In case you provided Jurgen Klopp a assured clear invoice of well being, along with one other encouraging night time of schooling for a few of Liverpool’s academy prospects of their last Champions League group-stage match at AC Milan, he would most likely have taken it.
However when your group is performing in addition to Klopp’s is at this second in time, why on earth would he want to barter?
Liverpool had already secured passage to the Champions League knockout part by advantage of profitable their opening 5 group-stage matches. A sixth would have been a welcome bonus, in fact, however no sleep would have been misplaced had Milan introduced that run to an finish.
For Milan, their very existence in Europe this season hinged on occasions on the San Siro however not even that tangible goal was sufficient to halt this insatiable Liverpool group who, regardless of making eight adjustments, wrote their title into the European historical past books – once more.
In an ideal piece of symmetry, Mohamed Salah and Divock Origi, whose targets overcame Tottenham to safe a sixth European crown in 2019, discovered the web on the San Siro as Liverpool turned the primary English aspect to win all six of their group-stage matches.
It’ll, in fact, all depend for nothing if Liverpool do not get their palms on a seventh European title in Could. However their sensational begin to this season’s marketing campaign begs a pertinent query: if not Liverpool, then who?
It was not a cheerful journey to Germany for Manchester Metropolis. To start out with, they have been crushed 2-1 by RB Leipzig, who’re with out a supervisor since Jesse Marsch’s departure on the weekend.
However in addition they picked up an undesirable report – not preserving a clear sheet in any of their group video games this season. General, they’ve didn’t hold a clear sheet in ten of their final 11 Champions League outings.
On Tuesday, Pep Guardiola modified three of his again 4. John Stones and Nathan Ake have been within the centre of defence, with Oleksandr Zinchenko additionally coming in and Kyle Walker preserving his place. The Ukrainian was the one one to flee unscathed – Stones was at fault for the second aim, Walker was despatched off and Ake seems to have picked up a again harm.
Zack Steffan additionally changed Ederson in aim and Metropolis really had him to thank for preserving RB Leipzig from operating away with the sport within the first half. He made a string of very good saves, together with a shocking cease from shut vary to disclaim Silva.
In fact, over the course of the group marketing campaign, there are others who come beneath the highlight. Man Metropolis have conceded 2+ targets in three completely different group stage video games for the primary time because the 2014/15 season.
However a stoic Guardiola was unbothered by the dearth of unpolluted sheets throughout his post-match press convention, saying: “February is February.”
And he is proper. Across the identical time final 12 months, some have been questioning Metropolis’s kind and even writing them off for any titles pushes. They went on to win the Premier League and attain the Champions League last, broke the report for many consecutive wins by a top-flight English group (21) and equalled a membership report of going 28 video games unbeaten, each throughout all competitions.
Within the Premier League too, they’ve saved a joint-league excessive eight clear sheets from 15 video games to this point. You’ll anticipate them to be up there come the top of the season too.
For now, an absence of unpolluted sheets in Europe is not going to even be a speck on Guardiola’s radar. However you might be certain it is going to be at the back of his thoughts in six weeks’ time as he goals for an additional Champions League last this time round.