Jürgen Klopp promises Manchester City ‘a proper fight’ for league title


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Jürgen Klopp promised Manchester City a “proper fight” for the title after Liverpool pulled to within a point of the long-standing league leaders. Goals from Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino ensured Liverpool overcame Arsenal at the Emirates despite not being at their best. They have now won nine straight top-flight games and, after facing Watford next time out, will travel to play City on 10 April.

It could be a decisive encounter and Klopp feels his players are ready to battle for top spot until the end of the season. “We play City in three or four weeks and then we will give them a proper fight,” he said. “I don’t think a lot about City, that’s the truth. I know the only chance we have is to win an incredible amount of games because our opponents do. In last few years we’ve pushed each other on insane levels.

“It makes each game a final. You can enjoy that for sure but it’s intense, then comes in the physical part and you are tired.” There is a sense Liverpool have the momentum required to leapfrog City but Klopp played down any idea that it could be relied on. “Momentum is the most fragile flower on the planet,” he said. “Someone steps on it and then it’s gone. I’m not a big friend of momentum. Just find a way to get through it.”

Mikel Arteta felt Arsenal had more than matched Liverpool between the penalty areas. “From box to box in many moments I think we were the better team,” he said. The Arsenal manager saved his ire for the Premier League. Arsenal play away at Aston Villa on Saturday at 12.30pm and, in April, will have to stomach a similar double-header when they play Chelsea and Manchester United within 72 hours.

“Thank you so much to the Premier League to do that,” he said of this week’s tight turnaround. “And they’ve done it again when we have to play Chelsea and Manchester United. So if they want to give them any advantage, I say to them today: ‘Thank you so much for doing that.’

'It's not fair': Arteta criticises Premier League over Arsenal fixtures – video
‘It’s not fair’: Arteta criticises Premier League over Arsenal fixtures – video

“Don’t worry, the players on Saturday they will be there, with energy. They will eat and sleep well, but thank you so much to the Premier League for putting the fixtures like this. Very, very helpful. It is not fair what they have done.”

Arteta claimed Arsenal suffered such conditions more than most. “It is always: ‘It’s BT, it’s Sky, it is this, it’s that,’” he said. “But the one that is affected is Arsenal and the only thing that I care [about] and we care [about] is Arsenal. And for Arsenal it is not fair.”


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