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02-Jul-2020, 02:43 pm

'End of an era? I don't see it!' - Klopp expects Man City to come back strong after Liverpool's Premier League triumph

Jurgen Klopp Liverpool 2019-20

Jurgen Klopp has dismissed suggestions Liverpool’s title win could mark the end of Manchester City’s era of dominance in the Premier League.

The Reds head to the Etihad Stadium on Thursday looking to underline their status as top dogs in England, one week after being crowned league champions for the first time since 1990.

The gap between the two sides is enormous, with Klopp’s team able to move 26 points clear of Pep Guardiola’s two-time champions with a victory.

Their supremacy in this campaign has been unquestionable, but Klopp laughed when it was put to him at his pre-match press conference that City, who will lose David Silva at the end of the season having waved goodbye to club captain Vincent Kompany last summer, could be coming to the end of a cycle under Guardiola.

“Did I hear that right, you think it could be the end of an era?” Klopp said.

“City did have to replace the likes of Kompany, and maybe they were a bit under pressure from different authorities so a big transfer was not possible, I don’t know?

“Now David Silva is going. You know how much I admire him. He never played in my team but I loved him since pretty much he started playing football. But if he can be replaced by somebody, then I have to say they have the perfect players for that; if it’s Bernardo Silva or Phil Foden, or Ilkay Gundogan can play that role as well.

“They don’t lose players, they replace them. A lot of world-class players are still there. If Aguero gets older, then Gabriel Jesus is there. They will not stop.

“I couldn’t be more positive about my team, but I cannot deny that they City are really good. That was always the case. We still wanted to beat them.

“I don’t see any end of an era, but what is an era? We won the title, and the next day people told me we were only a big team if we win it twice or three times or four times! Sorry! Can we at least speak for five minutes about winning it one time? That’s not too bad, we were fighting long enough.

“When the new season starts we will try to be in contention again, but no, I cannot see the end of anything for Man City!”

Liverpool head to the Etihad knowing that 15 points from their remaining seven league matches would see them set a new all-time top-flight record for a single season – eclipsing City’s ‘centurions’ from 2017-18.

It would also, wisdom suggests, strike a sizeable psychological blow heading into the next campaign, if the Reds could confirm their superiority.

Klopp, unsurprisingly, disagrees.

“I don’t think we have to make a statement,” he said. “What will change if we beat City tomorrow night, and what will change if City beat us? People will say a few things, but that’s really not important.

“We all have to be ready for next year, not only us, not only City. You can really see in the moment that Manchester United is coming up, people thought they had no chance but now we can see how good they are and how good they could be, and for sure they will not be worse next season. Chelsea as well.

“It’s not about City and us. It was for two seasons, pretty much, at the top of the table, but City have been there for four or five years and they have all the tools to be there again.

“How can I say we are there, 100 per cent? We have to show that. It is difficult, for sure, and it will not get easier.

“So this game on Thursday, it’s a very important game – but that’s because it’s the only game we play, and City see it the same way.”

Liverpool have welcomed James Milner back into training after a hamstring injury, but will be without defender Joel Matip for the rest of the season due to a foot issue.

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