Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp warned the Reds might have to pull out of the EFL Cup if their quarter-final tie is not suitably scheduled.

Klopp's Liverpool overcame a wild clash with Arsenal at Anfield, where the European champions prevailed 5-4 on penalties following a remarkable 5-5 draw on Wednesday.

Liverpool twice came from behind against Arsenal in a stunning comeback on Merseyside, but Klopp quickly threw his team's quarter-final participation in doubt afterwards.

Champions League holders Liverpool are due to feature at the Club World Cup, which will be held between December 17-21 in Qatar – the same week the EFL Cup quarters are scheduled to take place.

"We will not be the victim of this problem," Klopp told reporters post-game midweek. "We play tonight, we wanted to win it, we did that, and if they don't find a proper date for us, then we cannot play the next round and whoever is our opponent will go through. Or Arsenal play them.

"I'm not concerned, somebody else has to be concerned because we didn't make the fixture list, we didn't make the schedule.

"I've said it already, FIFA told us the Club World Cup will be there [Qatar] and we have to come there and we will do. The Premier League tells us we have to play in the Premier League, which we do obviously.

"The Carabao Cup, what we did tonight, if they don't find an appropriate place for us, not 3am on Christmas Day, then we don't play it. They have to make that decision. You have to think about these things.

"If you have a fixture list where one team cannot be part of all the games, then you have to think about the fixture list. Hopefully it starts now. I really think that's fair, and this problem is obvious now.

"We are going to ignore that problem completely for tonight. A lot of people from the Premier League were sitting in front of the television hoping that Arsenal can do it. But, I'm sorry."

Jurgen Klopp hailed the performance of his young players as "wonderful" after he made 11 changes to his team and saw Liverpool beat Arsenal in a penalty shoot-out following a 5-5 EFL Cup draw at Anfield.

The Reds twice came from behind to take the match to penalties and teenage midfielder Curtis Jones scored the winning goal in the shoot-out.

Harvey Elliott became the youngest player to appear for Liverpool at Anfield and Klopp handed a senior debut to full-back Neco Williams on a night he felt his young charges would never forget.

"What I wished for the boys is that they have a game to remember and that's what happened," the Liverpool boss told Sky Sports.

"A lot of people see the line-up and assume that we don't take the competition seriously but we cannot do it differently - we have to make a lot of changes - but we only make these changes because we trust the boys.

"What they did tonight, how they played, I loved it really."

Klopp picked out Williams for praise after he provided the cross for Divock Origi to score Liverpool's fifth goal and also hailed the performance of 20-year-old goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher despite Arsenal beating him five times.

Kelleher saved Dani Ceballos' penalty to ensure Liverpool clinched their place in the quarter-finals, and Klopp waxed lyrical about the importance of "being a hero on a night like tonight".

"Caoimhin, who conceded five, yes, but he is an outstanding talent," he said.

"Neco, crossing for Div [Origi], when three weeks ago he would never have thought he would start.

"Curtis Jones, it was not my decision at the end that he takes the last one. Div and Curtis changed it because when I saw the list the last time Div was taking the last one!

"The boys will remember it forever and that's the best thing you can say about a football game."

Jones replaced Naby Keita who appeared to be clutching his ankle after 55 minutes.

Klopp provided an update on the Guinea international's condition, saying: "If Naby's injury is not so serious, which I hope, then it was a nearly perfect night.

"He felt [his ankle] a little bit. I saw it, he slipped when he lost the ball. He slipped away, I saw him limping afterwards and that's why we did it."

Arsenal twice squandered the lead as they were dumped out of the EFL Cup by Liverpool on penalties after a remarkable 5-5 draw at Anfield.

Under-pressure Gunners boss Unai Emery needed a positive result to lift the gloom around Arsenal after they let slip a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Crystal Palace, but Jurgen Klopp's irrepressible young Reds prevailed.

Shkodran Mustafi's own goal and James Milner's penalty bookended a Lucas Torreira strike and Gabriel Martinelli's double in a first half characterised by defensive errors and gung-ho attacking.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles extended Arsenal's 3-2 interval lead before strikes from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Divock Origi levelled the contest, only for Joe Willock to put Arsenal back in front with a wonderful solo effort 20 minutes from time.

