopp denies feelings of invincibility as Liverpool break more records

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp denies any feelings of invincibility despite the Reds extending their title lead to a record 22 points with a 4-0 thumping of Southampton at Anfield.

A second-half double from Mo Salah and goals from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and skipper Jordan Henderson ensured the 1-1 draw with Manchester United in October remains the only dropped points of the campaign.

The gap to second-placed Manchester City is now the biggest ever recorded at the summit in top-flight history as another record was beaten - that of City's 20-game winning home league run.

Liverpool first-team squad now take their short winter break while their Under-23 and youth players host League One Shrewsbury in an FA Cup fourth round replay on Tuesday. On their return, they travel to bottom club Norwich before a mouthwatering Champions League last-16 first leg tie at Atletico Madrid.

"I promise you I don't lie, but just don't feel it," said Klopp, when asked if he felt invincible. "I am a very optimistic but not before a football game. 

"My main feeling before a game is concern. They had too many shots but what Ali [Alisson] is doing to make the saves look so simple I have no clue. The finishes are good but Ali is there.

"We are not perfect, not even close to being perfect, but we don't care about being perfect. 

"We just try and use our skills in the best possible way. The boys do that and that  is why we have these kinds of numbers.

"It just feels like the hardest work. Now the boys can go away and enjoy their break and come back recharged."  

The scoreline might have been comfortable enough but the Reds didn't have it all their own way.

Ex-Kop favourite Danny Ings saw a goalbound effort hit his team-mate Shane Long in a well-matched opening half where Saints keeper Alex McCarthy denied a deft Virgil van Dijk backheel before Long appeared to bundle over Firmino in the box.

The home side took the lead in controversial circumstances soon after the restart. Ings felt he had been tripped by Joe Gomez inside the Reds' box but Oxlade-Chamberlain didn't wait  for any whistle and up the other end he cut inside before leaving McCarthy unsighted  with a raking effort from the edge of  the box. 

The sense of injustice hadn't subsided for the Saints by the time Liverpool doubled their lead with Henderson rifling into the roof of the net after a Firmino cut-back.

Henderson turned provider for the third releasing Salah who dinked the advancing keeper, and the Egyptian completed the rout in stoppage time with his fourth goal in five outings after another Firmino assist.

By Russell Stoddart

Image: Getty Images

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