Liverpool out to end title drought

LONDON: Liverpool have lived through enough near misses in 30 years not to take anything for granted in October, but an eight-point lead in the Premier League gives Jurgen Klopp’s men a golden opportunity to end that long wait.

The European champions came agonisingly close to fulfilling their title dreams in May, losing out to Manchester City by just one point, despite posting the third-highest points tally in top-flight English football history, with 97.

But they bounced back quickly to lift the Champions League in June and have shot out of the traps with eight straight league wins to take a commanding lead.

Liverpool’s English midfielder Jordan Henderson controls the ball during the match against Leicester City. Photo: AFP

Liverpool have not always shone this season. Their past three league wins have come by a solitary goal, but they have shown the tenacity and hunger to get the job done at the same time as an injury-hit City, going for their third title in a row, have lost their edge.

High-flying Leicester’s visit to Anfield on Saturday offered City hope they could cut the five-point gap separating the sides heading into the weekend.

Deep into stoppage time, the Foxes seemed set to do the champions a favour with the sides locked at 1-1, until Sadio Mane tumbled in the box and James Milner coolly slotted away a 95th-minute penalty.

“They didn’t look for a second like a team who won so many games that they don’t have the desire anymore to win another one,” said Klopp.

“It looked like they had never won a game before and I love that fact.”

A day later, City failed to find the same kind of response as Wolves emerged from the Etihad 2-0 victors after soaking up the hosts’ pressure and hitting relentlessly on the counter-attack. – AFP