Do Liverpool Have Title Advantage After Cup Exits?

Soccer Section February 5, 2019 0

According to Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, Liverpool’s early exit from domestic cup competitions could give them an advantage in the title race,

City face a hectic schedule, playing a rearranged Premier League match at Everton on Wednesday after reaching the Carabao Cup final while they are also in the fifth round of the FA Cup.

Gundogan, who won a Bundesliga title under Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp when they were together at Borussia Dortmund, said it is easier to win the title when there are fewer competitions to focus on.

“When you have no concerns on your mind you are able to win a lot of times,” Gundogan said. “That’s how I felt when we were able to win at Dortmund that title.

“We had an advantage of just playing Saturday, Saturday, Saturday and the week off in between. He is in a similar situation now with Liverpool — just the Premier League and then the Champions League on top.

“Maybe it’s going to be an advantage for them, I don’t know. It’s nothing we can change right now. They have to play their games and we have to play ours.”

Liverpool missed the chance to move seven points clear last Wednesday when they dropped points at home to Leicester with City cutting their advantage to two points after Sunday’s 3-1 win over Arsenal.

Klopp’s side are desperate to end a 29-year wait for the title and Gundogan said City must keep the pressure on the leaders, who face West Ham on Monday night.

“I don’t believe it’s an advantage that we won last year because the way we won, it’s completely different,” the Germany international said. “This time it is a completely new situation.

“We are still second. We have to try to put pressure on them. But I try to see it that we need to put pressure on ourselves because the way we played at Newcastle was not the way we want to play — it was not our type of football.

“That is more disappointing than watching Liverpool winning games. It’s up to us to be able to say at the end of the season in the last few weeks we did everything to achieve what we want.”

Despite Gundogan’s assessment that Liverpool may have an advantage playing in just two competitions, he said he would rather be fighting on four fronts — and hasn’t ruled out winning every trophy.

“I remember somebody asking [about the quadruple] last year before we lost at Wigan [in the FA Cup],” he said. “Our target is to go as far as possible in all the competitions.

“It is very difficult. We have the squad to be able to do that. In situations you need luck, to be more decisive — especially in the knock out stages of the Champions League.

“It’s going to be difficult because other teams playing their part in all the competitions. The least we can do is to be ready for all these challenges and then we have to do our best.”

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