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Jürgen Klopp ups the ante to promise giving Manchester City ‘a proper fight’ for league title

A spunky Jurgen Klopp cheekily promised long-standing league leaders Manchester City a “proper fight” for the title after his Reds pulled to within a point of their rivals. Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino scored to ensure Liverpool cleared the Arsenal hurdle at the Emirates despite not being a notch below their best. The Reds have now won a stretch of nine straight top-flight games and, after their next mission against Watford, will travel to try and beard the lions in their den at the Etihad City 10 April.

With most bets on that this could be a decisive encounter, Klopp feels his players are battle-ready until the end of the season for the top spot.

“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.”

As for Arsenal, Mikel Arteta felt his Gunners had gamely put up more than a decent figh to match Liverpool between the penalty areas.

“From box to box in many moments I think we were the better team,” he said.

Arsenal are next up away against Aston Villa on Saturday at 12.30pm aafter which they will have to stomach a similar double-header in April against Chelsea and Manchester United within 72 hours.

“Thank you so much to the Premier League to do that,” he said, unimpressed with 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’.’

“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 stated that his team have been suffering 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.”

Credit: Football Tribe Malaysia