Man City win ugly to put brakes on Liverpool title charge

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Although everyone associated with Liverpool will be gutted with their first defeat in the league this season, just looking at the City celebrations should demonstrate just how much they fear Klopp's side. There has been a 12-point turnover in their favour since the beginning of December, which is a lot, but I don't think anybody ever wrote City off. This season I can not see the Liverpool back four making many mistakes and they are too good going forward for most teams. The German indicated that sort of attitude will stand them in good stead as City look to become the first team in a decade to defend their crown. It's now a little bit more interesting. "But how on Earth is that not a red card?"

Liverpool and City have the joint-best goal difference in the league, but Van Gaal believes the Reds' fighting spirit and defensive solidity under Klopp this season will ultimately prove the difference between the two sides. We played with courage, so aggressive in our pressing.

Bernardo says the experience in the squad was key in handling the situation, as well as the clear, coherent approach put forward by Guardiola.

Despite a combination of nerves and fatigue at the end of a gruelling festive period, the game swung from end to end in the second-half. Klopp may have one of his big boys on the bench just in-case an injection of world class quality is needed but none of the trio are likely to start against Wolves.

But Klopp, a realist who often bristles when asked about hypotheticals, insisted that he and his players must still be happy with their current status, top after 21 games, following this defeat against the champions.

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While the City boss concedes that Sunday's tie is a "fantastic opportunity" for Newport to impress, the Frenchman expects a professional and determined performance from his side.

"That's why I said last time (after the Arsenal match) 'Do we need blood?"

Former Liverpool star Graeme Souness has criticised Fabinho, admitting he is yet to be replaced by the former Monaco man. Having come so close to winning the Champions League last season and with a real chance of getting to the final again, you'd suspect that they'll be giving it everything this season too.

"Now it was 50-50, we had our moments, caused them completely different problems to the games before".

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