Jurgen Klopp Plays Down 3-0 Defeat of 'Best Team in the World' Manchester City

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 03:  Jurgen Klopp the Liverpool manager talking to the press prior to the UEFA Champions League quater final 1st leg at Anfield on April 3, 2018 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Jurgen Klopp has warned his Liverpool side will have to “work like hell” in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final clash against Manchester City despite a sublime 3-0 win in Wednesday’s first leg at Anfield. 

The German manager insisted “it’s only half-time” in the tie, but he did concede his side put in a fine performance to down Pep Guardiola’s Sky Blues so convincingly, per Miguel Delaney of The Independent:

It was really, really good. We beat the best team in the world. I don’t think about things like that. I have never been part of the best team in the world but I always knew it is possible to beat them. It is rare because they are so good. 

“If I answer your questions the way you want me to, Pep only has to put the newspapers in the dressing room and say ‘look what Klopp said.’ We have to work like hell. We are not in the next round. Why should I celebrate it?

The return leg at the Etihad Stadium will take place next Tuesday, and if Liverpool can snatch just one goal, it will leave City needing to net five in order to advance to the semi-finals of the Champions League.

Given City did not have a single shot on target in Wednesday’s clash on Merseyside—a first this season, per Opta—they will need a huge improvement if they are to engineer such a remarkable turnaround.

However, as pointed out by Klopp himself, there is precedent this season for Liverpool conceding five at the Etihad.

Back in September the Manchester outfit thrashed Liverpool 5-0 at home in the Premier League.

Since then Liverpool have beaten City twice at Anfield. 

The Reds are in the driving seat to make it through to the last four of Europe’s biggest club competition, but Klopp is right to be wary of Guardiola’s City in the return leg.

Wednesday was an anomaly in the Sky Blues’ remarkable 2017-18 season as they were 3-0 behind inside 31 minutes after goals from Mo Salah, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Sadio Mane.

Guardiola’s system change did not work, and City’s players were out of sorts, per the Telegraph‘s James Ducker:

But there is a reason City are on the verge of winning the Premier League title, which they can wrap up with six games to spare if they beat Manchester United on Saturday.

The Sky Blues have been the best team in England this season by some distance and know that, despite Wednesday’s result, they can beat Liverpool at the Etihad. 

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