Liverpool finally got what Jürgen Klopp always needed as Man City’s fortunes reverse

If Liverpool beat Nottingham Forest on Sunday, they will book their second trip to Wembley in the space of seven weeks, having only been there before for a real game under Jürgen Klopp (the 2016 Carabao Cup final – not counting the two Community Shield appearances in 2019 and 2020).

In the same period, Pep Guardiola and Manchester City have been there 10 times and will be hoping to extend that run by beating Southampton at the weekend to reach another domestic semi-final.

The obvious difference has been the seriousness with which clubs and managers take the competition – or more precisely, the seriousness each could afford to take. Guardiola and Manchester City have had a lot more resources and a much better squad to be able to compete so far; it is no coincidence that Liverpool have been able to go further with a much better squad depth.

But something else has changed as well as Liverpool are heading for the quadruple – an unprecedented and almost impossible task of bringing home the four trophies they intended to win at the start of the season.

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In Klopp’s first full campaign at Anfield, Liverpool were knocked out of the FA Cup in the fourth round by Wolves after being knocked out of the EFL Cup by Southampton three days earlier – a January slump that saw them win a out of seven without Sadio Mané, who was at the CAN. They finally achieved their main goal of finishing in the top four.

In 2017/18 they were knocked out of the EFL Cup for the first time after drawing with Leicester City, then lost 3-2 at home to West Brom in the FA Cup fourth round, before finishing in the League champions. stains again.

Liverpool exited both domestic competitions in 2018/19 for the first time after being drawn against Premier League opponents Wolves and Chelsea, winning the Champions League instead.

After winning the UEFA Super Cup, Club World Cup and Premier League in 2020, Liverpool again lost to Chelsea in the FA Cup and were forced to play Aston Villa in the EFL Cup with a squad of young people, a few hours before a different match. on another continent.

Last season, Liverpool were knocked out of the FA Cup by Manchester United and the EFL Cup by Arsenal, again facing tough games in the opening rounds of both tournaments.

Compare that to this season, and that, as much as the depth of the squad, has been key. Liverpool will face their first FA Cup away game this weekend at the City Ground having faced Shrewsbury Town, Cardiff City and Norwich at Anfield so far. Their EFL Cup run saw them take on Norwich, Preston and Leicester to progress to the semi-finals, before Arsenal and Chelsea were dispatched to bring home the silverware.

In the Champions League, where Liverpool enjoyed more success, they also had favorable draws, facing Porto in the round of 16 and also AS Roma in the semi-finals along the way. This season, they have already beaten Inter Milan and are now on the right side of the table with Benfica then Villarreal or Bayern Munich, avoiding Manchester City, Chelsea and Real Madrid.

Having lamented Manchester City’s ‘easier’ draws in recent seasons, Liverpool have undoubtedly had the snag on the green at times during this season, and Friday’s Champions League path is no surprise. was no different.

If anyone is close to winning the quadruple, you need a bit of luck along the way, coupled with an exceptional squad and a manager who knows how to make the most of it.

Join these three things together, as Liverpool did, and the impossible dream could still become a reality. If the treble was realistic for anyone, it could be this season for the Reds.

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