Jurgen Klopp has responded with brutal pragmatism to Pep Guardiola’s comments that the Premier League’s top two teams both deserve the title.
Both contenders could finish with more than 90 points this season, with one still destined to miss out on glory.
Talking to Sky Sports after his side’s Manchester derby win, City manager Guardiola explained his surprise at one of the closest title races in years.
But his Liverpool counterpart has reacted to the comments in typically cool fashion.
The German said: “It will not happen, we will be there at the end.
“We don’t only play for being champions at the end of the season. Yes it’s a big target and we are pretty close and have a chance.
“But it’s the first time, not the last time. That’s how it is.”
Klopp also mentioned his pride at the reduction in the points gap between the two clubs over the last two Premier League seasons.
“The club and the people are waiting for a long time for it. It is rather surprising because last season we were 25 points behind,” the 51-year-old added.
“That’s really good, that’s all I can say about it. It’s all good. We have to carry on but only one team will be the champion.
“If we win it, we win it. If we don’t there are no regrets as long as we give our best.
“I’ve seen that all season. However the season ends up this is the first step.”
The Liverpool boss added before the game he believed City would beat their rivals in the Manchester derby.
But his reaction came after Guardiola hailed both sides remaining in the fierce race for the title.
The Spaniard said after the 2-0 win at Old Trafford: "We're still not champions with three games left, both teams deserve the title.
"The team that is going to lose can't have regrets because they have given everything.”
After their clash with Huddersfield this weekend, Liverpool take on Newcastle at St James’ Park and Wolves at Anfield in their final two games.
They also have both legs of their Champions League semi final against Barcelona.
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