For a man who is widely respected and usually magnanimous, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp’s latest prematch interview had a hint of sour grapes as he claimed Manchester City would not have won the Premier League of they had been hit by the same injuries that the Reds suffered this campaign.
Liverpool put up a limp defence of their first English title in 30 years, and are struggling to even make the top four ahead of the final game of a trophyless season on Sunday. Yes the Merseyside club have had to contend with a horrendous injury list as well as the challenges on the pitch, but surely their crocked players are irrelevant to City’s march to a third title in four years. It’s a bit like saying: “If they hadn’t scored the goals they did, they wouldn’t have won the title.” It makes him look a bit silly and sound like a sore loser.
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Liverpool were without central defenders Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez for most of the campaign due to knee injuries, while Joel Matip was sidelined because of an ankle injury. Fabinho, who was moved from midfield to central defence to help plug the gaps, also picked up a muscle problem, while forward Diogo Jota and midfielder Jordan Henderson were also out for large parts of the season due to injuries.
“It is how I said before this year, with the amount of injuries we have had, it was not the year to become champions. No chance. For nobody,” Klopp said before Sunday’s final league game against Crystal Palace. “As good as they are, if (Manchester) City have their three centre-halves out, no, they don’t win the league.
Maybe Klopp should look closer to home and figure out why so many of his players are getting crocked before complaining that other teamers kept theirs fit.