Jurgen Klopp insists Manchester City would NOT have won the Premier League if they had been plagued by an injury crisis like Liverpool, as he claims: ‘a football team is like an orchestra and if you lose two pieces it becomes difficult’
- Jurgen Klopp has managed an injury crisis for the majority of Liverpool’s season
- Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip have all been out for most of the term
- The Reds were top at Christmas, but the impact of injuries finally caught up
- Manchester City took advantage and have stormed to the Premier League title
City stormed to their third Premier League in four seasons after Liverpool’s title defence imploded following an injury crisis, while rivals Manchester United could not keep up their pursuit of glory.
Liverpool had topped the pile though heading into Christmas but a host of injuries finally hampered the ambitions of Klopp’s squad and City took full advantage.
Jurgen Klopp claims Man City would not have won the title if they suffered a big injury crisis
Klopp has been without Virgil van Dijk, as well as many others, for the majority of the season
Klopp has been without star man Virgil van Dijk for the majority of the season with a ruptured cruciate ligament while Joe Gomez was sidelined shortly afterwards with a knee injury – before Joel Matip became the third long-term absentee at centre back.
Klopp has been forced to change up his centre-back pairings regularly, with the likes of Fabinho and the now injured Jordan Henderson filling in defensively while the inexperienced Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams have also come into the side on numerous occasions.
And Klopp, who brought in Ozan Kabak on loan in January to solve the defensive crisis before an injury of his own, has since claimed it has been impossible for his side to mount a title charge.
‘So a football team is like an orchestra where plenty of people work together and if you lose one piece you might be able to still do it, but if you lose two then it becomes difficult,’ Klopp told Sky Sports ahead of Liverpool’s crunch final game of the season against Crystal Palace.
Pep Guardiola’s Man City side stormed to their third Premier League title in four campaigns
‘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.
‘As good as they are, if City have their three centre-halves out, no [they don’t win the league]. Three centre-halves of United, no. For the whole season pretty much too, that is how it is.
‘We have fought back a bit, accepted the difficulties and made the best of it, and if we win on Sunday, and if we qualify for the Champions League, then we made the best of it. That is it.
‘Ask Manchester United now if at the moment they like the Europa League (they are in the final) and they would say “yes”. They love to play the final and have the chance to win. So we already did kind of a job but not the one we wanted to do.’
Liverpool are desperately hoping to seal a top-four finish on the final day on Sunday
Following Christmas Day, Liverpool endured a horrid slump of form and not only did their title dreams shatter, but their hopes of Champions League football were in real danger.
However, the Reds have bounced back impressively with seven wins in nine matches to leave them in pole position for a top-four finish heading into the final round of fixtures on Sunday.
Liverpool currently sit fourth in the Premier League ahead of their season finale at home to Palace, and just need to better Leicester’s result against Tottenham to secure Champions League football next season.