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Pragmatism hands Liverpool route to challenge Man City – both for one game and for 38

Pragmatism hands Liverpool route to challenge Man City – both for one game and for 38

Pragmatism hands Liverpool route to challenge Man City – both for one game and for 38
Nov 25, 2023 1 min, 4 secs

And if it appeared like wishful thinking when he delivered the thought, a day earlier, events – and Trent Alexander-Arnold – made the Liverpool manager sound prophetic 24 hours later.

Manchester City had won every game at the Etihad Stadium in 2023, every match since a rather less celebrated manager, Frank Lampard, earned a 1-1 draw with a rather less talented Everton team.

Almost 11 months later, Klopp and Liverpool secured the same result, halting City’s winning run on their own turf at 23 matches – one short of the English record set by Sunderland in the 1890s – and keeping the gap between these two teams at one point.

Instead, it was a cautious Klopp, perhaps scarred by a 4-1 defeat at the Etihad Stadium in April and maybe fearful that, lacking a natural defensive midfielder, his team could be exposed if they afforded City space.

If a foray forward represented rare respite for him – the right-back had spent more time preoccupied by his duel with the irrepressible Jeremy Doku – he preserved Klopp’s winning record against Guardiola.

And as in their defeat at Arsenal, it indicated the absences of Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan – one for half a season, the other permanently – may have deprived them of the extra quality that could make a difference in such defining clashes.

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