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‘Liverpool were better last year’ – Barnes says Champions League winners superior to Premier League champs

The Anfield legend says the side that finished as runners-up to Manchester City was stronger than the 2019-20 Premier League champions

Liverpool’s Premier League-winning team of 2019-20 was not as good as the one that finished as runners-up in the previous campaign, according to Anfield legend John Barnes.

Jurgen Klopp’s men set a string of records en route to breaking their 30-year wait for the English league championship, picking up 99 points and finishing 18 marks clear of the pack.

A year previous, though, they finished second to Manchester City, claiming 97 points along the way while also winning the Champions League, overcoming Tottenham in the final.

Barnes has argued that the latter team was the better but simply fell short against a special rival.

“I was delighted with them last year – 97 points and finishing second, winning the Champions League…” he told talkSPORT.

“In fact, I think they were probably better last year, but Man City were just incredible.

“They continued that consistency this year in what they did, so I look at it as a two-year victory, if you like – winning the Champions League and finishing second by a point in the league and then winning the Premier League this season, it was an incredible two years.

“Jurgen Klopp has brought a real level of consistency and determination and humility to the team.

“People are now saying ‘can they do it again next year’, but what we can do next year is we can be as competitive as we were this year.

“Obviously teams will improve to make it harder, but I don’t think we’ll be any less consistent next year.”

Gini Wijnaldum Liverpool Barcelona UEFA Champions League 05/07/19

Meanwhile, Barnes, who turned out for the Reds from 1987-97, says that the 2018-19 campaign brought the club’s most remarkable performance ever – one that surpasses even their comeback from 3-0 in the 2005 Champions League final against AC Milan.

“You can go back to when Liverpool won the European Cup in the old days in Rome, and of course there was Istanbul and you think that will never be surpassed,” he said.

“But then there was the 4-0 at home to Barcelona, as much as it was in the semi-final and wasn’t to win the Champions League, that for me tops anything they’ve done in the past – including Istanbul.

“To beat Barcelona when you had to beat them 4-0 at home without Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah while they had all their players, including Lionel Messi, and for us to come back… that’s why it’s my favourite.

“Again, it shows what Jurgen Klopp has brought to Liverpool, a determination and belief to the team – to demand that kind of performance from the team regardless of who is playing, it shows what Klopp has done.”

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