PREMIER LEAGUE

Klopp: "I couldn't have more respect for Manchester City"

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp was delighted with Wednesday's 4-0 win over Crystal Palace, which leaves them just two points off winning the league title.

Klopp on Man City resting players at Chelsea: Pep should play poker

Jürgen Klopp jokingly remarked that Pep Guardiola should play poker after the Manchester City manager hinted he might rest some key players for Thursday's trip to Chelsea. The defending Premier League champions travel to Stamford Bridge before playing Newcastle United less than 72 hours later in an FA Cup quarter-final at the weekend. 

Liverpool require two points to clinch title

City need to be beat Frank Lampard's side to keep the title race alive, mathematically at least, after Liverpool moved closer to being crowned with a resounding 4-0 win over Crystal Palace at Anfield on Wednesday. Asked about Guardiola's comments on leaving out some of his leading names against Chelsea, Klopp replied with surprise : "What? He said that? Pep... he should play poker probably."

Klopp was full of compliments for Guardiola's team before the Palace game and was again effusive in his praise after the victory, admitting his Reds cannot expect to play in a similar manner. "Manchester City - I couldn't respect them more," the Liverpool boss added. "The football they play, I really like it a lot. We are different, we have to be different. We cannot be like Manchester City.  We probably celebrate different things when they happen. There are different ways of football and I like them both."

After a 0-0 draw away at neighbours Everton on Sunday, Liverpool rediscovered their scoring touch to brush aside Palace and move to the brink of glory, albeit the ongoing coronavirus pandemic meant no fans were inside Anfield to enjoy the occasion.

"Imagine if the stadium was full today and all the people could have experienced that live – it would have been amazing," Klopp said. "I don't think the game would have been better, to be honest. My boys played like everybody was in the stadium. The atmosphere on the pitch was incredible.  It was for sure the best counter-pressing game I've ever seen behind closed doors. It was exceptional.  The attitude shown by the boys was amazing, I liked it a lot - and the football we played as well."