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KLOPP EYES A KNEES-UP.

Byline: Steve Bates

JURGEN KLOPP won't stop his title-chasing Liverpool players celebrating if they win at Manchester United today.

Pep Guardiola and his stars upset United players and former manager Jose Mourinho in December 2017 for partying wildly in the away dressing room after winning 2-1 at Old Trafford to go 11 points clear on the way to becoming champions last term.

Their celebrations - ending a 40-match unbeaten home run by United - were branded "disrespectful" by Mourinho and some of his players, and sparked a melee which left City coach Mikel Arteta with a cut eye.

But Kop boss Klopp insists he won't curb his aces celebrating victory if they triumph on enemy territory this afternoon.

He said: "I don't think about that. How can I avoid that? By showing them the celebrating of City before the game and then tell them, 'if we win, don't celebrate like this?' "The boys celebrate how they celebrate. It's not that we have rules for celebrating. Even if December last year was different from February of this year.

Celebrate "I don't know exactly how many points ahead City were then.

"If it was 11 then that's a moment where you can celebrate a little bit. That's how it is.

"United came second that season so it could have been six points. It was a six-point game, so that was a big one.

"For us it's a completely different situation, and I can imagine with the season City played, that in that moment, they thought, 'OK, it looks like it could work out'.

"But that will not happen for us. For us, pointswise, it's not a bonus game, but it's a game in hand for us, as City are playing in the Carabao Cup, and we can go three points in front , but only if we win. So let's try to do that. That's all."

Asked if a Liverpool win at United would be a significant moment, Klopp was dismissive.

"What do you mean by significant? More than three points? No. We play Tottenham. We play Chelsea. We play Everton and Watford soon. So Watford at home - they have been unbelievable this year on counter-attacks."

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Feb 24, 2019
Words:361
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