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Liverpool’s title hopes were dealt a big blow as Manchester City reinvigorated the title race with a 2-1 victory over the Reds at home on Thursday night, thanks to goals from Sergio Aguero and Leroy Sane.
Liverpool are still four points clear of Man City at the top of the table but the onus will be on the Reds to bounce back after the defeat when they return to Premier League action with a trip away to Brighton on January 12.
Liverpool let go of Philippe Coutinho last year to boost their funds to build a stronger squad and that, according to Watford striker and football pundit Troy Deeney, is the big difference between the Reds and Man City.
“The big difference between the two [teams] is Liverpool lose a Coutinho, Man City don’t lose players,” he said.
“Man City, they let you go when they’re good and ready.
“They don’t lose players, I think that’s a huge ingredient as well where if they had a Coutinho they would play him in front of those two holders and then it’s a different dynamic to that whole midfield.
“Because all of the players that have been mentioned can get across the ground, they can all cover the distance but have they got that little bit of magic that a Coutinho might have?
“Can he whip a free-kick in the top corner that changes the game on its head?
“So that’s a big difference as well that City don’t lose players, people go on their terms, we’re talking about 1% here.
“We’re talking about the best two teams in our league, if not in Europe and you can’t make arguments for them being the best.
“They lost one player to make a better team but do you add to that to get more quality but you lose the team effect? It’s a real tough situation.”