But Origi penetrated Arsenal's porous defence again to take the game to penalties, and Dani Ceballos had his spot-kick saved as Liverpool clinched a place in the quarter-finals at the expense of their beleaguered visitors.

Granit Xhaka is absent from Arsenal's squad to face Liverpool in the EFL Cup on Wednesday following his confrontation with supporters on Sunday, but Mesut Ozil returns to the team and Harvey Elliott is set to make history for the Reds.

Xhaka was withdrawn during the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace and was widely jeered by the home support as he made his way off the pitch, sparking a reaction from the midfielder.

The Gunners captain sarcastically encouraged the boos, appeared to yell an expletive at the crowd and then angrily removed his jersey on his way down the tunnel.

Coach Unai Emery said the much-maligned Swiss midfielder was "wrong" but has not confirmed whether Xhaka will remain as captain or not. Hector Bellerin will wear the armband in his absence on Wednesday night.

Emery has taken the opportunity to rotate his squad, handing rare starts to Ozil and Lucas Torreira.

For the hosts, Elliott will become the youngest ever player to feature for Liverpool at Anfield after being named in the starting XI at 16 years and 209 days old.

The winger – who became the Premier League's youngest ever player last season with Fulham – featured prominently in pre-season and regularly trained with the Reds' first team.

He made his competitive Liverpool debut in a 2-0 win over MK Dons in the previous round of the competition, playing the full 90 minutes.

As was the case on that occasion, Elliott is part of a youthful starting XI, with the England youth international joined by Rhian Brewster, Neco Williams, Sepp van den Berg and Caoimhin Kelleher, while Yasser Larouci, Curtis Jones, Pedro Chirivella, Billy Koumetio and Leighton Clarkson are all on the bench.

Kylian Mbappe is the star attraction of the latest Team of the Week on FIFA Ultimate Team after he scored twice for Paris Saint-Germain in the 4-0 Classique win over Marseille on Sunday.

Although the Frenchman has had an injury-hit start to the season, he has still managed to net eight goals in nine appearances across all competitions, with PSG looking sharp.

He is not joined in the team by Jamie Vardy, however. The striker scored a hat-trick as Leicester City equalled the record for the biggest Premier League win when they demolished Southampton 9-0 on Friday.

Instead of the English forward, his Leicester team-mate Ayoze Perez – who also netted a treble – gets the nod, though he only takes a place among the substitutes, with Ben Chilwell the only Foxes star in the starting XI.

Below, we have the full squad of in-form cards that are now up for grabs online.

FUT Team of the Week

GK: Matz Sels (Strasbourg) – 82

CB: Domagoj Vida (Besiktas) – 83

CB: Nicolas Nkoulou (Torino) – 84

LB: Ben Chilwell (Leicester City) – 82

RM: Karim Bellarabi (Bayer Leverkusen) – 84

CM: Saul Niguez (Atletico Madrid) – 86

CDM: Fabinho (Liverpool) – 86

LW: Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain) – 90

CAM: Yusuf Yazici (Lille) – 82

ST: Carlos Vela (Los Angeles FC) – 85

ST: Josip Ilicic (Atalanta) – 86

SUBSTITUTES

GK: Gabriel (Lecce) – 81

CB: Bernardo Espinosa (Espanyol) – 81

LM: Christian Pulisic (Chelsea) – 82

CAM: Calvin Stengs (AZ) – 81

RW: Ayoze Perez (Leicester City) – 82

ST: Karl Toko-Ekambi (Villarreal) – 82

ST: Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham) – 82

RESERVES

CAM: Zelimkhan Bakaev (Spartak Moscow) – 78

RM: Maicol Balanta (Independiente Santa Fe) – 75

LM: Amahl Pellegrino (Kristiansund) – 72

ST: Kodjo Fo-Doh Laba (Al Ain) – 79

ST: Eoin Doyle (Swindon Town) – 73

Lionel Messi will be hoping to dethrone Cristiano Ronaldo at the Globe Soccer Awards after both were named among the nominees for the Best Men's Player for 2019.

Virgil van Dijk and Liverpool team-mates Alisson, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah are also up for the annual honour, which is to be presented in Dubai on December 29.

Bernardo Silva, part of the Manchester City side largely snubbed at the FIFA Best awards, rounds out the seven-man field.

