Andy Robertson warns Liverpool: Manchester City trip won't be like Champions League win

David Lynch
Evening Standard

Andy Robertson has warned his Liverpool teammates not to expect a repeat of last season’s Champions League victory at Manchester City when the two sides meet in a pivotal Premier League clash on Thursday.

The Reds’ last visit to the Etihad Stadium saw them convert a 3-0 first-leg lead into a 5-1 aggregate victory to secure their place in the semi-finals of Europe’s premier cup competition.

Pep Guardiola’s men will also be attempting to make up a deficit this time, having fallen seven points behind in the title race after recent defeats to Chelsea, Crystal Palace and Leicester City.

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But Robertson does not expect the reigning champions to be similarly open, with a 1-0 victory good enough to get their league season back on track.

And the Scot believes the title-winning experience in Guardiola’s ranks is a major boost to the hosts’ chances of turning things around.

He said: “The thing is about the difference in the Champions League game is they obviously had to win by four goals or whatever so they had to come out. They only need to win by one on Thursday.

“Look they're a fantastic team, a very experienced team and they've been in this position before. They've won the title. It's something that we've never had. They're probably more experienced than us in this position but we look forward to it.

“We're in a good moment just now and they'll be looking to go full throttle into us. We'll be wary of that but we need to be at our best and if we can, we can cause any team problems.”

City suffered just two defeats en route to a record 100-point title-winning season in 2017-18, with only Liverpool and Manchester United besting them in the league.

But, while the Reds are on track for a similarly impressive haul this time around, Robertson won’t be happy until he has a winners’ medal around his neck.

He added: “We spoke about City last season and I'm sure every other team did. They were very hard to beat. Of course we did it here in the league and the Champions League but in the league, not many people could touch them.

“But the thing is, they completed it and they've got their winners' medal and the trophy. Just now, we have nothing and that's why at the end of the season, hopefully we can talk about it.

“Of course we hope that we win it but we know how hard it is and we know two teams, probably even more, are right behind us and causing us all sorts of problems.

“We know they'll be right on our tails so we keep our feet on the ground and hopefully by then we'll be celebrating. But we take it game by game.”

In thrashing Arsenal 5-1 on Saturday, Liverpool extended their unbeaten run at Anfield to 31 league games - a record going back to a 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace in April 2017.

Asked about the Reds’ home form, Robertson added: “If teams are coming here maybe a bit worried then of course that works to our advantage.

“But it only works to our advantage if we make it and [against Arsenal] we did that by going behind and we hit them hard straight after it so it was really good.

“If people are worrying coming here then it's a good sign for us but it's up to us to continue that and we need to keep winning games by doing that.”

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