Neville: Liverpool real threat to Man City’s title defense
- Former Manchester United ace Gary Neville feels Liverpool are both a direct and indirect threat to Manchester City, and insists they have strength in depth
- Liverpool started the season with a 4-0 win over West Ham at Anfield on Super Sunday
- Liverpool beat City three times last season, as well as reaching a Champions League final
Former Manchester United ace Gary Neville feels Liverpool are both a direct and indirect threat to Manchester City, and insists they have strength in depth.
Liverpool started the season with a 4-0 win over West Ham at Anfield on Super Sunday, though there were also wins for Man City, Tottenham, Manchester United and Chelsea on the opening weekend.
Liverpool beat City three times last season, as well as reaching a Champions League final, and Neville feels they pose a threat both in playing style on the pitch, and the feeling around the club off the pitch.
He said on the Gary Neville Podcast: “I think Liverpool are the side [City] will feel threatened by directly. Certainly in terms of the style of play, Liverpool have certainly got the measure of Manchester City. You can see that.
“City like to push up the pitch, the centre-backs play high and even push in when they’re attacking. The likes of Mane, Salah, Firmino, if you leave space in-behind, they just cut right through you.
Keita makes a difference
“I think directly there is a threat, and I think indirectly in terms of the bigger picture in the league, certainly with the signings they have made, the good feeling of getting into a Champions League final and finishing in the top four consecutive seasons is something where City will feel a threat.
“People are not feeling that way about Manchester United or Tottenham or Chelsea at this moment in time, because of what has happened in pre-season. So those teams will have work their way into City’s thoughts.
Jurgen Klopp was delighted with his side after the match.
“But there does seem to be a definite threat from Liverpool at this moment in time, but Liverpool will have to prove that.”
Liverpool strolled to victory thanks to goals from Mo Salah, Sadio Mane (two) and Daniel Sturridge, but hardly allowed a new-look West Ham a sniff at Anfield.
According to Neville, the £75m arrival of Virgil van Dijk from Southampton last January has improved Liverpool’s defence more than he first imagined, and compared him to former Manchester United defender Jaap Stam.
“I thought Van Dijk was a good player at Southampton, but I didn’t think he was worth £75m, and I didn’t think he would have the impact on Liverpool’s defence that he’s had. He’s a monster, and is looking a bit like Jaap Stam. It looks like he just throws people out of the way. You look at that midfield, with Wijnaldum, Keita and Milner, with Henderson still to come in. There is some strength in depth there.
“Can Liverpool reproduce that high-intensity football Saturday-Wednesday? And did they need another centre-forward in case Firmino is out? Because I do think there is a big drop in intensity in their play when him or Salah are not playing.”
Report by Sky Sports
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