Trent Alexander-Arnold says Liverpool have almost 'handed' Man City title, but Jurgen Klopp revels in 'hunters' tag – Sky Sports

Tee Rasheed
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Trent Alexander-Arnold says Liverpool and Arsenal’s defeats as good as “handing” Premier League title to Manchester City, but Jurgen Klopp says “hunters” tag could help them; Watch Fulham vs Liverpool on Sky Sports Premier League from 4pm on Sunday, kick-off 4.30pm
By Patrick Davison & Vinny O'Connor
Sunday 21 April 2024 16:57, UK
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Liverpool and Arsenal’s weekend defeats may have handed the title to Man City, Trent Alexander-Arnold has told Sky Sports – but Jurgen Klopp thinks being “hunters” suits his side best.
Man City came into last weekend’s round of Premier League fixtures third in the table as they chase a record fourth consecutive Premier League title, but shock home defeats for their rivals put them two points clear at the top with six games remaining.
Liverpool were stunned at home by Crystal Palace on Sunday, before Arsenal also slipped up against Aston Villa later on the same day to hand Pep Guardiola’s side the initiative and see them end a match day top of the table for the first time since November.
Those set of results were even more ominous for Arsenal and Liverpool given City’s form in the second half of recent seasons.
They are unbeaten since December 6 and have won 11 of 14 games since the mid-way point of this campaign leading Liverpool defender Alexander-Arnold to tell Sky Sports that giving City a clear route to glory so close to the end of the season was tantamount to handing them the Premier League trophy.
“Arsenal experienced it, we’ve experienced it two or three times, when you get into a title race with Man City they are borderline perfect,” he said.
“You can’t slip up or make mistakes. If you give them the upper hand they don’t really blink in those moments. They don’t seem vulnerable. It’s a well-oiled machine.
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“That’s what they do, they click and there’s no stopping them. Giving them this advantage with six games to go is almost like handing them the title. All we can do is hope someone does us a favour and get our goal difference up.
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“We’ve got six games left, it’ll fly by. Our aim is to win every game – that’s all we can and try to capitalise. It will be difficult but I’ve seen over the last few weeks of odds and percentage chances of who is going to win the league has fluctuated with just one result. Anything can happen in the Premier League.
“They are a fantastic team with the squad they’ve got, the manager, it’s hard to think they won’t win it at this point. Stranger things have happened in the Premier League.”
Even after Liverpool’s defeat, City would have ended the weekend behind Arsenal in the title race had the Gunners continued their five-game home winning league run and beaten Villa.
Alexander-Arnold felt the Gunners’ first league defeat of 2024 may been partly influenced by Liverpool’s defeat, and the lure of moving a point clear of either of their title rivals had proven too much of a distraction.
“If those fixtures were reversed and we played second and Arsenal played first maybe it would’ve been a different mentality,” he said.
“It all comes down to mentality. I think our result played a part in Arsenal’s result. They have potentially got too excited and thought this is our chance, this is what we need to do.
“Maybe they overthought things whereas if us and City both won it made them think, ‘we need to just win’ rather than it being a chance to breakaway from the pack. None of us have been in a three-horse race, so it’s difficult.”
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Liverpool have played the role of ‘hunter’, sitting on Man City’s tail until the very end, a number of times over recent years.
When the two have been locked in a tight title race, they have always come out second-best but Klopp told Sky Sports this year could be the moment when Liverpool do upset the odds and edge out their rivals to lift the trophy.
“Maybe it’s the right moment we became a hunter again – who knows,” he said. “We played our game and we watched Arsenal’s game with one eye, ‘oh, they lost that game’. That softens the situation slightly but then people say Man City will win all of their remaining games – of course they can.
“Can we win football games? Can we be us again? If we can do that then we’ll have a good chance of doing something really special. And if not, then someone else deserves to be champions.
“How do we approach it? With a fear of failing or the excitement of maybe succeeding. I want to succeed. Until someone proves me wrong, there’s no other way to do it. We’ve done that in the past. Let’s see. I’d love to have the chance on the last matchday and then we can see what we can do.”
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Gary Neville called Liverpool’s title challenge a “monumental achievement” when reflecting on the disappointment of their Palace defeat last weekend, pointing to the Reds finishing outside the Champions League spots last season – as well as having to adapt to a largely new midfield in 2023/24.
When the same suggestion was put to Klopp, he said he had not expected to lead Liverpool to this point in what is his final season, and that even finishing in the top four would have been acceptable.
“Who would’ve thought that?” he said. “I wouldn’t have been angry if someone told me at the start of the season if we could just qualify for the Champions League.
“I wouldn’t have just taken it as you’ve got to let the season have a chance but it’s been a positive season. But if you went and asked people with a microphone after the Palace game, would they have said it was a great season?
“It’s not like that. We are influenced by things that happen recently but the job is to get a positive view again – it starts with me and I’m in a good mood. I will try my best to give that to the boys. The next big job is in front of us.”
Watch Fulham vs Liverpool live on Sky Sports Premier League from 4pm on Sunday, kick-off 4.30pm.
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