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title push John Aldridge: Why Man City's fear of Liverpool may be crucial now

Liverpool thrashed City 5-1 en-route to the 2018 Champions League final, with the manner of that hammering leaving a lingering hangover.

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp (left) and Jordan Henderson with the Champions League trophy as they arrive back at John Lennon Airport, Liverpool in June 2019 (Dave Howarth/PA)

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp (left) and Jordan Henderson with the Champions League trophy as they arrive back at John Lennon Airport, Liverpool in June 2019 (Dave Howarth/PA)

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp (left) and Jordan Henderson with the Champions League trophy as they arrive back at John Lennon Airport, Liverpool in June 2019 (Dave Howarth/PA)

John Aldridge believes Liverpool's thumping win against Manchester City in the Champions League four years ago left a lasting scar on the ego of City boss Pep Guardiola and his players.

Liverpool thrashed City 5-1 en-route to the 2018 Champions League final, with the manner of that hammering leaving a lingering hangover that could be significant in the coming months.

After City's 3-2 home defeat against Tottenham on Saturday, Liverpool are back in the Premier League title race and they are also closing in on a place in the Champions League quarter-finals after a 2-0 win in the first leg of their last-16 clash against Inter Milan.

Guardiola described Liverpool's winning form under Klopp as a 'pain in the a**" last week, with former Reds striker Aldridge telling sundayworld.com that City are fearful of their chief rivals.

"Liverpool would take Man City over one legs or two in the Champions League," declared a bullish Aldridge.

"They have done it before when City were top of the tree and they can do it again.

"I don't think we are quite at the level we were when we beat them very comfortably, 5-1. Absolutely battered them, which was lovely. It will be a lot tighter, I'm pretty sure this time, but yes then can do it again.

"No one wants Liverpool in the Champions League, but when we get past Inter Milan, you know there is going to be a tough game."

Aldridge went on to suggest Liverpool's 2-0 win against Inter Milan at the San Siro was an example of Klopp's side finding a way to win when they are not at their best, but two big factors not in their favour were missing this time last year.

"They rely on Mo Salah and Sadio Mane to get the goals and the two of them are back to near their best," he added.

"If they keep those two fit, they will have a chance of winning trophies in the next few weeks because those two have that bit of magic you need to win games.

"They lost their way badly this time last year and it affected the team to a point where they had no answers.

"The other big factor working for Liverpool now is the return of fans to Anfield and they lift them when they need it.

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"We saw it when Norwich took the lead at the weekend and the crowd came alive. The players responded and the win was eventually secured.

"No team will fancy playing in front of the Liverpool fans at Anfield on a Champions League night and that will be a big factor when they get past Inter Milan."

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