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That's mad - Klopp hits out at claims Reds should accept Champions League exit

:Headline: That's mad - Klopp hits out at claims Reds should accept Champions League exit:
Liverpool taken on Bayern Munich in Germany on Wednesday night following a goalless first leg.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists it is "mad" to suggest accepting a Champions League exit to help their domestic title push would be a preferred option.

Since the start of the season there have been pundits who have said the Reds' Premier League hopes would be best served by exiting Europe as soon as possible.

And, while Klopp admits defeat against Bayern Munich in the Allianz Arena in the second leg of their goalless last-16 tie would not be the biggest surprise in the competition's history, his side will not go into the game thinking of the benefits such a result could bring.

Jurgen Klopp faces the press ahead of Liverpool's clash with Bayern Munich (Matthias Balk/AP)

"They (pundits) talk constantly. It doesn't mean they make more sense because of that. That's the problem," said the Reds boss.

"I really don't think that any other coach or manager in the world has to answer this question when he plays in the Champions League.

"It's really unique. It only happens if you are the Liverpool manager and the pundits come from Manchester United and start these things.

"It is so easy to sit in an office or a studio and talk about things like that.

“We don't draw up a season and say the best way to go through it is to go out of all the cup competitions early.”
- Jurgen Klopp

"We don't draw up a season and say the best way to go through it is to go out of all the cup competitions early.

"You do that and in that moment the same people go for you like mad.

"Now it is closer to the end of the season and it is allowed to go out of the Champions League without even trying to go through? That's really mad.

"I am not angry about it. It's just so mad that I constantly get confronted by it."

Klopp stressed Liverpool, who reached the final last season and are second in the Premier League, just a point behind Manchester City, want to prove they a "proper threat" in the competition.

"We play proper, real football and we try to win every game," he added.

"The only thing I would say is that if we go out, maybe the fans won't be exceptionally angry – 'How can that happen?' – because we still have a chance with the league.

"But I don't think they will think before the game, 'I hope we go out'. It is not that the players prefer the Champions League to winning the league.

Bayern Munich held Liverpool to a goalless draw at Anfield (Peter Byrne/PA)

"We still want to prove our value again in Europe. I think that is really important for the club that we really show we are a proper threat in that competition."

Bayern took great satisfaction from a goalless draw at Anfield three weeks ago and Klopp took that as a sign of the reputation his side have in Europe.

Since then Liverpool have lost top spot domestically, while Bayern have regained the initiative in the Bundesliga, but the Reds boss does not believe the dynamic has been altered.

"We are a proper contender in a difficult competition with only fantastic teams left," he said.

"Bayern is famous for going for results they think are good for them and on the night they thought 0-0 was the perfect result.

"Now we have to show it is not like this – we have to score if we want to go through; they have to score if they want to go through."

In order to progress Liverpool will have to end a run of five successive European defeats away from Anfield – a sequence Klopp said had no underlying reason.

"It is nothing to do with being away from home, but of course we have to prove it," he said.

"It is different, yes, but it is not that we are not able to perform in an away atmosphere."

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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool29271166214582
2Manchester CityMan City28183768313757
3Leicester CityLeicester29165858283053
4Chelsea29146951391248
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd29129844301445
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves29101364134743
7Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd28111073025543
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs29118104740741
9Arsenal2891364036440
10Burnley29116123440-639
11Crystal Palace29109102632-639
12Everton29107123746-937
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2998122541-1635
14Southampton29104153552-1734
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton29611123240-829
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham2976163550-1527
17Watford2969142744-1727
18Bournemouth2976162947-1827
19Aston Villa2874173456-2225
20Norwich CityNorwich2956182552-2721
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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool29271166214582
2Manchester CityMan City28183768313757
3Leicester CityLeicester29165858283053
4Chelsea29146951391248
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd29129844301445
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves29101364134743
7Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd28111073025543
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs29118104740741
9Arsenal2891364036440
10Burnley29116123440-639
11Crystal Palace29109102632-639
12Everton29107123746-937
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2998122541-1635
14Southampton29104153552-1734
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton29611123240-829
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham2976163550-1527
17Watford2969142744-1727
18Bournemouth2976162947-1827
19Aston Villa2874173456-2225
20Norwich CityNorwich2956182552-2721
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