The Manchester City center-back believes that his side have “nothing to be envious about” as their latest Premier League title tussle with Liverpool heads into the final straight
Manchester City center-back Aymeric Laporte insists his side have nothing to fear from Liverpool in the Premier League title run-in.
Pep Guardiola’s side went 14 points clear of the Reds when they beat Chelsea 1-0 in mid-January, but Liverpool would go top of the table for a few hours at least if they can beat Watford at Anfield on Saturday lunchtime.
City go to Burnley later in the day seeking to retake top spot, before the two rivals meet at the Etihad Stadium next Sunday afternoon – their first of two meetings in a week including the FA Cup semi-final on April 16.
The tussle is beginning to resemble the title race of the 2018-19 season, when the pair traded blows before City took the title by 98 points to Liverpool’s 97.
With each club sharing a title in the seasons either side of that campaign, the pair’s rivalry has developed into a classic modern football duel.
NurPhoto / PA Images)
However Laporte insists that Liverpool have just as much to be fearful about as Guardiola’s side do.
“City can’t be afraid of anyone,” Laporte told The Guardian.
“[Liverpool] were a point behind in the same week, and in the end we won the league. We have this fight now and that’s good for the fans, and neutrals. “
When questioned on if City could take any inspiration from Liverpool, he added: “The football we play, no one else plays in the world.
“We’re an example of how to play nice football, to be superior in all areas. I think they’d like even part of our game.
“As for us having something of them: taking chances and benefiting from opponents’ errors a little more, because often we have the opportunity and don’t take it. We let the other team off. But there’s nothing to be envious about. “
City have seen that lead at the top erode in recent weeks following results such as a 3-2 home defeat to Tottenham and a goalless draw away at Crystal Palace, a match in which Guardiola opted to make no substitutions.
However, Laporte insists that criticism that came the club’s way following the results was at least partly rooted in jealousy.
“Although we can make mistakes, I don’t think it’s as bad as people say, or as some seem to want to make others think because they don’t like City,” he added.
“We’re humans, people have to understand that: just as we beat United, we lost to Palace. You can’t explain that with money.
“However much a player costs, that doesn’t mean he’s going to be the best. It’s not an exact science.
“We’re leaders, a point ahead of Liverpool. We have the best defense – and [yet] people throw defensive issues at us. “