Inter Dzeko striker tested positive for COVID-19 for the second time
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp reflected in awe of what Manchester City achieved in the Premier League in 2021.
Defending champions Pep Guardiola are nine points ahead of the Reds and eight ahead of second-placed Chelsea heading into the New Year after a streak of 10 league wins to close the year.
The winning streak culminated in a slim 1-0 victory for City over Brentford on Wednesday as Guardiola’s side recorded 110 league points for the calendar year.
This is the most points a team has won in a year in top flight history, with their most recent triumph winning them ahead of the 107 Liverpool won in 1982.
Klopp still hopes to catch up with City in their quest for a second league title with Liverpool, but reflected fondly on the year Guardiola produced with the Manchester club.
The Reds prepare to face their rivals Chelsea on Sunday and Klopp believes the winning team can still challenge City.
“The city is flying,” he told Sky Sports in an interview released Friday. “Before the Leicester game we were in a perfect position, just three points behind City which, with the season they have played, is incredible.
“Our start to 2021 has been extremely difficult, and finding a way to get your performance back to normal and maybe improve it has been a huge improvement.
“But one of us [Liverpool or Chelsea] can put pressure on City, the winner [of the match] may – the loser, I do not know. We will see that later.
“We won’t give up just because we lost our game against Leicester. We will try everything, 100%. There are a lot of games to come.
“City haven’t had a real ‘down’ in 2021. Their 110 points in a calendar year are pretty impressive, I have to say!
“But at the end of the day it’s a football game and the only way to win is to really want to play it, to want to take on the challenge, to be boring if necessary, to be fluid if possible, to play your best. If you try, you have a chance. “
Last year was not a disaster for Liverpool, who secured Champions League football with a late push in the last campaign before launching into a club record 34 goals scored in all competitions. which ended against Leicester City the last time around.
Klopp appreciates what his side have accomplished as they prepare to lead in 2022, but believes the Reds can learn from their 1-0 loss to a Leicester side who have not reached their best form this season.
“Qualifying for the Champions League was a highlight for us with the way we did it, but the year started with a terrible injury crisis – you don’t want to have that on top of all the things corona around “, the German added.
“It was a very difficult time. We got there one way or another and we needed our goalie’s goal. [Alisson against West Brom] and it was a great time, no doubt about it.
“A really good preseason, we’ve played an absolutely OK season so far, it’s absolutely true, but with everything around it it’s just tricky.
“The new normal is better than the other normal in Covid but there is still room for improvement towards the true normal, I can’t wait for that.
“We have to fight. Leicester gave us a good example: as difficult as it is, if you put in a good change, there is a chance. It was pretty inspiring: let’s try it.”