Jurgen Klopp says Manchester City would not be champions if they’d had Liverpool injury crisis

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 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp insists Manchester City would not be champions if they had had to deal with the kind of injury crisis that has crippled his side’s title defence.

City regained the Premier League title that the Reds had won last season, with Klopp’s side unable to mount a sustained challenge as they dealt with the absences of the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip.

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 City have their three centre-halves out, no, they don’t win the league.

“Three centre-halves of United, no.”

Liverpool, who stormed to the title last season, were eighth in March with Champions League qualification looking unlikely, but Klopp’s side went on a nine-match unbeaten run to move up to fourth.

Chelsea, Liverpool and Leicester City are in a three-way battle for the last two Champions League places ahead of Sunday’s final round of matches.

“We have fought back a bit, accepted the difficulties and made the best of it,” Klopp said. “And if we win on Sunday, and if we qualify for the Champions League, then we made the best of it. That is it.”

Additional reporting by Reuters.

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