Juventus forward and five-time winner Ronaldo claimed the main prize for the third consecutive year in 2018.

Barcelona superstar Messi has won it once, in 2015.

United States stars Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan headline the contenders for the Best Women's Player title.

Lyon trio Amandine Henry, Lucy Bronze and Ada Hegerberg are all shortlisted and the French outfit have been nominated for Best Club, alongside Liverpool and Ajax.

Jurgen Klopp, Erik ten Hag, Fernando Santos and Djamel Belmadi, who guided Algeria to victory at the Africa Cup of Nations, are in contention to succeed Didier Deschamps as Best Coach, as is former Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri.

Other award categories include Best Agent, Best Sporting Director and Best Revelation, designed to recognise emerging players.

Inter's Antonio Conte, ex-England manager Fabio Capello and Portugal legend Luis Figo form part of the judging panel.

Jurgen Klopp has hailed Trent Alexander-Arnold as the perfect example of how Liverpool's "hungry" youngsters can become first-team regulars.

Alexander-Arnold made his 99th appearance for Liverpool in Sunday's 2-1 win against Tottenham, almost three years to the day since being handed his senior debut against the same opponents in an EFL Cup fourth-round tie.

The England international has gone on to become an integral part of Klopp's plans and was this month named on the 30-man shortlist for the 2019 Ballon d'Or.

"The reason he has achieved this in such a short space of time, one of the four youngest in LFC history I believe, isn't just because he has amazing ability," Klopp told Liverpool's matchday programme.

"It is because of how he has handled himself, taken his chances and dealt with setbacks and difficulties. 

"There won't be a player in our current first-team squad who hasn't faced these challenges at a young age. It is the job of all us to help them and nurture them and give them an environment to grow, develop and flourish. I am confident we are doing this."

Klopp gave competitive debuts to three players in Liverpool's EFL Cup win at MK Dons last month and has hinted he could turn to the youngsters again for Wednesday's last-16 tie with Arsenal.

Caoimhin Kelleher, Ki-Jana Hoever, Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott and Rhian Brewster all started the 2-0 win in Milton Keynes, while Herbie Kane, Pedro Chirivella and Sepp van den Berg came off the bench.

"Although not certain, the strong likelihood is that a number of our younger players will feature in some capacity," Klopp said.

"The attitude the players showed in the last round is exactly what will be required, if again given the opportunity. 

"They show the right attitude and the perfect amount of hunger each and every day they train with us at Melwood.

"They show us, in their actions, that they understand what an immense privilege it is to represent a club like Liverpool – it's an honour all of us blessed to work here feel.

"Clearly the ability of these players is not in question. It is their talent that has brought them here and kept them here. At this stage of their careers it is about a variety of other factors – and being ready to grasp an opportunity is a big part of it."

Juventus are not resting on their laurels.

Despite their domestic dominance, Juve are craving European glory as they eye a first Champions League crown since 1995.

So much so that they have three Premier League stars on their mind.

 

TOP STORY – JUVE WATCH SALAH, SON & ERIKSEN

Juventus scouts watched Mohamed Salah, Son Heung-min and Christian Eriksen during Liverpool's Premier League clash with Tottenham, according to Tuttosport.

Seeking a ninth successive Scudetto, Serie A champions Juve are prepared to spend heavily in pursuit of Champions League glory.

With money no obstacle as they reap the benefits of Cristiano Ronaldo's presence, Liverpool star Salah and Tottenham duo Son and Eriksen are reportedly on Juve's list.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Sun claims Jose Mourinho wants to become the first manager to win major trophies with three English clubs as the former Manchester United boss is linked to Arsenal. Gunners head coach Unai Emery is under pressure at the Emirates Stadium amid growing fan frustration.

Manchester United are hopeful of completing a deal for Lyon striker Moussa Dembele in January, reports Soccerlink. With Dembele's future uncertain, Lyon are lining up Chelsea's Olivier Giroud.

- Staying at Old Trafford and United's name has again been thrown into the mix for Brescia sensation Sandro Tonali. The 19-year-old Italy international is fast becoming one of the most sought-after players in Europe, attracting interest from Juventus, Manchester City and Inter. Now, The Suns says United are weigning up a £40million move for Tonali after sending scouts to watch him once more.

