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Real Madrid’s sensational win over Man City could be the night that puts Liverpool on course to quadruple

It felt like the night we look back on as perhaps the most significant step in Liverpool’s quest for the quadruple – without Jurgen Klopp’s men even playing.

When Manchester City imploded at the Bernabeu on a hectic night, you can bet Klopp would have laughed into his pint.

Liverpool reached their third Champions League final under Klopp

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Liverpool reached their third Champions League final under KloppCredit: REX FEATURES
It took a brave performance at Villarreal to book their place in Paris

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It took a brave performance at Villarreal to book their place in ParisCredit: REX FEATURES
Man City, on the other hand, failed at the last hurdle at Real

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Man City, on the other hand, failed at the last hurdle at RealCredit: REX FEATURES

Because while Real Madrid have been great in their belief and desire, the Reds coach will be confident his side can pounce on Carlo Ancelotti’s aging side in the final in Paris, three weeks from tomorrow.

And if City fails in their four remaining Premier League games, Wednesday night’s almighty choke will be seen as the trigger for them to relinquish a one-point lead at the summit.

City were the polar opposite of Klopp’s ‘mental monsters’ at the Bernabeu.

While Real and Liverpool, with their powerful European history, expect to win these duels, City often freezes.

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With 25 minutes to go when Karim Benzema converted the crucial penalty, City looked physically and mentally exhausted and little threatened.

None of Pep Guardiola’s side have won club football’s biggest prize – save for backup goalkeeper Scott Carson with Liverpool – and the manager hasn’t in 11 years.

“Football is sometimes unpredictable,” said Guardiola after his team’s late collapse.

But it’s not always unpredictable. City didn’t buy the world-class goalscorer they needed last summer.

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And while that didn’t affect them in the vast majority of games, it did in the first leg against Real at the Etihad when City dominated but only managed to lead by a goal.

It also played into the 2-2 draw at home against their only title rivals when Klopp’s men were off the hook with a poor finish last month.

Guardiola scoffs at all of this, growing bored and irritated by the repetitive nature of the questioning – but it only repeats itself because it’s true.

For the second consecutive season, City have had no one in the top 8 Premier League goalscorers.

Erling Haaland could change that next season but the Norwegian goalscoring machine is increasingly injury-prone.

Before that, Guardiola needs to revive his side for a title run that looks much more difficult when the psychological trauma of throwing away a two-goal lead in the final minutes at the Bernabeu is added to City’s strains.

An in-form Newcastle arrive at the Etihad for Sunday’s Arab derby – a game which is certainly not sponsored by Amnesty International but will test City’s rebound ability.

Real sank City late to reach the final against Liverpool

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Real sank City late to reach the final against LiverpoolCredit: REX FEATURES

Then back-to-back away games at European pursuers Wolves and West Ham before a home game against Aston Villa on the final day where Steven Gerrard could finally win the Premier League for Liverpool.

A possible twist is the idea of ​​Harry Kane – the man City failed to sign last summer – spoiling Liverpool at Anfield tomorrow night in the toughest of the Reds’ four league games.

Spurs have managed the double against City – while only West Ham, Leicester and Crystal Palace have managed to inflict even a single defeat on the Premier League’s dominant duo this season.

But if Liverpool, who comprehensively weathered their own Champions League semi-final shock on Tuesday at Villarreal, can beat Antonio Conte’s men at Fortress Anfield, it’s hard to imagine them dropping another point against Villa, Southampton or Wolves.

They have a week to play in the FA Cup final against Chelsea tomorrow before heading to Paris in the spring and facing the prospect of immortality. And now it’s definitely being swept clean.

Real’s 13 European titles and comebacks against Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and City give them supreme confidence.

Yet those victories have all been won at the Bernabeu, where the home crowd hold a divine right to rule that feels like an almighty mania.

Paris will be crammed with Scousers who, even now, have an extreme level of faith since being taken over by Klopp.

And as they complete the quad, Liverpool’s players can look back fondly on the night they watched from their sofas as City threw it away in Spain.

https://www.the-sun.com/sport/football/premier-league/5275466/real-madrid-liverpool-champions-league-quadruple-man-city/ Real Madrid’s sensational win over Man City could be the night that puts Liverpool on course to quadruple

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