Man City wouldn’t have won the Premier League with Liverpool’s injury problems, says Klopp

Liverpool have endured one of the meekest Premier League title defences in history during the 2020/21 season, surrendering the crown to a relentless and practically unchallenged Manchester City side. 
Though Jurgen Klopp’s side have been a shadow of the ‘mentality monsters’ that finally ended the club’s Premier League hoodoo in 2020, there have been a number of mitigating factors to explain their demise this season.
Chief among those is the Reds’ rotten luck with injuries. 
Liverpool haven’t been the same beast since Virgil van Dijk was ruled out for the season with an anterior cruciate ligament injury.
From there, it’s been one disaster after the other, with further injuries to Joe Gomez and Joel Matip rendering the inexperienced Nat Phillips as the club’s most senior central defender for much of the season.
Phillips has improved dramatically and been a stark presence in recent weeks, but the absence of their first-choice options has clearly upset the rhythm and left them in an unexpectedly intense battle to qualify for the Champions League.
And Klopp believes that no club in the league could have coped with the number of injury issues his side have faced – not even the newly-crowned champions. 
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Indeed, the former Borussia Dortmund boss has claimed that Pep Guardiola’s side wouldn’t have been able to win the title with injuries to three of their first-choice centre-backs. 
“With our injuries it was not the year to become champions,” Klopp said.
“No chance – for nobody.
“As good as they are, if City have their three centre-halves out, no [they don’t win the league]. Three centre-halves of [Manchester] United, no.
“We have fought back a bit, accepted the difficulties and made the best of it, and if we win on Sunday, and if we qualify for the Champions League, then we made the best of it. That is it.”
Ruben Dias has been named the Football Writers’ Player of the Year for 2020/21 and would have been a massive miss for Guardiola. 
City also have Aymeric Laporte, John Stones, Nathan Ake and Eric Garcia in their defensive roster, while Fernandinho is a versatile option in that role just as Fabinho has been for Liverpool. 
There would have been proven options for City to call upon in the midst of a similar crisis, but a duo of Ake and Garcia doesn’t quite carry the same gravitas as the stoic pairing of Dias and Stones.
Either way, this is just another example of Klopp, ‘the excusable one’, clutching at anything he can to deflect attention away from the form of his players.
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