- Calciomercato claims Napoli are considering a January move for Benfica full-back Alejandro Grimaldo. The 24-year-old Spaniard has been linked to Arsenal, Tottenham and Barcelona.

Newcastle United are close to agreeing a deal to sign Strasbourg's Ibrahima Sissoko. The 21-year-old French midfielder is poised to make the switch when the transfer window opens in January.

Mesut Ozil could go from being an Arsenal first-team outcast to captain of the side that takes on Premier League leaders Liverpool on Wednesday.

Manager Unai Emery revealed German midfielder Ozil is in contention to lead out the Gunners for the EFL Cup match at Anfield after crunch talks to determine his commitment.

The 31-year-old has made just two appearances this season, starting the Premier League draw at Watford and the EFL Cup win against Nottingham Forest in September.

Ozil has been linked with a move away from Emirates Stadium; however, he is reportedly the highest-earning player at the club, and cannot join another club until January.

Talks between manager and player on Tuesday appear to have been fruitful, according to Emery.

"He's in the group so he has a chance to play," said Emery. "We have had this morning a very good conversation, Mesut and me, and I said to him I haven't changed my idea about him.

"He knows what I want from him because it's the same as last season in the first day of pre-season training when we had a conversation. It's the same as one month ago and in that way, some circumstances weren't helping us in every moment to be consistent or available to play.

"But I will say I think the last weeks he has progressively been training well and adding his spirit to help us.

"For example, our conversation this morning was because I wanted to listen to him about how he's thinking now to help us and be with us tomorrow. Then if we are in the same spirit and the same idea, to play. It was a very good conversation and tomorrow he’s in the group."

Asked whether Ozil could be the captain of the team to take on Jurgen Klopp's Reds, given Granit Xhaka will be rested, Emery said: "It depends. He could be, yes."

Emery explained: "We need his quality, his skill and his consistency. We need his positive mentality and then he will help us on the pitch. That's the next step. I think he's done the steps before, and now I want the steps like in pre-season and one month ago to help us on the pitch."

A lack of discipline at Arsenal could be to blame for Granit Xhaka's outburst towards Gunners fans on Sunday, a situation that is unlikely to unfold at Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp, according to assistant Pep Lijnders.

Arsenal captain Xhaka was substituted in the second half of their 2-2 draw at home to Crystal Palace and, after hearing ironic cheers from the stands, the midfielder reacted.

Xhaka seemed to sarcastically encourage the crowd and those cheers swiftly turned to boos, with the Switzerland international subsequently cupping his ear and appearing to aim expletives in the direction of supporters before taking his shirt off and heading down the tunnel.

Fans and former Arsenal players have widely condemned Xhaka's actions despite him being a regular target of supporters, though Unai Emery refused to make clear if he will retain the captaincy at a press conference on Tuesday.

But Lijnders – addressing the media in Klopp's place ahead of Wednesday's EFL Cup clash with Arsenal – finds it difficult to imagine such a scenario unfolding at Anfield due to the characters in the squad.

"In life in general, in the football club, good relationships are best to evolve a club or to evolve a team," Lijnders told reporters.

"As we say at Liverpool, it's about the three things, the 'holy trinity' we call it. It's the fans, the manager and the squad.

"These three have to be really connected, they have to have one idea, they have to understand each other.

"Arsenal Football Club knows much better than me how to deal with this, but if you have Jordan [Henderson] and James Milner as your captains, you don't have to discipline others.

"If you're disciplined yourself, you don't have to discipline others. That's a good saying.

"If you have Millie [Milner], Henderson, [Adam] Lallana, Gini [Georginio Wijnaldum], Virg [Virgil van Dijk], Bobby [Roberto Firmino], [they are] all examples in different ways. Players who never whine, never complain, never make excuses.

"In the hardest moments they never give up, and they never give up our ways, and they always put the team above themselves.

"For a young player, it's hard to have a better environment to grow and develop. For me that makes us, or any other team, from a good team to a top team, a good team to a successful team."

Fernando Torres has admitted to harbouring regrets over his acrimonious split from Liverpool as the former Spain striker prepares to return to Anfield.

Torres, 35, will represent the Reds in a legends charity game against Barcelona in March.

It will be the first time he has pulled on the shirt since leaving for Chelsea for a then-British record fee of £50million in January 2011.

