John Barnes has taken a swipe at the character of Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, as he backed Liverpool to win the Premier League this season.
After 19 games, the Reds are seven points clear of Manchester City, who are currently third, having been overtaken by Tottenham, who beat Bournemouth 5-0 as the champions lost at Leicester City.
Speaking on talkSPORT, the former Reds man said: “Liverpool have handled the pressure and Man City probably haven’t.
“Last season we remember how fantastic Man City were and I always thought, ‘how would they cope when the pressure was on?’
“When everything is going well for Manchester City, when they’re top of the league with no pressure, I think they’re the best team in the world.
“From a character point of view, they have struggled in their last two games; I think the opposite of Liverpool. With Jurgen Klopp and the demands he puts on those players, regardless of it’s a big game or a smaller game, they perform.”
There is clearly a long way to go in the title race, and so calling City out for their resilience is a big statement at this stage, but Barnes is certainly right about Liverpool.
The other part of the equation is, of course, Spurs, who are six points off top spot, although most see City as the most serious challengers.
For the first time in a long time, the Reds look in control defensively and a collapse akin to previous seasons seems fairly unlikely, but there is still a lot to do to maintain first position until May.