EPL

Klopp's teams go at you like animals - Rodri in awe of 'one of the best' Liverpool

By Sports Desk October 18, 2019

Manchester City midfielder Rodri is amazed by the intensity of Liverpool's play under Jurgen Klopp, saying his teams attack their opponents "like animals".

Defending Premier League champions City trail last term's runners-up Liverpool by eight points after eight matches following shock early defeats to Norwich City and Wolves.

Rodri has started seven times in the league since arriving from Atletico Madrid in July and also played a full part in August's Community Shield clash with Liverpool, which City won on penalties following a 1-1 draw.

The Spain international was immediately struck by Liverpool's breathless brand of football, but City are still preparing to pounce on any slip-ups.

"I touched down [in England] to find one of the best teams I've seen in recent years," Rodri told the Guardian.

"Liverpool get seen as a counter-attacking team, but they dominate, score from set-plays, the attacking mechanisms are well-worked, they have variety.

"Klopp's teams are tough, physical. They go at you like animals. They're like a knife - one comes at you, then another.

"But every team has their bad moment and we have to be there [if they do]."

City travel to Crystal Palace on Saturday, while Liverpool take on bitter rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford the following day.

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  • Muller: Rampant Bayern Munich fear nobody after thrashing Barcelona Muller: Rampant Bayern Munich fear nobody after thrashing Barcelona

    Thomas Muller declared Bayern Munich fear no team after destroying Barcelona in the Champions League on Friday.

    The Bundesliga giants sealed a remarkable 8-2 win in Lisbon, with Muller on target twice to send Bayern into the semi-finals.

    A delighted Muller received the man of the match award following another exceptional display from the forward, who suggested Bayern's style of play rendered the opposition practically irrelevant.

    "I think in this moment our team is in incredible shape," the Germany international told BT Sport.

    "Thanks for the man of the match trophy – maybe we have 12 to 15 players who deserve it. We worked so hard and have this intensity. It's tough to beat us. It was so much fun.

    "For our style of play it doesn't matter about the names of players we are facing. When someone presses and dribbles, it's not a problem. Then we catch the ball and have so much talent in the offensive line.

    "We feel good, but now we have to be quiet and regenerate."

    Muller described the result as a major statement of intent, but he quickly pointed out that Hansi Flick's side would be starting from scratch in the next round, when they will face either Manchester City or Lyon.

    "This is a big statement but the next game we start at 0-0. The statement doesn't matter," said the 30-year-old.

    "The other teams will watch our game and they can be impressed or not. We start at 0-0 and have to win the next game.

    "Today we have to be very happy. After we wake up and answer the messages on the phone then we have to focus.

    "I know about these tournament situations. Most of the time after the big wins [Muller featured in Germany's 7-1 win over Brazil at the 2014 World Cup] it's difficult."

  • It's shameful – Pique calls for big changes at Barcelona following Bayern capitulation It's shameful – Pique calls for big changes at Barcelona following Bayern capitulation

    Gerard Pique called for "changes at all levels" at Barcelona after Quique Setien's side were thrashed 8-2 by Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

    After finishing second to Real Madrid in LaLiga and failing in the Copa del Rey this season, Barca's final hopes of silverware were dashed in remarkable fashion in Lisbon on Friday.

    Thomas Muller, Ivan Perisic, Serge Gnabry, Joshua Kimmich, Robert Lewandowski and Philippe Coutinho – who came on to score twice in the space of four minutes against his parent club – handed Bayern an emphatic victory at Estadio da Luz.

    While Bayern can look forward to a semi-final against either Manchester City or Lyon, Barca must now contemplate a rebuild ahead of the new season.

    It is a project which centre-back Pique insists has to be carried out, and he believes any changes made must not just be limited to the coaching or playing staff.

    "I'm in pain. We all are. We can't compete like that," Pique told Movistar. "It's very, very tough to take. Nothing more is worth saying.

    "The club needs changes. Not just the players, I don't want to point out anyone.

    "It's shameful. Shame is the word. Structurally we need changes at all levels."

    Pique even acknowledged that his time at the club may have come to an end, if he is deemed surplus to requirements.

    "If I have to go in order to change things I'll be the first to accept that. This was a horrible game... it's a dreadful feeling," the 33-year-old added.

    "Football is a sport where change is constantly required. We must change the dynamic we are on because I believe we have just hit bottom.

    "We have to look around, we have to trust that people will do the right things for the club.

    "Is it an end of an era, I'm not sure? But I know that we must accept that we have hit bottom. Not just players the but, as a club, we aren't on the right road.

    "We have had years of success but we haven't won the league and we haven't won in Europe and we have to compete. You've seen it on the pitch and this today is unacceptable."

  • The key Opta facts as Barcelona suffer 8-2 humiliation to Bayern on historic Champions League night The key Opta facts as Barcelona suffer 8-2 humiliation to Bayern on historic Champions League night

    Barcelona suffered the biggest Champions League thrashing in their history as they folded 8-2 to Bayern Munich in Lisbon.

    Philippe Coutinho, on loan to Bayern from Barcelona, provided the final humiliation with an assist and two goals after coming off the bench in the second half.

    The game for Quique Setien's men went from bad to worse as they tumbled out at the quarter-final stage.

    Not even Lionel Messi could keep the Camp Nou giants in the game, with Barcelona a defensive shambles.

    Here is a look at the game, using Opta data to show how Barcelona imploded as Bayern demonstrated why so many fancy them for the title.

    1 - Barcelona became the first team to ship four goals in the first half of a Champions League knockout game since Porto conceded five to Bayern in April 2015, in the second leg of a quarter-final.

    3 - Three of the coaches in the semi-finals will be German, with Bayern's Hansi Flick joining RB Leipzig's Julian Nagelsmann and Paris Saint-Germain's Thomas Tuchel. The Champions League has never before seen three head coaches from a single nation represented in the semi-finals.

    5 - Robert Lewandowski became the fifth player in European Cup or Champions League history to score in eight consecutive games, and the first from Bayern to achieve the feat.

    6 - Thomas Muller has now scored more goals in the Champions League against Barcelona than any other player. His fifth and sixth came before the break, meaning Muller has overtaken Andriy Shevchenko, who netted five in his career against Barca. This is just Muller's fifth appearance against Barcelona in the competition.

    7 - Barcelona had just seven shots in the entire match.

    8 - Bayern became the first team to score eight times in a Champions League knockout game, while Barcelona conceded eight for the first time since losing 8-0 to Sevilla in the Copa del Rey in 1946.

    23 - Muller's double took him to 23 career goals in the Champions League knockout stages, and he stands third on that list behind Cristiano Ronaldo (67) and Messi (47).

    29 - Barcelona's oldest XI for a Champions League match was picked apart. Their average age was 29 years and 329 days, and Barca looked like veterans as they were repeatedly carved open.

    31 - Bayern's fourth goal arrived in the 31st minute, making it the earliest point of a Champions League knockout game by which a team has scored four.

    50 - Lewandowski reached 50 Champions League goals for Bayern in what was his 60th game for the German giants in the competition. That is a record only ever bettered in the competition by Ronaldo, who reached the landmark in 50 games for Real Madrid.

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