EPL

Manchester City's Rodri taking title race hope from Liverpool's 2018-19 collapse

By Sports Desk November 11, 2019

Manchester City midfielder Rodri is not giving up on retaining the Premier League title after Sunday's 3-1 loss to Liverpool, highlighting the Reds' inability to hold on to their lead last season.

A thrilling encounter at Anfield left Liverpool with a nine-point lead over City, their most likely long-term challengers.

Many feel City now have too much ground to make up if they are to retain their crown, but they found themselves in a similar situation last season.

Although Rodri was not at the club at the time, the Spain international is well aware of how City fought back from being seven points behind the Reds to lift the trophy for a second successive season in 2018-19.

When asked if defeat at Anfield ended City's Premier League chances, Rodri told reporters: "Absolutely not. This team has shown it many times before.

"This team has won the Premier League two seasons in a row and that isn't a coincidence. This team has earned the respect and being considered for the title race.

"Last season, the team was seven points behind - and it could have been ten in case of losing [when the teams met in January] - and they managed to win the league in the end.

"We are in November. There are still a lot [of games] left. They [Liverpool] are very strong at the moment and they are having everything right. Let's see what happens in the future."

Rodri is also adamant Liverpool were fortunate to take all three points on Sunday, convinced City were significantly better on the day.

"They were more clinical than us, I think that was the key factor. I think we were much better overall," he said. "We created more chances than them, but they arrived to our goal three times and scored three goals."

Left-back Angelino, who impressed going forward in a rare Premier League start, was similarly rueful of City's inability to make the most of their chances, insisting the 3-1 defeat was harsh on the champions.

"I think so," he said when asked if City deserved a better result. "We created chances, we had opportunities to get back into the game, but, unluckily, we couldn't make it.

"We played really well, we have created many chances, we have only conceded three chances to Liverpool, but against a team like them, if you give them a chance, they take advantage of it.

"We have had more chances than them but, at the end of the day, we didn't use them. We are happy for the way we played.

"I think the whole team fought until the end, we gave everything and, if we keep playing like at Anfield, we can achieve great things."

Related items

  • Rumour Has It: PSG focused on Mbappe, Neymar over Ronaldo Rumour Has It: PSG focused on Mbappe, Neymar over Ronaldo

    Paris Saint-Germain are focused on Kylian Mbappe and Neymar over Cristiano Ronaldo.

    Mbappe and Neymar have both been linked with moves away from the Ligue 1 champions, while Ronaldo has reportedly been a target for PSG previously.

    PSG seemingly know where their priorities are.

     

    TOP STORY – PSG FOCUS ON MBAPPE, NEYMAR OVER RONALDO

    PSG would prefer to extend the contracts of Mbappe and Neymar than chase Juventus star Ronaldo, according to ESPN.

    Mbappe and Neymar are both coming to the end of their contracts in 2022 and have been linked to Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively.

     

    ROUND-UP

    - Arsenal are reportedly ready to splash the cash. The Sun says the Premier League side are set to spend £100million on Real Madrid's Dani Ceballos, Atletico Madrid's Thomas Partey and Lille's Gabriel Magalhaes, but must sell at least three players.

    - With Eric Garcia set to leave Manchester City, Barcelona are preparing a move. The Sun reports Barca will make a €15.5m (£14m) bid for the defender.

    - Will Chelsea find a way to land West Ham star Declan Rice? The Daily Star says Chelsea are looking to raise £65m to land the midfielder.

    - Liverpool continue to be linked with moves. The Liverpool Echo reports Watford attacker Ismaila Sarr is on the Premier League champions' shortlist.

    - Staying at Anfield and Yahoo reports Liverpool are tracking Vasco da Gama's 18-year-old forward Talles Magno.

    - Ryan Sessegnon continues to be linked with a move from Tottenham. The Guardian reports Ajax are interested in Sessegnon on loan.

  • Messi's home comforts and mission impossible for Chelsea – Champions League in Opta numbers Messi's home comforts and mission impossible for Chelsea – Champions League in Opta numbers

    Lionel Messi's sublime home record for Barcelona makes worrying reading for Napoli, whose task is not nearly as tricky as the one Chelsea face against a Bayern Munich side spearheaded by the sensational Robert Lewandowski. 

    The final two rearranged Champions League last-16 games take place on Saturday before the competition, which was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic, heads for Lisbon. 

    Barca, who drew 1-1 at the San Paolo in the first leg, host Napoli for the first time in a competitive match, with Gennaro Gattuso's visitors aiming to become the first team to win their first away trip to Camp Nou since Rubin Kazan in October 2009. 

    Bayern's squad and coaching team will surely be having their passports stamped for a trip to Portugal having hammered Chelsea 3-0 at Stamford Bridge. Frank Lampard's Blues will have to do something that has never been done if they are to progress.


