Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp took aim at UEFA's new Nations League, labeling it "senseless", after his side headed into the worldwide break with a home draw against Premier League leaders Manchester City Sunday.
The manager felt his side, who played the last half hour with ten men after Michael Smith's dismissal, gifted the hosts two goals in the opening 12 minutes but generally performed well enough to have taken something from the game had they been more ruthless at both ends of the pitch.
"I really like the work they do, but on the other side if you play against a team of their quality, the win is even sweeter", he said.
'We've beaten a good team today because we went to war with them and we matched them in the war and then our football shone through. "If you play City you have to be 100 per cent spot on and confident".
"It'll be fascinating all of the individual duels and battles all over the pitch and there's two world-class managers".
"The team have put in good performances and have been strong".
It was a similar story for City in the Premier League encounter at the same ground in January, when three goals in nine second-half minutes proved their downfall in a 4-3 loss.
"It's too early to be thinking about the title, we know it is tough to win", he said.
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Upfront, the form of Mohamed Salah is a major concern for Klopp, who addressed the slump that the Egyptian talisman is going through right now, insisting there is nothing to worry about for Liverpool fans.
"Rangers have done that as well over many years with all their successful teams but last night was. wow!" Of course the Liverpool fans want (him) to play bad, and he has played bad but he wants to play good. The Reds are in action against a fellow title contender this week, with Manchester City paying Anfield a visit on Sunday evening in a top-of-the-table clash.
"I got involved in it emotionally myself but that's what football is all about at a top club and the more times the supporters can bring that, then the better it is for the players". But I know it's in there.
Despite his team's struggles in domestic competitions, the Northern Irishman has excelled on a personal level, notching four goals in eight games.
Liverpool did a good job of compressing the space in front of their defence, making it harder for the likes of City midfielders David Silva and Bernardo Silva to create.
They were rare blips in an outstanding season and Guardiola is determined to prevent Liverpool building momentum in such fashion again by fighting fire with fire.