'The biggest joke in the history of football': Jurgen Klopp reacts to latest Man City loss

  • Champions Manchester City sit fourth in the Premier League table after defeat at Aston Villa
  • Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says writing City off in title race would be ridiculous thing to do
  • City below their best against Villa, who now sit third in the table after superb run of form
Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool beat Sheffield United on Wednesday night
Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool beat Sheffield United on Wednesday night / David Rogers/GettyImages

Jurgen Klopp says writing Manchester City off in the Premier League title race "would be the biggest joke in the history of football".

The Reds boss was speaking after City slipped to a third defeat of the season against Aston Villa, who now sit third in the table after an incredible run of form under Unai Emery, and the champions are now without a win in their last four Premier League games.

Leon Bailey's second half goal condemned City to defeat - the strike also provided Villa with a record 14th consecutive home Premier League win - and manager Pep Guardiola admitted to Amazon Prime after the game that his team are "struggling a bit".

But the Spaniard has found an ally in Klopp, who is well versed to going head-to-head with City in the race for Premier League glory. The German said after watching his side beat Sheffield United 2-0 at Bramall Lane that writing City off would be a ridiculous thing to do, while he also cited the depth of quality teams now in the top flight.

"If somebody would write City off that would be the biggest joke in the history of football," Klopp told his post-match press conference.

"Arsenal are fighting and had a similar experience we had [late win vs Fulham]. It feels really good but anyway you have to start the next game from 0-0. Aston Villa is incredible. United is there, don't play yet maybe exactly the football whoever wants - the media or whatever - but they have points like crazy. Chelsea, I'm not sure if they're coming.

Pep Guardiola
It's four games without a win for Pep Guardiola and Manchester City / Michael Regan/GettyImages

"The league is incredibly strong, you need to be lucky to get through difficult moments, with injuries especially. So I have no clue [who will win the title]. Probably [there are more challengers]. It was the last years, always two. I'm not interested in that, so long as we're around there. But it's so difficult and intense. Ask me again in April."

Guardiola admitted after the defeat that City had been second best at Villa Park in all aspects of the game, and took responsibility for getting things back on track for last season's treble winners.

“The better team won,” he said. “Aston Villa was better than us. They are well organised, fast and [have] physical players and team and they are able to control many aspects.

“That is the reason why they are up there, playing good football and we could not do it. It’s my duty, my job to find the way to come back."