Title favourite tag changes nothing for Liverpool, says Lovren

A sparkling volley from a player not exactly known for his goalscoring abilities set the Reds on the way to victory and a six-point lead at the summit

Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren will not be swayed by his team being labelled as favourites to win the Premier League, and called on the Reds to keep their focus at the top of the table.

Lovren sent his side on the way to victory on Boxing Day with a wonderful volley against Newcastle United, his first of the season for the club.

Mohamed Salah, Xherdan Shaqiri and Fabinho then struck in the second half to seal a 4-0 victory, which, combined with a second straight defeat for Manchester City, sent Liverpool six points clear at the summit.

That healthy lead has seen Liverpool tagged as the new front-runners, but Lovren is not interested in such talk.

“We know how in football everything changes quickly. It doesn’t take too long to lose one game and everything changes quite quickly,” he said to reporters on Thursday.

“For us, every game is a final. It’s good to hear all these positive words but we don’t live on these positive words, we live on winning games and that’s what matters.

“When you look at the result it’s good for us, of course, but we don’t look at who is behind us or in front of us. It’s more only about us and that’s how we should do it always.

“We learn from all these previous seasons. When you look today it was quite a tough first half, there were chances but we couldn’t find the right spot to score.

“Luckily enough I scored but again we had this winning mentality that kept us going, and the second half we played like a new game.”

Lovren’s strike was only his seventh in more than 150 games for Liverpool since joining from Southampton in 2014.

And he admitted that good fortune played its part in opening the scoring in such emphatic fashion.

“Usually it’s a position to kick the ball out, to be honest, but [I was] lucky enough to score it,” he added. 

“But it doesn’t matter, the most important thing is the three points and this winning mentality that we need to keep.

“It will be tough, for sure, it’s a good moment for us but we can’t enjoy now – maybe for the next couple of hours, yes, but then tomorrow we are already focused for the next game, and this is football how it should be.”

Liverpool are back in action on Saturday, when fifth-placed Arsenal visit Anfield.

A potential top of the table clash then looms on January 3, with Man City hosting the current leaders.

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