Reds legend John Aldridge believes Liverpool will need to achieve “virtual perfection” next season if they’re to challenge City for the title again, but thinks the Reds “rattled” the blue half of Manchester this time round.

Jurgen Klopp’s side were beaten to the punch on the final day of the Premier League calendar by Pep Guardiola’s City, despite having an almost unbeaten campaign.

And Aldridge thinks the Reds will have an even tougher test next season.

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“Liverpool finished with a total that would have left them seven points ahead of the Arsenal team that went through the entire 2003/04 Premier League season unbeaten, which sums up how bloody brilliant they were over the last ten months,” he said.

“In the end, the only defeat they suffered came in that away game at Man City, on a night when Liverpool had a goal ruled out in the game by 11.7mm.

“In the end, that tiny margin may well represent how close they were to ending the club’s 29-year wait for a league title.

“They fought so hard, turned draws into wins time and again and proved they were a team worthy of winning the Premier League.

“But they are unfortunate to be operating in an era when one team are playing to different rules to the rest of the Premier League financially.

“City will spend big again this summer and bulk up what is an already incredible squad and by the time the Premier League gets underway once again in August, the challenge facing Liverpool and the rest of England’s top clubs will be monumental once more.

“Guardiola and his players must have been rattled by Liverpool’s staying power in the title race, with Guardiola and his players fully aware that they have a rival who will come at them again next season.

“Yet the reality for Liverpool is that they need to achieve virtual perfection if they are to end what will be a 30-year wait for a league title next year and the longer that barren run continues, the harder it will be to end it.”

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Freelance writer and passionate Liverpool supporter from Northern Ireland. Married to the beautiful Christine. YNWA.

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