Jurgen Klopp: ‘We can describe it as a boxing fight, both arms down for a second and you get a massive blow’
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said he was pleased after his side came from behind twice to claim a draw in a thrilling 2-2 draw with Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
City maintained their slim lead at the top of the Premier League as their clash with title rivals Liverpool ended in a thrilling 2-2 draw.
Kevin De Bruyne gave the champions a fifth-minute lead at the Etihad Stadium but Diogo Jota equalized eight minutes later for the second-placed Reds.
Gabriel Jesus restored City’s lead before the break but Sadio Mane celebrated his 30th birthday with a second equalizer for Jurgen Klopp’s men.
Raheem Sterling thought he had given City the lead for a third time against his former club but VAR ruled against him in a close offside decision and substitute Riyad Mahrez hit the post late.
The result ended Liverpool’s 10-game run in the league and left City a point clear with just seven games of the season remaining.
“I think we can describe it as a boxing fight, both arms down for a second and you get a huge blow. I liked a lot of things. I thought we were closer than ever,” Klopp said .
“The start of the second half was much better. City really tried things like balls behind. It makes sense when you have those smart runs. In the moments when we tried to breathe a little, another comes It was a great game and the result we have to live with and can live with.
“We had to suffer, they had to suffer. We had momentum, they had momentum. It was two heavyweights facing each other; put your arms down and you get a massive hit in the middle of your face It was a good game.”
“We could do better, but in many moments we did really well. The intensity of the game is crazy. It was a lot of fun, I liked that.”
Klopp was unhappy with his side’s performance in the first half and he suggested getting the response he demanded after a half-time break.
“I was convinced we could win this game, but they were much more direct than us today,” he added. “They had a more direct idea than us and we wanted to let them run when in possession.
“Defensively we were rushed at times, they put us under pressure and we can defend those situations better.
“The second half was really intense, they also needed breaks, but their counter-attacks are not bad. Their decision-making is really good and they always choose the right player.
“I think it’s a perfect and deserved draw. We wanted to make sure they see that my boys are exceptional as well.
“Seven games to play for both teams and we won’t stop running now for sure. Let’s make sure we’re ready for Benfica, for this team at Wembley (in the FA Cup semi-finals) and then we’ll see who has the best finish.”
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson suggested the point was satisfying for his side, although City still have the fate of the Premier League title in their hands.
“It was an intense game that we knew it would be,” Henderson said. “We knew it would be tough but we wanted to give it our all and get the win. We couldn’t do that but we didn’t lose. It’s not the end of the world, we’re still in the race so positive and negatives.
“I think we started well but we were a bit restless at times. Of course we knew we would be under pressure from the start, they’re a fantastic team. I felt we settled in a bit and that we caused them problems. came from behind. We want to do better of course.
“You have to keep going, you have to be prepared to suffer. You have to stay positive, stay front and center and don’t give them time. Sometimes it has worked, at others we can defend better.”