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Two pieces of the Liverpool jigsaw fall into place and now Man City are worried

Kop win over Arsenal and Euro draw heaping pressure on Pep

Liverpool's Portuguese striker Diogo Jota celebrates scoring the opening goal with Liverpool's Colombian midfielder Luis Diaz at Arsenal.

John Aldridge

So many pieces of the jigsaw need to fall into place for Liverpool to have any hope of claiming a trophy clear sweep this season - and a few of them did just that in recent days.

The 2-0 win against Arsenal on Wednesday night was a significant blow in the Premier League title race, coming after Manchester City dropped points at Crystal Palace a couple of days earlier.

For the first time in many a long month, Liverpool are within striking distance of City and that piled the pressure on Jurgen Klopp and his players ahead of the trip to the Emirates Stadium.

City would have been hoping to see an in-form Arsenal take points away from Liverpool, but what they got was a composed performance from a side that confirmed they are going nowhere in this title race.

Liverpool will now go above City if they beat Watford in their next Premier League match after the upcoming international break, which would add another dimension to this story.

I didn't believe this title race could be reignited when City were 11 points ahead not so long ago, but I got that wrong.

It has taken an incredible run of form from Liverpool to get themselves back in the mix and at this moment, they are clearly a step or two ahead of City.

The signing of Luis Díaz in January has given their forward line a huge boost, with the other attacking players at Klopp's disposal raising their game to compete with the new boy.

Diogo Jota continues to have a big role and I have been impressed with Roberto Firmino's contribution coming off the bench.

While I have questioned whether Firmino merits a place in the Liverpool team over recent months, all five forwards are driving this title push and it's an attacking threat City lack.

Despite having a financial advantage that should put them well ahead of Liverpool, Guardiola's failure to sign Harry Kane or a top striker last summer is hurting them now.

While I'm certain they will try and get Erling Haaland ahead of next season and he would give them a whole new attacking threat, Liverpool are on their tails now and they can't be feeling comfortable.

The other piece of this jigsaw in Liverpool's favour clicked into position on Friday, as the Champions League draw could not have gone any better.

Klopp and his in-form side will be strong favourites to beat Benfica and they had the extra bonus of knowing they won't have to face either Manchester City, Chelsea or Real Madrid until the final in Paris.

Clearly, Liverpool are in the better half of this draw now and while Bayern Munich will be a tough test if they got get to the semi-finals, Liverpool beat them comfortably a while back so they will fancy it.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp

I saw some people saying on Twitter that Liverpool were lucky to get Benfica, but look at the draws Man City have got in all competitions in recent years and then we can talk about luck.

Ahead of every draw, the joke goes around on social media with fans guessing which lower league team City will get in the FA Cup or which out-of-form French side they get in the Champions League.

Well, that joke often becomes reality and after the horrible group stage Liverpool were handed featuring AC Milan, Porto and Atletico Madrid, they were due a break in this draw.

The bigger factor for me could be the impact of these matches on the Premier League title race because City will have a lot of big game on their agenda, especially if they win their FA Cup quarter-final at Southampton today.

Guardiola might even have to start thinking about focusing on one competition if he feels the number of fixtures is too much, with his desperation to win the Champions League for City counting against them in recent years.

City have always bottled it when the pressure is applied at the back end of Europe's biggest competition and they did the same in last season's final against Chelsea.

If Liverpool got City in the final of the Champions League, Pep and his players will be the ones panicking and Klopp's side would be relishing the challenge of trying to win it again.

This is why I believe that from a psychological perspective, Liverpool have an edge over City, as they are the one team who can match them on the field and it annoys them.

Guardiola confirmed that when he described Liverpool as a 'pain in the ass' a few weeks back and I can understand his frustration.

He's tended to have things all his own way in a management career that saw him work with the best players in the world at Barcelona and then take over a dominant Bayern Munich side in Germany.

Then he was handed £1billion by Manchester City to buy his way to success in England, with Klopp the only manager who has consistently stood up to him and given him problems.

Well, those problems are not going away any time soon and he must be quaking in his boots at the prospect of what lies ahead in the next couple of months.

From being in a position of dominance to a situation where City might end up winning nothing this season while their only serious rival win trophies galore?

It's a problem that Guardiola would not have envisaged in his worst nightmare, but each passing week brings that scenario a step closer.

I still don't think Liverpool will become the first team to win the quadruple in English football this season, but City must be wondering what they have to do to break Klopp and his team.

City have always bottled it when the pressure is applied at the back end of Europe's biggest competition and they did the same last year

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