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Klopp: Liverpool performance has not dropped despite goal drought

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Liverpool’s performance level has not dropped despite the team slipping to fourth place and not scoring in the last three Premier League games, manager Juergen Klopp said on Wednesday.

Sunday’s goalless draw with Manchester United at Anfield meant Liverpool had failed to score in three successive league games for the first time since March 2005.

Klopp said his players were not fatigued but they need to improve in finishing off their chances.

“We didn’t score a lot, that doesn’t mean our performances have dropped,” Klopp told reporters before Thursday’s Premier League game at home to Burnley.

“We know we are not where we want to be but the reasons are not too important. We have to play our football at a high level. In the final third we haven’t.

“Goals are not flying in, so we have to work on it. Look at John Stones at Manchester City, he scores three and you cannot explain it. We need to stay calm, greedy and make good decisions and the situation will change.”

Stones scored for the first time in more than three years in City’s 2-0 League Cup semi-final win over Manchester United on Jan. 6 and twice in a 4-0 victory over Crystal Palace on Sunday.

Klopp said Liverpool must strive to play “close to perfection” to retain the title after Leicester City were the latest team to reach the summit on Tuesday, replacing United who had earlier taken over from Liverpool at the top.

“It changes all the time because it’s so close. That makes it a different title race this year,” he said. “We have to be ready. I know that in this business, only results count. The last one was good (the draw against United).”

Klopp said centre back Joel Matip, who sustained an adductor injury last month, could feature against Burnley but striker Diogo Jota is a few weeks from returning after a knee issue.

Liverpool are fourth with 34 points after 18 matches, four points behind leaders Leicester who have played a game more.

Burnley are 17th on 16 points from 17 games, four points above the relegation zone.

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