Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said watching his side going toe-to-toe with Premier League leaders Manchester City in their exhilarating 2-2 draw on Sunday was like watching two heavyweight boxers going at it.
Liverpool trailed City by 14 points in mid January but a run of 10 successive victories meant that had they won at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, they would have leapfrogged Pep Guardiola’s side to the top of the standings.
However, a draw was the best the visitors could muster in Manchester, as they twice trailed the champions, in a contest Klopp felt neither side gave an inch in.
“The concentration levels in these games are incredible, because it is like watching two boxing heavyweights,” Klopp said. “You put your hands down you get a knock in your face and you have to get up.
“I liked a lot when we controlled the game and we caused them more problems than ever before. Of course I would have loved to do it more often. We had 15 minutes of control then they got momentum back. The game went like this all the time.
“There were moments when they were really on their toes. Nothing has changed really, when you play 95 minutes but you are in the same place as before. We have to be nearly perfect to beat this team in a game.”
Victory would have lifted Liverpool to the top of the standings for the first time since October 1 but it was not meant to be.
The draw means that Klopp’s side trail City by one point with seven games to play and both sides will be determined to keep up the intensity.
“Yes it will take seven wins out of seven to win the title,” Klopp added. “We knew that in January. This game was one we can draw.
“We now have two massive games, against Benfica (in the Champions League) and then City again (in FA Cup). Then after that it really starts. We have to be ready. It is cool. We are where we want to be. We are close to an incredible side.
“But if you don’t have luck in life, you are screwed. Millimetres can be the difference when winning leagues. We have to be as close to perfection as possible. It is insane, but it is the only way to beat this team. Even that might not be enough.”