Premier League News: Manchester City set the standard, Liverpool must keep up – Henderson

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Jordan Henderson believes Manchester City are setting the standards in the Premier League and Liverpool will need to keep up with Pep Guardiola’s men if they are to have a chance to regain the title.

Liverpool host City at Anfield on Sunday in what Henderson believes is arguably the biggest game of the season so far for Jurgen Klopp’s men.

The Reds can return to the top with a win after Chelsea knocked them off the top by beating Southampton 3-1 on Saturday.

Liverpool have historically held a good record against City, having not lost consecutive home games against them since 1937 and only losing one of their last 18 games at Anfield.

But that lone defeat came through a 4-1 in February when City took the title, and although Liverpool are the longest unbeaten streak (16) in the first four tiers of English football, City’s quality is not lost. on Henderson

Writing in his program notes, Henderson said, “There is no doubt this game is our biggest of the season so far. The Premier League standings tell us this, recent history and the goals of the two clubs tell us.

“As an opponent, Manchester City are as strong as they come and we welcome them to Anfield knowing that after having a great result at Chelsea last weekend, they will be looking for another one today.

“The record of the city under Pep Guardiola speaks for itself. From Liverpool’s point of view, they have set the standards we had to meet before we could become champions and any team that wants to win the league this season will know their chances of doing so will be maximized if they finish above City.

“They are the reigning champions and someone will have to take their crown because City won’t hand it over.”

Henderson then turned his attention to speaking of “respect”, which could be seen as a veiled message to fans after Guardiola pleaded with Liverpool fans not to attack the city bus, eager to avoid a similar situation. before their clash in the Champions League in 2018.

“There is a lot of talk about the rivalry between our two clubs, but for the most part this is based on respect and competition,” he added. “You can’t get it out like we’ve done in the last few seasons and not have rivalry, it wouldn’t make sense.

“But for the same reason, if you go toe-to-toe with a team like City, it would be ridiculous if you didn’t recognize their qualities and respect them for it.

“Yes, there will be titles, stories and critical points because all of this is an integral part of elite sport in which one team is competing with another, but I can guarantee that when the match starts the priority factor will be respect. .

“It’s only with this kind of approach that you give yourself the best chance of being successful in the day. If you don’t know how good your opponents are and you don’t respect them, how can you beat them? “

The Liverpool captain also spoke of his displeasure with some of the criticism leveled at City earlier in the season, and felt there were similarities with the reaction to the Reds’ 3-3 shock against Brentford last weekend.

“The crazy thing is that only a couple of games ago were reactionary questions asked of City after the home draw against Southampton,” continued Henderson. “Honestly, this baffles me. This Man City is undoubtedly one of the most successful teams of the modern era.

“But it’s the world we live in now, I suppose. An achievement and performance in isolation are analyzed to death, ignoring the larger context.

“The downside of this type of reaction is that it speaks volumes about the established standards. It was similar for us last weekend when we drew in Brentford. Was it the perfect result? No. Did we want a better one? Of course.

“But the reality is that every team will play games throughout the season where points will be lost against opponents who are supposed to be favorites to beat, because that’s just how the Premier League is.

“There were positives, but these were undermined by individual and collective shortcomings at key moments and this cost us two points. This is why it was so important to respond as we did against Porto in the middle of the week. It is one thing to have a day off, it is quite another to allow it to turn into two or three ”.

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