Liverpool are very much in the driving seat of the Premier League title race as 2018 approaches its end.
The Reds currently boast a nine-point gap over their nearest rivals Tottenham - who suffered a 3-1 defeat to Wolves at Wembley on Saturday afternoon.
Manchester City, however, could reduce the gap to seven points when they play their 20th league match of the season away at Southampton tomorrow.
Few could’ve expected Pep Guardiola’s men would falter as they have done throughout December, losing three of their six league outings since the start of the month.
Similarly, Spurs had put together an impressive streak of their own in recent weeks, hammering Everton and Bournemouth 6-2 and 5-0 respectively.
With that in mind, Liverpool fans were no doubt delighted to receive confirmation of their shock loss to Wolves in London barely an hour before they faced Arsenal.
Such a situation can also create pressure, which is why it’s difficult to know whether or not managers prefer to inform their players in the lead-up to kick-off.
They don’t always have the luxury of choice, though, and despite the short turnaround between Tottenham and Liverpool’s matches, Jurgen Klopp didn’t on this occasion.
His Liverpool squad saw the 3-1 result on television screens in the home dressing room at Anfield, but when asked if it influenced their performance, the German responded with conviction.
“Do you think the party started already?” Klopp said in his post-match interview, per the Mail.
“There was hardly a smile I hardly saw a smile in the dressing room.”
Well, his description certainly fits the mindset of a group with an unwavering focus on ending the season as champions.
While excitement is an almost irresistible emotion among the Reds faithful at present, Klopp is eager to stifle the hype that comes with a sizeable buffer.
He perhaps should do, too, considering their advantage could be cut to three points after they visit City on Thursday.
“I’m not the smartest person in the world but I’m really not an idiot,” Klopp said.
“That’s really nothing - really not important how many points you are ahead in December. And if we drop three points, you are the first to say: ‘They are nervous.’
“[Yours] is an easy job. I would love to be in your situation, still earning the money I earn! We cannot play that game. And we don’t do it. We don’t do it. Really.”
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