Klopp: Man City showed strength of Premier League... and Liverpool can still improve

By Sports Desk February 29, 2020

Jurgen Klopp says Manchester City’s defeat of Real Madrid shows the strength of the Premier League despite Liverpool’s massive lead and he believes the Reds can get even better.

Liverpool are a mammoth 22 points clear of defending champions City as they bid to claim a first league title since 1990 in record-breaking fashion.

Klopp's men have dropped points only once all season - in a 1-1 draw at Manchester United – and are set to be crowned champions at a canter.

The German insists this is not evidence of a poor top flight, however, pointing to City's 2-1 Champions League first-leg victory in Madrid as proof Pep Guardiola’s side are still a force to be reckoned with.

"I couldn't care less [what people say]," Klopp said. "Look, it is completely normal. I don't think that we should have any concern for things like this.

"If other people think like that, if they think City are not as good as they were, they are. They have scored a little less goals than us, conceded a few more, and if you look why, it is clear they have been missing some players.

"The other teams are really strong, too. Yes, Bayern [Munich] beat Tottenham and Chelsea [in the Champions League] but they are really strong over a season.

"Yes, [Tottenham and Chelsea] have had some problems, that's all true. But in the moment that you play them, you don't feel that they have these problems. The points they have, we have no influence on that apart from the games when we play them.

"So, [Liverpool's dominance] says nothing about the quality of the Premier League, especially when you look at City v Real Madrid.

"I know that people look at these things, and you saw one of the best teams in the world maybe in the moment, and City were clearly better, so that shows as well how strong the league is."

However, Klopp still sees room for Liverpool to improve "in all departments", even if results could hardly be better.

"There is still a lot of work to do and a lot of space for improvement," he said.

"You see our games and result-wise it looks okay, but performance-wise there is a lot of space for improvement. That is what we work on and try constantly through the week.

"Result consistency is maybe difficult to improve because that is close to perfection, obviously, but it is possible to improve the performances in all departments.

"There are so many things you can improve that that will never end."

Related items

  • Messi is the Harry Potter of football – Vieri Messi is the Harry Potter of football – Vieri

    Barcelona star Lionel Messi is the Harry Potter of football, according to Christian Vieri.

    Messi assisted Ousmane Dembele's deflected opener and converted a late penalty as Barcelona recorded a 2-0 win over Juventus in the Champions League on Wednesday.

    The six-time Ballon d'Or winner made a game-high five key passes and 65 passes in the opposition half as Barca improved to six points in Group G.

    Vieri, who won Serie A with Juve in 1996-97 and was a 49-time Italy international, lauded Messi's contribution in Turin.

    "An amazing Barcelona, there was no game. They could've scored six, seven goals easy. They played fantastic," he told CBS Sports.

    "Messi is a magician, he's the Harry Potter of soccer and when he stops playing, I'm throwing my TVs away. I'm not going to work no more on TV, I'm going to watch Netflix, that's it, because when he stops there's nothing else to watch."

    Since Messi's first Champions League campaign in 2004-05, only Cristiano Ronaldo (38) has provided more assists in the competition than his 35.

    The Argentina international helped Barca dominate as Juve – who had Merih Demiral sent off in the 85th minute – failed to record a shot on target in a Champions League home game for the first time since 2003-04 – when Opta have such data available.

    Juventus forward Alvaro Morata incredibly had three goals ruled out for offside during the encounter.

    Vieri was impressed by Barcelona's performance, saying: "It's just another football, another game.

    "I don't know how they lost against Real Madrid, but if you see them [against Juventus] you're going to say they can't lose against anyone this year, it's impossible the way they played.

    "Every game is different but the Barcelona I saw and everyone saw it's just incredible. When you've got a number 10 like that, it's just crazy.

    "It's a pity there are no fans here because the fans should be seeing a team like this."

    Sitting 12th in the LaLiga table, Barcelona visit Deportivo Alaves on Saturday.

  • Hat-trick hero Rashford wants to build Old Trafford fortress Hat-trick hero Rashford wants to build Old Trafford fortress

    Hat-trick hero Marcus Rashford wants Manchester United's 5-0 victory over RB Leipzig to signify that Old Trafford is becoming a place for teams to fear again.

    Rashford came off the bench in the Champions League Group H clash just after the hour-mark to score a quickfire treble, becoming the fifth player in the competition's history do so as substitute.

    The England striker's performance helped United confidently dismantle the Bundesliga leaders, who were unbeaten this season before facing the Red Devils.

    United suffered a humiliating 6-1 defeat at home to Tottenham in the Premier League at the start of October but Rashford hopes the rout of Leipzig is a sign of things to come.

    “It was important to get that first home win of the season," Rashford told reporters afterwards.

    "This place has to be a fortress, so it was vital to get the win. Hopefully it’ll be the first of many here this season.

    “We’ve got six points now after playing two very good teams. We’re in a great position in the group and hopefully we can take that form into the Premier League."

    On his three goals, Rashford told BT Sport: "It was great to score a hat-trick. You obviously hope to make an impact from the bench and it couldn’t have gone much better for me.

    "I think the manager wanted me to up the tempo. That for us means going forward. There was definitely spaces there. We looked dangerous throughout and that we could score every time we went forward."

    Rashford became only the second United player to score a hat-trick as a substitute after manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's treble versus Nottingham Forest in February 1999 in the Premier League.

    Solskjaer was thrilled with the impact made by Rashford, who took his tally to seven goals in all competitions for United this season. 

    "Marcus was fantastic," Solskjaer said in a media conference after the game.

    "He worked so hard after coming on and made an incredible impact. You hope you can make an impact off the bench, and when you’ve got players like that in reserve it’s great for us.

    "Marcus took his chances incredibly well. He had space in front of him. You can see players looking for each other, playing that extra pass. I’m very pleased with the response.

    "Now is not the time to think about how many goals Marcus will end up with. He’s just got to focus on the next job at hand, training on Thursday – he only played 30 minutes. So, one step at a time.

    "If you try to think about too much you lose focus. He can keep focusing on what’s important on and off the pitch at the moment. He did really well, coming off the bench."

  • Man Utd left-back Telles tests positive for coronavirus Man Utd left-back Telles tests positive for coronavirus

    Manchester United left-back Alex Telles has tested positive for coronavirus, it was confirmed on Wednesday.

    Telles, who arrived at United from Porto for a reported £15.4million (€17m) earlier this month, made his debut for the club in last week's Champions League win over Paris Saint-Germain.

    The 27-year-old has since missed two matches, including Wednesday's 5-0 thrashing of RB Leipzig at Old Trafford.

    United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer subsequently confirmed Telles had contracted COVID-19, but was feeling fine.

    "Telles has tested positive for coronavirus so he's been out for a few days," he told a news conference.

    "No symptoms though, so he'll be fine. Back soon."

    Top of Group H in the Champions League but 15th in the Premier League, United host Arsenal on Sunday.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.