Raheem Sterling has shown Liverpool little respect despite their overwhelming lead over Man City, warning his former side they will face a “massive reaction” next season.
The Reds enjoyed a double boost over the weekend as their 2-1 win over Bournemouth was followed up by City’s 2-0 defeat at the hands of Man United on Sunday.
Though City have a game in hand—to be played at home to Arsenal on Wednesday night—they currently sit 25 points behind Liverpool, who have won 27 of their 29 games.
City, meanwhile, have lost seven times already this season, which is as many as the Reds have suffered in the league since the start of the 2017/18 campaign.
Losses to Arsenal in midweek and Burnley on Saturday would see City hand Liverpool the Premier League title without them needing to play another game, with the Merseyside derby coming up at Goodison on Monday night.
Either way, Jurgen Klopp‘s side are running away with the trophy this season, likely wrapping it up earlier than any other side in history, beating United’s April 14 coronation in 2000/01.
Speaking before the Manchester derby, however, Sterling laughed off suggestions the Reds could dominate for the long term.
Raheem Sterling just laughs when asked about people saying Liverpool will dominate for years to come ? pic.twitter.com/XmkghkYdl9
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) March 8, 2020
“We won the league twice in a row. They’re leading at this moment in time, but I’m pretty sure come the end of the season, our boys will go away and come back again,” he told Sky Sports.
“We’ll be very hurt if they do pick up the league, very hurt, and we’ll be up and running for next season, for sure.
“[It will be] a massive [reaction], yes.”
In the same interview, Sterling highlighted winning the Champions League as one of his next targets, despite City facing a two-year ban from the competition for breaches of Financial Fair Play.
This comes after the 25-year-old posed on the front of Spanish publication AS with a City shirt on one shoulder and a Real Madrid shirt on the other, claiming his side are “not treated with the same respect” as Liverpool.
With Sterling’s latest claims directly followed by an abject performance at Old Trafford which saw him scuff one of the best chances of the game wide from six yards out, his blasé stance on the Reds’ success is laughable.
There is no issue with him backing City to bounce back, and Sterling should certainly not be criticised for doing so, but to dismiss the progress of his old club so flippantly could be tempting fate.
While City appear closer to a period of decline, Liverpool are on the rise, and if the UEFA ban holds up this could only get worse for Pep Guardiola’s side.