Liverpool is all too familiar with the immense strain of competing with Manchester City for the Premier League championship. Tuesday night, Jurgen Klopp's team overcame adversity to defeat Aston Villa 2-1 after falling behind by a goal.
The triumph, which tied the Reds with league leaders City in terms of points, occurred on the same day their rivals revealed they had reached a deal in principle for the transfer of striker Erling Haaland.
Liverpool is sobered by the fact that City has secured the services of one of the most coveted players in European soccer. The 21-year-old Norwegian sensation, who has scored 85 goals in 88 games for Dortmund, will add to City's formidable front line.
However, where there is a will, there is a way. Liverpool could do right now to ensure that the championship race comes down to the wire, and they did it the hard way, for sure.
Klopp's men were stunned when Douglas Luiz scored during a goalmouth scramble three minutes into the Villa match. While Villa squandered several opportunities to extend their lead and put the game out of reach, Liverpool demonstrated admirable resolve and made a comeback with goals from Joel Matip and Sadio Mane.
Jordan Henderson, captain of Liverpool, remarked, "It's about digging in, keeping going and finding a way to win,"
The title race will remain in suspense until the last week of the season due to Liverpool's victory over Villa, although City still has the goal differential edge.
"We cannot do more than win," added Klopp. "A lot of people thought this could be a banana skin, that it could be a struggle for us, and how the boys sorted that was absolutely outstanding."
The Liverpool manager picked out Mane for special praise. The match-winning goal scored by the Senegalese striker in the 65th minute was his 22nd for the club in all competitions this season.
"After the game, I told him that he is a machine. He is a significant player, and his physique is formidable. He is a combination of technique, passion, and physicality when everyone else has a few yards in their legs ", glowed Klopp. "You can see it with him, truthfully. He is a phenomenal, world-class athlete."
During the post-game press conference, the topic naturally shifted to Haaland. When asked how much stronger City will be due to Haaland's acquisition, Klopp responded with a wry smirk. "I am confident that Erling will score numerous goals. He is a genuine beast, "He stated. "He got injured a few times while playing for Dortmund, but he is an absolute beast when healthy. Unfortunately, he is an excellent signing."
"But City was and will never be a team that wins games because of one player, because of the way, the specific way, they play," Klopp continued.
Meanwhile, Klopp confessed that he was uncertain about the severity of Fabinho's injury, which caused the holding midfielder to leave the game early. It might be a significant setback for Liverpool ahead of Saturday's FA Cup final against Chelsea.