A spiky Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp defended his player’s attitude after their 4-0 hammering from Manchester City at the Etihad.
The newly crowned Premier League champions arrived at Etihad Stadium and were given a guard of honor by the defending champions, City before kick-off.
This was the only generosity Manchester City offered to Liverpool all evening as Guardiola’s side put in a ruthless display that suggested they will push the Merseyside’s all the way for the title come next season.
Goals from Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, and Phil Foden were on target in the first half. This was the first time Liverpool went into half-time of a Premier League game 3-0 down since a 6-1 defeat away at Stoke more than five years ago.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s own goal completed the rout after the break though Riyad Mahrez thought he had made it to 5 only for VAR to rule out his goal for a handball.
This was the newly champions heaviest Premier League defeat since a 5-0 thrashing by City in September 2017.
The score line however raised inevitable questions about Liverpool’s preparations and whether they have taken their feet of the gas given they had already claimed the title.
The spiky Klopp bristled such suggestions after the game and quickly downplayed any notion that they may have not been fully focused after celebrating their title win over the weekend. The head-coach insisted his players were as committed as they have been all season.
He said, “Is the game important to us? I saw a brilliant attitude, I saw a fight. We didn’t behave like somebody who became champions a week ago. That was all good”.
“They were quicker than us in mind. We lacked fluidity that’s for sure. Against Manchester City, you have massive problems”.
“We had moments, we had chances but we didn’t use them. City was 100% deserving. But a 5-3 would have been possible as well. But it’s a 4-0. The result we have to take.
With Klopp clearly frustrated when he didn’t understand a reporter’s question on whether the result should be put into perspective, he responded, “If you want to lead this story in the direction we were not focused, then do it. I liked my team attitude”.
“Isn’t it nice another team can be Champions when Man City can play so well. City is incredible. I saw their season; they didn’t play a bad game”.