    Barcelona v Napoli

    6 - Napoli's Dries Mertens has scored six Champions League goals this season, one shy of the record for goals in a single season in UEFA competition for the club; both Edinson Cavani (2012-13 Europa League) and Gonzalo Higuain (2014-15 Europa League) scored seven each. 

    11 - Messi has been directly involved in 11 goals in his last five home Champions League knockout matches at Camp Nou (8 goals, 3 assists), scoring a brace in four of those five games. 

    12 - Barcelona have qualified for the Champions League quarter-finals in each of the last 12 campaigns, last failing in 2006-07 under Frank Rijkaard; no other team has qualified for the last-eight of the competition in more than eight consecutive seasons. They have also progressed from each of their last 19 Champions League knockout ties after avoiding defeat in the first leg away from home, only failing to do so once (vs Juventus in the 2002-03 quarter-final). 

    2 - Napoli's two previous away Champions League knockout matches have ended in defeat, losing 4-1 to Chelsea in March 2012 and 3-1 to Real Madrid in February 2017. They have failed to progress from nine of their last 10 UEFA European knockout ties when failing to win the first leg. 

    1 - This is Quique Setien's first home Champions League match as Barcelona boss – 10 of their previous 11 managers have won their first in charge at Camp Nou, with only Louis van Gaal failing to do so in a 2-2 draw against PSV in October 1997. 


    Bayern Munich v Chelsea

    6 - All six of Serge Gnabry's Champions League goals for Bayern this season have come against English teams (four vs Spurs, two vs Chelsea). Only two players have scored more goals against teams from a single nation in one season – Cristiano Ronaldo in 2013-14 vs German teams (7) and Luiz Adriano in 2014-15 vs Belarusian teams (8). 

    41 - Lewandowski has scored 11 goals and assisted two more in six Champions League appearances this season, averaging a goal or assist every 41 minutes. The German side have failed to win any of their last five knockout stage games in the Champions League in which Lewandowski has not been on the scoresheet (D3 L2). 

    1- Chelsea have only scored three goals in an away Champions League knockout match once previously, winning 3-1 at Liverpool in April 2009; Bayern have only conceded three times in three of their 43 home Champions League knockout games, though did so most recently in a 3-1 defeat to Liverpool in March 2019. 

    0 - In the entire history of the European Cup and Champions League, no team has ever won by three or more goals in the first leg of a knockout match away from home and failed to progress, going through on all 92 previous occasions. 

    3- Bayern Munich manager Hansi Flick is looking to become only the third manager in Champions League history to win his first five matches in charge, after Fabio Capello (first six with Milan in 1992-93) and Luis Fernandez (first six with PSG in 1994-95). 

  • Juventus are 'cursed' in the Champions League, says Sarri Juventus are 'cursed' in the Champions League, says Sarri

    Maurizio Sarri believes Juventus are "cursed" in the Champions League after their exit at the hands of Lyon on Friday.

    Cristiano Ronaldo's brace helped Juve to a 2-1 win in Turin, but they fell in the last-16 tie on away goals after a 2-2 aggregate draw.

    Memphis Depay had given Lyon the lead in the second leg before Ronaldo's double, with Juve's wait for a first Champions League title since 1996 to go on.

    Sarri, who is under increasing pressure at the helm, said the Serie A champions were cursed in the competition.

    "We are out of a competition where we won six out of eight games we played, we drew one and lost one. That means that in eight matches we got 19 points," he told a news conference.

    "If there were a Champions League table we would be first or second. Instead, we are out. That's why I feel incredibly sad. It makes me understand that in this competition Juventus are cursed.

    "If I weren't so bitter, I would get out of this match with a smile on my face, because I saw the lads in good shape again, they gave all they had, they fought until the end, they put their heart and soul into the match. I appreciated it."

    Lyon and Juventus were both awarded controversial penalties during the second leg, with Depay and Ronaldo converting.

    Sarri felt the spot-kick given to Lyon was "crazy" as he rued the first-leg away loss.

    "We played a good match. In a match where we had to come from behind, we found ourselves one goal down because of a crazy penalty, because in my opinion it shouldn't even have arrived to the box because I think there was a clear enough foul on [Gonzalo] Higuain. And the penalty itself I think it is debatable," he said.

    "The referee was clearly unfit for a situation like this, because for us to concede that goal was like to concede two goals. We were good because we stayed into the game and turned the match around, but we spent a lot of energy.

    "We had two or three chances to score towards the end with headers from Cristiano Ronaldo, Higuain and I think [Leonardo] Bonucci, so I think we were close to the qualification.

    "If we have to have a regret it has to be for our performance in the first half at Lyon. At these levels, it is something you pay for."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.