EPL

Gundogan: Man City have to hope Liverpool will drop points

By Sports Desk October 07, 2019

Manchester City are already hoping Liverpool drop points in the Premier League title race, according to Ilkay Gundogan.

City's 2-0 loss at home to Wolves on Sunday left Jurgen Klopp's team eight points clear at the top of the table.

Pep Guardiola's side cut a similar Liverpool lead to retain the title last season, though Gundogan accepts City need the Reds to slip up. 

"We had the same, or a similar situation last year but at a much later stage," the Germany midfielder told reporters.

"It's quite early in the season and there are still a lot of points to play for, but if we want to speak about the Premier League title, we have to hope Liverpool will drop points."

Liverpool have started the season with eight straight wins but benefited from strokes of luck in their past two wins, with goalkeeper Dean Henderson's error for Sheffield United resulting in a tight victory before James Milner converted a debatable late penalty to down Leicester City.

"It's not that easy to take these things and see your biggest rival win all the time, with things that you can't control," said Gundogan. "It was no different last year, when they also won a lot of games, as we did.

"This time we are the side that have struggled quite a bit more and they have continued better. That's a fact we want to change.

"Watching their games and situation doesn't really help us to be honest - we need to fix our situation and drop as few points as possible.

"We have definitely dropped too many points in the early part of the season. If that's the case in the next few weeks the gap will be even bigger, so we have to win as much as possible."

While Gundogan acknowledged City are looking for Liverpool to slip up, Virgil van Dijk says Liverpool are not focusing on the side that pipped them to last term's title.

"It doesn't happen so much that they [City] didn't even score one goal at home, but a great performance from Wolves," Van Dijk told Sky Sports. "You have to give credit to them. 

"They will try to bounce back from it and until then we just have to focus on international football.

"We tried it [to win the league] last year and City were just a little bit better. So far we're getting the points.

"There's always room for improvement in our game and we just have to focus on ourselves, not on any gaps or points differences between us and the others, us and City.

"A lot of busy periods coming up, December and January, so anything can happen."

Liverpool lost Mohamed Salah to injury at the end of the Leicester win, with Klopp furious about a challenge on the forward from Hamza Choudhury.

Van Dijk, though, expects Salah to be available for the home league match against rivals Manchester United after the international break.

"I think he should be not too bad," Van Dijk added. "The good thing is he has plenty of time to recover. He'll probably get that time to recover as well. So I'm not concerned that he's not going to be ready for United away."

Related items

  • Low hails 'underrated' Germany goalscorer Ginter Low hails 'underrated' Germany goalscorer Ginter

    Joachim Low heaped praise on Matthias Ginter following his standout display in Germany's comfortable 4-0 Euro 2020 qualifying victory over Belarus on Saturday.

    Borussia Monchengladbach star Ginter opened his international account with a deft flick at his club side's home stadium and later set up one of Toni Kroos' two goals.

    Still only 25, Ginter is already a veteran of two World Cup campaigns but has taken time to cement a regular spot in Low's plans.

    But after six starts in 2019 and with Niklas Sule sidelined by a long-term knee injury, the 29-cap centre-back looks set to be a big part of his nation's Euro 2020 assault.

    "A lot of people talked about Matthias Ginter during the week. He's a bit underrated," head coach Low said.

    "He's always performed well for the team. I know what to I can expect from him. Ginter is solid and has a very good first ball out of defence.

    "He's also improved defensively and is calm and reliable. You know what to expect, which is important for a coach. He doesn't have a lot of ups and downs.

    "I'm very happy for him that he scored a goal, and such a beautiful one."

    Leon Goretzka joined Ginter and Kroos on the scoresheet as Germany confirmed their Euro 2020 qualification.

    Manuel Neuer did have to keep out a second-half penalty from Igor Stasevich in order to preserve the home side's clean sheet, leaving Low aware of the work that still needs to be done.

    "I congratulated the players on securing qualification – that was our main goal," he said.

    "The team played really well. They combined well with one another. We were slightly sloppy after our third goal and have to be more clinical."

    Germany are now top of Group C going into Tuesday's final qualifier against third-placed Northern Ireland.

  • Man United's Pogba watches Butler & Heat in Miami Man United's Pogba watches Butler & Heat in Miami

    Manchester United star Paul Pogba watched Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat in NBA action.

    Pogba is nearing a United comeback, having been sidelined with an ankle problem since late September.

    The Red Devils midfielder – who had an ankle cast removed earlier this month – made the most of the international break, travelling to the United States.

    France international Pogba was in attendance as the Heat beat the New Orleans Pelicans 109-94 in Miami.

    A friend of Heat star Butler, Pogba was gifted a Heat jersey during the clash at AmericanAirlines Arena.

    Pogba – who continues to be linked with an Old Trafford exit amid interest from Real Madrid and former club Juventus – has made just five Premier League appearances this season.

  • Koulibaly at home with Napoli amid Man United links Koulibaly at home with Napoli amid Man United links

    Kalidou Koulibaly reaffirmed his affection for Napoli amid ongoing links to Premier League giants Manchester United.

    United continue to be linked with a move for highly rated Napoli defender Koulibaly, despite the world-record signing of Harry Maguire at the start of the season.

    The Red Devils are reportedly keen to bolster their backline, which has been problematic in recent seasons, even after the arrivals of Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly.

    However, star centre-back and Senegal international Koulibaly said he is happy in Naples.

    "This is where my children were born," Koulibaly wrote via Twitter. "This is where I grew up as a man and a player.

    "This is where my family and I feel at home #Napoli."

    Koulibaly has established himself as one of the world's best defenders since swapping Genk for Napoli in 2014.

    The 28-year-old has made 10 Serie A appearances this season and 14 across all competitions for Carlo Ancelotti's Napoli.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.