Torres forced through the move after submitting a transfer request but failed to rekindle the form he displayed in three and a half seasons on Merseyside.

"One of the regrets I have is the way I left the club," Torres told Liverpool's official website.

"With time, I think I could explain the reasons. I'm really happy that every time I go anywhere in the world, I see Liverpool fans and they come to me and thank me for my time here. It should be the opposite way.

"I always thank them for the way they made me feel when I was here, and even now.

"I'm really proud to say I will support Liverpool forever, it doesn't matter what happened. Even when things between us were not at their best, I felt that I needed to support Liverpool.

"The city, fans and club will always be in my heart because it's the way I feel and I cannot change that."

Torres cut short his flagging Premier League career with a loan stint at AC Milan in 2014 and subsequent switch back to boyhood club Atletico Madrid.

Now retired, the 2010 World Cup winner has closely monitored the "amazing" progress Liverpool have made in recent seasons.

"Since Jurgen Klopp came, things have got better and better," he said.

"Liverpool added some amazing players to the squad, some of them are the best in the world.

"They are in the right way to become better. It's difficult to say after getting 97 points and winning the Champions League, but the potential of the team can still be better and that's huge. Hopefully that happens."

The Gareth Bale transfer saga continues to roll on as he remains frozen out at Spanish giants Real Madrid with seemingly no way back.

The 30-year-old was linked with a move to China in the summer but the move did not materialise and Bale has since continued to find himself out of favour with Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane.

All is not lost for Bale though with three Premier League clubs battling for the Welshman's signature in January, as he builds towards a possible Euro 2020 campaign with Wales next June.

 

TOP STORY – PREMIER LEAGUE TRIO KEEN TO SIGN BALE IN JANUARY

Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur have all been linked with a January swoop for Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale, according to AS.

The three Premier League giants are seeking solutions to solve inconsistent starts to their respective seasons and believe the Welshman could provide a timely boost leading into 2020.

Bale is seen as the perfect fit for a return to Premier League football, having maintained his good reputation from time spent with Southampton and Spurs, but it remains to be seen whether Madrid's asking price or the player's wage demands will be met. 

Marca believe Bale could revisit a potential move to China, however, with the player's agent believed to be in talks with Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua.

 

ROUND-UP

- Inter Milan are hopeful of signing Spurs defender Jan Vertonghen on a free transfer this summer, according to The Guardian.

- Sky Italia say Inter are also considering a move for out-of-favour Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic, which would see the Serbian reunite with Antonio Conte.

- Staying in Serie A and Corriere dello Sport claim Roma have rejected the opportunity to sign former Sunderland flop Jack Rodwell on a free transfer.

- Corriere dello Sport also believe Napoli have pulled the plug on a potential move for Salzburg star Erling Braut Haaland as they expect the 19-year-old to join Manchester United in January.

- Manchester City will replace Leroy Sane with Real Sociedad playmaker Mikel Oyarzabal should the Germany winger get his move to Bayern Munich, according to Sky Sports.

- Turkish news outlet Takvim claim Besiktas are keen to cancel their two-year loan agreement with Liverpool for goalkeeper Loris Karius.

Liverpool midfielder James Milner believes the atmosphere at Premier League games is being "ruined" by VAR and has called for a review of its use.

There were yet more high-profile incidents involving the technology this weekend, with Arsenal and Everton both on the receiving end of highly contentious calls.

Milner is the latest player to question VAR in its current guise, claiming it leaves supporters unsure whether to celebrate a goal due to a fear it will be ruled out.

"I'm not a fan at all," he told The Guardian. "It might just be the old school part of me, but I think there's still too much debate around VAR. 

"Goal-line technology is incredible - it's instant decision. Black and white. But it's very hard to use VAR when you've still got opinions on the decisions and the atmosphere is being ruined. 

"You score, there's an explosion of noise and then it's over to VAR. You wait. Is it a goal?"

Milner benefited from a late VAR intervention to convert a stoppage-time penalty in Liverpool's 2-1 win against Leicester City on October 5.

The 33-year-old has sympathy for match officials but worries the system is having a negative impact on the sport.

"I had the experience of a penalty the other week," he said. "That was a new experience as they're debating if it's going to be a penalty.

"I think there's use for it - if we can improve it. But football is a game of human error on the field and in officiating as well. 

