Klopp dismisses questions of attitude as battle lines are drawn for next season

Jurgen Klopp dismissed any suggestion that his Liverpool team suffered from a poor attitude in last night’s 4-0 defeat at Manchester City, seven days after being crowned champions for the first time in 30 years.

With Raheem Sterling insisting afterward that “next season started today”, Klopp knows there is no time to take the foot off the gas.

City gave the new champions a guard of honour before the game and then set about tearing their defence to shreds, but Klopp insisted he was pleased by the attitude of his team.

“Is the game important to us? I saw a brilliant attitude,” he said.

“They were quicker than us in mind. We lacked fluidity. Against Man City you have massive problems.

“We had moments. We had chances, we didn’t use them. The result we have to take.

“If you want to lead this story in the direction we were not focused, then do it,” he added, taking issue with the line of questioning in the post-match Sky Sports interview. “I liked my team’s attitude, you ask again. Isn’t it nice another team can be champions when Man City can play so well?”

City manager Guardiola wasn’t taking his own team’s performance lightly, despite playfully suggesting Liverpool players “drank a lot of beers this week”.

“But they arrived here with no beers in their blood which is why I give us a lot of credit. We beat the champions, an extraordinary team. We are brave to play, they are brave to play,” said the former Barcelona boss.

Both sides are already looking forward to the autumn, when the champions of the last two seasons will inevitably set the standard.

“If there is a team in the world that can smash us like this it is probably City, but we will come again,” Klopp added. “Make a few things better and it could look differently, but for tonight that is it.”

City, though, were happy to make their point.

“We had a test against the current champions to make a point and we did brilliant. Next season started today and we did well,” added Sterling.

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