With Klopp, Liverpool can aim for the top, says Gary Lim
Next six games easy as Klopp fights off talk of landing club's first Premier League trophy
(Sadio Mane 1)
(Daniel Sturridge 25, 29, Divock Origi 45, 68, 86, Jordon Ibe 73)
When Divock Origi nodded in Liverpool's sixth goal to complete the 6-1 thrashing of Southampton, his manager's eyes widened in amazement as he desperately tried to control his emotions.
Juergen Klopp couldn't quite believe what he was seeing.
Neither could the travelling fans.
Liverpool officially entered dreamland with this win yesterday morning (Singapore time), setting up a League Cup semi-final meeting with Stoke City.
The transformation of the club has been almost unthinkable.
Two months ago, Brendan Rodgers was sacked on the back of a run of nine matches that yielded just one win.
Yesterday, Klopp guided the Reds to their seventh win in their last eight games.
After an unremarkable start which saw him pick up three draws on the trot, his Reds have suddenly roared into life and even the Premier League title does not seem like a bridge too far, no matter how Klopp tries to calm things down.
The club are buzzing with a sense of excitement not seen since Luis Suarez threatened to win the league for them two seasons ago.
They will be expected to eliminate Stoke over two legs to reach the final at Wembley on Feb 28.
Four points adrift of the Premiership top four, they have already forced themselves back into contention for a Champions League spot.
And there is increasing chatter over whether Liverpool can end 26 years of hurt next May - they last won the English title in 1990.
Of course, it's still too early to say if the Reds have the stamina of champions.
There are formidable clubs ahead of them and the likes of Manchester City and Manchester United could go out and buy a big star during the January transfer window to boost their hopes.
But, there are 24 league fixtures to go and six points separate Klopp's side and Man City at the top.
And Liverpool have a kind run of fixtures ahead.
They go to troubled Newcastle next, followed by West Bromwich Albion (home), Watford (away), Leicester City (home) and Sunderland (away), before travelling to West Ham (away) in their first match of 2016.
Breathing confidence, the Reds know the next six games are eminently winnable and they could well be near the top by next month.
Better still, they have already travelled to Man City, Man United, Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea and Everton, which means all of them will have to go to Anfield in the second half of the campaign.
Klopp might have dismissed talk of a title push as "crazy" but he has built the foundation for one.
He has put fun back into football for his men, as well.
There is a touch of raw joy in the team's play, and that priceless spirit is a part of their DNA.
When Origi scored his third goal, his first reaction was to turn to goal-provider Brad Smith, a 21-year-old Australian defender who was making only his second appearance in a Liverpool shirt.
The crowd can wait, because Klopp just can't do anything wrong at the moment.
Daniel Sturridge's return to action from injury saw him cancel out Sadio Mane's first-minute opener and then score the goal that put the Reds in front.
Origi broke the duck with a hat-trick.
Young substitute Jordon Ibe's exquisite control and finish for the fifth goal is proof Klopp's working his magic.
Without Simon Mignolet, James Milner, Roberto Firmino, Jordan Henderson, Christian Benteke and Philippe Coutinho in the first 11, Liverpool dealt a full-strength Southampton their worst home defeat in 56 years.
Something special is brewing.
The fans and the players can feel it.
Liverpool are firmly back in the title race and if Klopp pulls it off, it will represent arguably the unlikeliest and greatest turnarounds in English Premier League history.
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