"They have a very tough job and I'm all for making their lives easier, but not at the expense of the flow of the game.

"If the VAR took away controversy I'd back it 100 per cent. But we're still having discussions about VAR. I don't think many footballers feel differently."

Liverpool lead the way at the top of the Premier League after 10 matches, sitting six points clear of reigning champions Manchester City.

After coming out second best in a tense title battle with City last season, the ex-England international is hoping the Reds can go one step further this term.

"It's so difficult to win the league," he said. "I've been fortunate to win it a couple of times and last year we were so close. 

"We were flying. We were winning every week and felt we should be 10 points clear. And you're still second. 

"Last year, if you'd have said: 'You'll only lose one [league] game all season,' I'd have snapped your hand off. But it wasn't good enough.

"This season we have a team that can do it. I think there's a calm around the club, both inside and outside, and people are confident we can get it done. 

"But City are so good they're capable of winning every game. The gap is not that big so we have to just keep pushing, and not worry too much about the title."

Bayern Munich boss Niko Kovac has lamented the lack of time coaches are given to implement their ideas at a football club.

Despite leading Bayern to Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal success last season, Kovac oversaw a disappointing round-of-16 exit in the Champions League and his position has come under scrutiny in the early stages of the 2019-20 campaign.

The Bavarian giants have won just five of their nine league games and sit a point behind Borussia Monchengladbach at the Bundesliga summit, leading to speculation that Jose Mourinho has been lined up as a replacement for Kovac.

Speaking ahead of his side's DFB-Pokal second-round tie with Bochum on Tuesday, Kovac expressed his frustration at the lack of continuity in coaching and pointed to Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool as a positive example of what can happen if a coach is given time.

"You need time," he told a media conference. "You have to get to know your colleagues and the procedures, but that does not seem to apply to coaches. It's not about me, but about this issue in general.

"Klopp is now at Liverpool for four years, so we talk about continuity. Apparently, it no longer exists in football."

Kovac is likely to make changes for the visit to Bochum but would not be drawn on whether Philippe Coutinho would be rested.

Coutinho has impressed following his loan move from Barcelona, but Kovac is not happy with the attacking midfielder playing a combined 150 minutes in Brazil's friendlies against Senegal and Nigeria earlier this month.

"I am very satisfied with him," he said. "He always puts himself in the service of the team. Maybe he should not play so much every time he's with the national team. 

"The burden of flying and playing is quite high so we have to try to talk to the national coach."

Kovac confirmed that Javi Martinez is the only injury absentee for the clash at the Ruhrstadion, with Leon Goretzka expected to make his first start since the DFL-Supercup defeat to Borussia Dortmund on August 3.

Dejan Lovren has described Liverpool's defeat of Tottenham as a "massive, massive win" and says the Reds are getting smarter in the Premier League title race.

Having drawn 1-1 at Manchester United last Sunday to end their eight-game winning run at the start of the season, Liverpool looked in danger of a first league defeat of 2019-20 when Harry Kane put Spurs 1-0 up at Anfield on Sunday in the first minute.

There was further concern for Jurgen Klopp's side when Son Heung-min hit the crossbar early in the second half, just four minutes before Jordan Henderson levelled the scores.

Liverpool's pressure finally told when Serge Aurier fouled Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah struck the winner from the penalty spot with 15 minutes left, ensuring the leaders moved six points clear of champions Manchester City at the top of the table.

"We knew it would be a tough game, even though they didn't have brilliant results in the last couple of games," centre-back Lovren, who made only his second league appearance of the season, told Liverpool's website.

"We knew it would be tough and unfortunately they scored in the first minute, but we kept our nerve, played our game and we had many chances.

"We came in at half-time and the boss said: 'Usually I never say this, but I am satisfied even though we are 1-0 down. But we need to continue like that and keep our nerve'.

"We knew we would have another chance and we did it. It's a massive, massive win."

Although he is not prepared to look too far ahead, Lovren thinks Liverpool are in a stronger position to sustain their advantage in the title race, having lost a lead to City last season.

"Let's say that every season we are smarter and smarter," he said. "Definitely we've learned from all the years before and what kind of pressure we can play. We are used to it. We did it last year.

"We know what we need to do, but, like I said, let's not talk six or seven months up front. Let's go game by game. This is key."

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