The league table would appear to suggest the same thing and Liverpool’s Dutch midfielder believes City have earned their place at the top. “I think they have been more consistent than anyone else this season and also I think they have had a bit more luck than we have,” Wijnaldum says. “We have had a few good games but at the end we didn’t get the result we wanted. That has rarely happened to City.
“Week in, week out they have good performances and, even if they are not quite at their best, they still manage to win. They don’t give games away.”
Georginio Wijnaldum scores the winner against Manchester City at Anfield last season.
Georginio Wijnaldum: Group ethic can help Liverpool get over Coutinho’s exit
Dutch midfielder has bought into Jürgen Klopp’s stress on the collective and is looking for the team’s luck to change against Manchester City on Sunday
Wijnaldum admits Liverpool will miss Coutinho but argues any team would. “Every team would miss a player of that quality. He was one of the best players we had in the team but as a person he was even better,” the 27-year-old says. “He wanted to go to his dream club and as players we are all happy for him because he is such a good guy. He was never arrogant, you never heard him say: ‘I am the best,’ or anything like that. Phil was always a guy who listened to the coaching and worked with the team. We all enjoyed playing with him. It is sad he didn’t stay, because with Phil in the team of course we were better, but in the end you have to be happy that he made the move that meant so much to him.”
“But you can’t blame luck or a red card for losing by five goals. We did a few things wrong and City showed their quality. Hopefully when we meet at Anfield it will stay 11 v 11 and that way we will have more of a chance.”