Owen: Reds defence better than past challengers

Former Liverpool striker and ex-Man Utd defender Phil Neville have high praise for leaders at Christmas after win at Wolves.

After Liverpool guaranteed top spot of the Premier League on Christmas Day for the first time since 2013/14, Phil Neville and Michael Owen believe Jurgen Klopp’s men can go one better than Brendan Rodgers’ of five years ago.

Rodgers’ Liverpool led the table on 25 December 2013 but fell agonisingly short of claiming a first Premier League title for the club.

Neville and Owen believe this season’s squad are better equipped to earn the elusive prize.

“They’re a better team than the Brendan Rodgers team,” said Neville, who won six titles with Manchester United, of Klopp’s team after their assured 2-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers.

“I know they had [Luis] Suarez, they had Steven Gerrard, but I think they’re a better team [now].

“They’ve got a better squad, they’re playing better football, they’re in control, it’s worrying for us Man Utd fans that’s for sure.”

‘Brilliant defence’

One area where the 2018/19 crop are a step up from the team of five years ago, Owen believes, is at the back.

“They’ve got a better defence,” the former Liverpool striker said.

“You can look at [Daniel] Sturridge, [Raheem] Sterling and Suarez, and say, ‘Who’s the best?’ Those three, or [Sadio] Mane, [Mohamed] Salah and [Roberto] Firmino, and you can debate it all night long.

“But the facts of the matter are, their defence now, they don’t ever look like conceding.

“Brilliant goalkeeper, brilliant back four, protection in front of that back four. They’re looking ominous.”

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