EPL

You'd have been sectioned! Dalglish never expected 30-year wait for Liverpool title

By Sports Desk June 25, 2020

Liverpool great Kenny Dalglish thinks anyone predicting 30 years without a league title would have been "arrested and sectioned".

Manchester City's 2-1 defeat at Chelsea on Thursday ended the Reds' three-decade wait to be crowned top dogs in England for the 19th time, Jurgen Klopp's imperious side now holding an unassailable 23-point lead with seven games remaining.

Dalglish was the last manager to lead Liverpool to glory in an era when league titles were routinely hoarded at Anfield.

"If you'd have said that, you would have been arrested and sectioned," he told BT Sport when asked for some immediate reaction to the end of the drought, for which he gives Klopp much of the credit.

"Sometimes things happen, but since Jurgen has come in he's been fantastic. He epitomises everything Liverpool Football Club stand for.

"It's not just a one off. Last year, they came within a point of it. They've won the Club World Cup, the Champions League... onwards and upwards and I think we've got a lot more happy days to look forward to."

Nevertheless, Dalglish feels having opponents of the quality of City, Chelsea and Manchester United means a prolonged spell of dominance is unlikely.

He also cited City's failure to replace influential captain Vincent Kompany for this season as a pivotal moment in the destination of the title, with Pep Guardiola's shaky backline again found wanting in an error-strewn showing at Stamford Bridge.

"It’s hard work to dominate the English league, when you've got sides the quality of Manchester City," Dalglish added.

"Manchester City's problems have always been in the back four. And losing Vincent Kompany. I don't think they’ve replaced him. They need someone in there who can be a replacement for Vincent Kompany.

"They've got some fantastic players. They're going to lose one of the best when David Silva leaves at the end of the season.

"There are some fantastic teams. Chelsea and Man U are kicking on for next season. So, I don't think they'll dominate."

Related items

  • PSG heroics will inspire Lyon against Man City, says Garcia PSG heroics will inspire Lyon against Man City, says Garcia

    Lyon will take inspiration from Paris Saint-Germain's Champions League heroics when they seek to book their own semi-final spot at the expense of Manchester City.

    Rudi Garcia cited PSG's stunning last-gasp revival against Atalanta as a source of motivation for his side, who face City in Lisbon on Saturday.

    PSG scored twice in stoppage time to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, while RB Leipzig reached the last four for the first time with a late 2-1 triumph over seasoned campaigners Atletico Madrid.

    Both of those results – as well as Lyon's last-16 success over Juventus – gave Garcia cause for optimism as he looked ahead to taking on Pep Guardiola's City, themselves eyeing a maiden Champions League title.

    "It would be historic to have two French clubs in the semi-finals, we must be inspired by what PSG did," said Garcia.

    "Having eliminated Juventus, that must give us confidence.

    "We want to stay a long time in Lisbon, even if City are the big favourites of this confrontation.

    "But the start of the quarter-finals showed that favourite teams can be roughed up."

    Garcia is ready for the fact City are likely to have more of the ball, but the Frenchman is backing his side to stand up to the challenge.

    "We know very well that we will not win the battle of possession against this team, because it is part of its identity," said the former Roma coach.

    "But we must not let this team and its individualities pose problems for us. But it's not the system that matters, it's what you put in it, the animation.

    "You also have to be able to press high and play with our strengths."

    The two teams met in the group stage of the 2018-19 Champions League, with Lyon earning a 2-1 win at the Etihad Stadium following a 2-2 draw on home soil.

  • Barcelona heading to Champions League exit as records pile up Barcelona heading to Champions League exit as records pile up

    Barcelona were staring at Champions League humiliation as they went into half-time trailing Bayern Munich 4-1 in Lisbon.

    Thomas Muller scored twice, with Ivan Perisic and Serge Gnabry also on target, and Barcelona's consolation came from a Bayern player too, with David Alaba netting an early own goal.

    The statistics were piling up against Quique Setien's men as their night went from bad to worse, seemingly destined to tumble 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 first half, using Opta data to show where the game was being won and lost.

    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.

    4 - Barcelona conceded four goals in the first half of a Champions League match for the first time.

    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.

    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 Lionel 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.

  • Benfica complete triple swoop for Vertonghen, Everton and Waldschmidt Benfica complete triple swoop for Vertonghen, Everton and Waldschmidt

    Benfica have confirmed the signings of Jan Vertonghen, Everton Soares and Luca Waldschmidt.

    In an announcement on Friday, Benfica revealed the three additions to coach Jorge Jesus' squad.

    Vertonghen, who will wear the number five shirt, arrives as a free agent after the experienced Belgium defender left Tottenham at the end of the 2019-20 Premier League season.

    Meanwhile, Everton – who was also linked with the English club of the same name – has joined for an undisclosed fee from Gremio.

    The 24-year-old winger has made 14 appearances for Brazil, scoring three goals.

    Waldschmidt arrives from Bundesliga club Freiburg, having netted seven league goals to help his former side finish eighth in 2019-20.

    A three-time Germany international, Waldschmidt will wear the number 10 jersey.

    Benfica finished second in Portugal's Primeira Liga last term, five points behind champions Porto.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.