The Reds had led the Premier League in mid-November and, even though Chelsea's 13-game winning streak had put them on top by the time Paul Clement brought his floundering Welshmen to Anfield, plenty of supporters still believed Klopp's men could be credible contenders for silverware with over a third of the season left to play.

An abject 3-2 to reverse to the Welshmen, followed by being dumped out of both domestic cup competitions in quick succession by Southampton and Wolves put those ambitions into stark contrast.

The fears some had expressed that the highly intensive nature of Liverpool's play would take its toll on the squad became reality as their legs really did fall off, Klopp's men winning only two out of 12 fixtures played in January and February (one of them an FA Cup third round replay at League Two Plymouth Argyle).

It perhaps served a purpose though by showing the manager the need to balance the energy of his squad with the unique physical demands of the English game and a slightly different approach with squad rotation bore fruit twelve months later with a tremendous second half of the season run to the brink of European glory.


4) Best decision

Not being prepared to compromise with his top transfer targets. Liverpool's modern history is littered with examples of managers caving to pressure to fill in the squad and 'settling' for second or third choice players when their number one was unavailable.

The mess that led to the Reds being forced to issue a public apology to Southampton over the pursuit of Virgil van Dijk in the summer of 2017 made it unlikely the Dutchman would ever get his dream Anfield move yet the first Friday night of 2018 saw him heading home a late FA Cup winner against Everton to see the Kop into ecstasy.

Jürgen Klopp has said Liverpool’s players would question his sanity if he criticised them after two consecutive defeats and they can demonstrate at Brighton on Saturday there is no insecurity in the Anfield ranks.

"That means in this moment he is not ready, but we will see later."

Now he is the Reds’ most important player. His game is as right for Klopp’s style as Benteke’s was wrong.

“The penalty, I have no idea why it was a late decision. It was not even a foul for him, unbelievable. But it’s over.”

Adam Lallana's stoppage time winner, Klopp on the pitch and his glasses getting crushed in the celebrations.

Liverpool picked up six yellow cards as they were edged out at Parc des Princes - a fact Klopp felt owed much to PSG’s playacting and a referee only too happy to caution players.

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It was only just about a month-and-a-half after he joined the club but it just felt like he completely got what Liverpool fans were about and endeared himself almost instantly.

He was widely mocked at the time for his decision to walk his players to the Kop to 'celebrate' a 2-2 home draw with West Brom.

He added: “I could say 500,000 things but none of them I want to read in the newspaper tomorrow. You have a brain, think about it and write it down or do it on the mic or whatever.

In Pep Guardiola, Man City boast one of the game’s finest ever managers. They dominated the Premier League last season and were the favourites to progress, yet the way Liverpool swept them aside in that first leg was magnificent.

“It’s the biggest honour to be at one of the biggest clubs in this world. I’m looking forward to the intensity of football and how the people live football in Liverpool. It’s a special club. I had two special clubs and this role is the perfect next step for me to try to help.”

“I’m not interested in criticism, I’m more interested in the thoughts of the people.

“I heard someone say ‘The Prince of Wales’ - I love it! I said it twice this morning… I’m not sure that he loves it too much!”

“With all these pictures on Twitter, it always looks like I am in restaurants and bars! I am not that type of guy.”

“If someone is silly enough to want to see my face for 90 minutes during a game I cannot change the world.”

Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane were sublime. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was a real Liverpool player. No-one expected such an impressive victory at Anfield but what a night.

After two seasons working as a coach with modest Dutch side SVEB Broekhuizen he left for the PSV ranks, before moving to FC Porto for seven years in 2007. He joined Liverpool a year before Klopp arrived.

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Asked about Marciniak’s performance, Klopp said: “I don’t like this part of my job. Everybody has eyes, everybody sees but it’s only a story if I say it?

"I don't think anyone thought it was massively wrong. It happened, a fine, I'll pay it, no problem."

"I don’t care, write or think what you want. I had a very good view of it, and it was for sure not the same colour as these 500 other yellow cards.

“That we concede like this, that makes me really, really sick. That's hard."

Klopp, who has a contract with Liverpool until 2022, jokes that “if in the worst-case scenario Britain starts ejecting EU nationals, it would be funny if they started with the football managers”. 

Worst Jurgen Klopp

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“He’s a soft German if he thinks that’s a red card,” Allardyce said of Klopp’s reaction to the incident. Given that this is a man who is not shy about pointing out the supposed unfair advantage foreign managers have over British ones in regards to getting jobs in this country, it is fair to assume the use of “soft” and “German” was no slip of the tongue.

They led courtesy of Daniel Sturridge's opener and should really have been further in front. But they imploded in that second half.

Essentially, however, this is a free hit for Allardyce. Certainly there is more pressure on Klopp to mastermind a win given Liverpool’s home advantage and overall superiority. He too will have a plan but should the worst happen for the hosts, scrutiny will no doubt come the way of the man in charge.

The 19-minutes when Liverpool eviscerated a Manchester City side who were strolling to the league title, a Manchester City side who nobody had wanted to draw in Europe - and a Manchester City side who the bookies had made favourites to progress from a Champions League quarter-final.

At the moment though, it’s got to be Virgil van Dijk. The difference the Dutchman has made is incredible and hopefully Alisson’s impact will be the same come the end of the season.

“Ah yes, I’ve heard about it” replies Klopp, who is quick to use the phrase in context. “We win against Man City… that was boss tha”.

3) Worst moment - was so nearly the best

The worst moment was also nearly my best moment.

"If everybody thinks ‘I want to go to a football game on the 24th of December’ who am I to say ‘It’s my Christmas, actually’.

He also cited the Dutch coach Wiel Coerver, who developed his own coaching method. “Coerver said you need 20 per cent legs, 20 per cent head and 60 per cent heart,” Lijnders said. “That is precisely why you need self-control. Liverpool are never boring. We play the game for those who view it. That is our responsibility as coaches. The worst thing about football is predictability. "

He added: “I could say 500,000 things but none of them I want to read in the newspaper tomorrow. You have a brain, think about it and write it down or do it on the mic or whatever.

"I really don't understand the business anymore. I love Harry (Kane), too. Actually, that's not important for Russia. It's just an English thing. Pochettino loves Kane - and who do I love? That's the question. It's a waste of time."

It was a huge missed opportunity, and while the Reds did make their return to Europe’s elite competition a year later, having seen the players brought in and the improvements in the side since, you can’t help but wonder where they’d be if Klopp had had that extra year.

He also took issue with the Polish official’s initial failure to award a penalty after Sadio Mane was clearly fouled in the box in the 45th minute - a decision he eventually corrected.