Manchester City’s financial invincibility raises the bar still higher but last season’s quadruple chasers aren’t quite done
Even Jürgen Klopp seemed a little mannered and grave in his pre-match press conference, unwilling to offer up barbs or jokes or amusingly exuberant swear words. There was some headline-grabbing stuff about the limits of being able to compete long-term with clubs owned by nation states, remarks that, while undeniably true and worthy of debate, will still rile the more biddable foot soldiers of the Etihad public relations department.
Mainly Klopp sat at his desk talking without hyperbole about Manchester City as the best team in the world and Erling Haaland as the best striker in the world. Nobody disagreed (they shouldn’t: they are; he is) or really made much of it. But then, as Liverpool welcome City to Anfield on Sunday afternoon, eight games into a Premier League season of entropy and metal fatigue, it is hard to avoid the sense of a pistol hammer being cocked.