Liverpool must have a perfect record for the rest of the season, starting with Sunday’s trip to bitter rivals Manchester United, if they are to pip Arsenal and Manchester City to the Premier League title, manager Juergen Klopp has said.

Leaders Liverpool are two points clear of Arsenal and three ahead of City with eight games left in the season as Klopp looks to sign off with another trophy for the Anfield club following their Premier League triumph in the 2019-20 campaign.

Liverpool lost the title by a point in 2021-22 and asked if they would have to be ‘perfect’ to be crowned champions, Klopp said: “That’s obviously how it is in the Premier League… So if it’s a tight race then the best place you can be is in it.

“We are in it and that’s cool, that’s good. And now let’s keep fighting, that’s how it is. Obviously the next one is the big one, like they all are.

“Somebody said we had the best fixture list or schedule. I looked at it and I really don’t know how you can have had that idea. Maybe I’m too negative but it’s a tough one, good opponents. But we are ready and we want to be in that fight.”

While the reverse fixture at Anfield ended in a 0-0 draw in December, Liverpool were beaten 4-3 by United in their FA Cup quarter-final last month when the hosts prevailed in extra time.

Klopp said his side were in control of the game but ran out of steam towards the end, especially in the extra period.

“The good news is we will not have twice 15 minutes extra-time. That was too much for us that day, we couldn’t control it anymore, made mistakes we didn’t make before at all and United turned the game around,” Klopp added.

“United are a top side playing at home, we all know that. But we cannot just tell (the players), ‘Let’s do what we did from minute 15 to 70-something.’ Football is not that easy.

“We have to find a way to cause United problems and they will try exactly the same. On that level, with this opponent, in this stadium (Old Trafford), we’d better play a really good football game if we want something there.”

Meanwhile, Manchester United’s manager Erik ten Hag said the last-gasp defeat at Chelsea on Thursday will motivate the team against Liverpool.

He added that United would need to use the anger caused by Thursday’s 4-3 loss as fuel as they look to erase a nine-point gap to the top five.

“We have to recover very quickly. We have to turn this around, so from tomorrow we will be in a positive mood,” he told reporters. “We will be mad, angry and you can take a lot of energy from that.”

United, sixth in the table with 48 points, have dropped five points this week due to conceding late goals after the loss at Chelsea and last Saturday’s 1-1 draw away to Brentford.

“The points are getting very expensive because the games are running out,” the Dutchman said. “We need to learn how to win games, how you bring big games over the line and get the three points.”

Ten Hag said this United side, which beat Liverpool in the FA Cup quarter-finals last month, had the character and resilience to put up a fight on Sunday.

“You have seen we have qualities. We have some great players. We can be in momentum and we can play at very high standards,” he said.

“We can compete with the best and we can beat the best teams in the Premier League.”