Football News

Liverpool are “lucky” to be so close to Man City in title race, says Ilkay Gundogan

By Ben Green

Published: 17:08, 17 April 2019

Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan believes Liverpool have been “very lucky” in the title race this season.

Liverpool sit above City at the top of the table by two points in what is proving to be one of the most fiercely competitive contests for the Premier League title in years.

Have Liverpool been lucky? Five key things to know…

  1. Liverpool currently lead City by two points but have played a game more.
  2. Gundogan believes the Reds have been “very lucky” due to the number of late goals they have scored this season.
  3. At present Liverpool have scored more goals than any team in the Premier League during the final 15 minutes of matches (21).
  4. Only Barcelona (25) and PSG (23) have scored more in Europe’s top five league during that time.
  5. Liverpool have scored a winning goal in the last 10 minutes across three of their last four league matches (Southampton, Spurs and Fulham).

City have a game in hand over their competitors, but still have to play Spurs and rivals Man Utd, while the Anfield club face two of the bottom three in their final four matches.

With Pep Guardiola looking to retain the title for the first time in City’s history, Gundogan’s midfield exploits will be central to his plans for sustained domestic supremacy, but the German thinks the job would have been completed much sooner were it not for Liverpool’s late turnarounds.

“Liverpool are desperate to be champions,” he told Fanatik. “They want to win the Premier League more than the Champions League.

“But everything is in our hands. I think we have played the better football. We were seven points behind them and then we went ahead of them.

“If we win our game in hand, we will go past them and be the leaders. We shouldn’t forget that.

“I think they have been very lucky in the past one or two months. They have scored a lot of late goals recently. Everything is in our hands. If we win the last six games then we will be champions.”

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“This team never gives up”

Despite scoring a number of late goals, Jurgen Klopp has rubbished any talk of luck, instead referencing his side’s desire to ‘never give up’ and fight until the final whistle.

That spirit has seemingly paid dividends on a number of occasions this season; with Daniel Sturridge’s late equaliser salvaging a point against Chelsea earlier in the campaign, while Divock Origi secured maximum reward against Everton in the 96th minute.

More recently late goals have helped the Reds along the way, but the German has refused to entertain the idea of luck.

He told the club’s official website: “It’s normal that we talk about this. I don’t like to talk too much about it because I like to talk about that we won the games. It looks like it was always lucky or whatever because we scored late goals.

“Of course, it shows we are fully focused. This club never gave up and this team never gives up. You have to try – and try and try and try – and that’s what we do in the moment, using the good situation we are in.”

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