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Jürgen Klopp rails at early kick-off for Liverpool’s Manchester City showdown

Jürgen Klopp has criticised the decision to switch Liverpool’s visit to Manchester City to a 12.30pm kick-off after the international break and said it was made by “people who cannot feel football”.

The game at the Etihad Stadium on 25 November, in which first will host second in the Premier League, was originally planned for 5.30pm but a late kick-off time was rejected by a safety advisory group following several incidents between supporters of the two clubs.

Liverpool up to second after Mohamed Salah’s double sees off BrentfordRead more

The rescheduled time for the high-profile contest, and another early kick-off for Liverpool after an international break, has been greeted with incredulity by Klopp.

“Today was about getting through the game and we did,” the Liverpool manager said after his team’s 3-0 win against Brentford. “The boys responded sensationally well. Now they are all gone and we can train once before Manchester City. How can you put a game like this on Saturday at 12.30pm? Honestly, the people making these decisions, they cannot feel football, it is just not possible. And it is the moment where the world pays the most to see a football game.

“These two teams could have, all together, about 30 international players. They all come back on the same plane by the way, all the South American players. They all fly back together, we put them on the plane from Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina and Colombia. One game, one plane, they all come back. We just have to make sure we are ready for this game.”

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Liverpool moved up to second courtesy of an impressive defeat of Thomas Frank’s team. Mohamed Salah continued his prolific form with two goals and Klopp said there is much more to come from his new-look side.

“It’s possible [the team is ahead of schedule] but I didn’t think about it,” Klopp said. “But it feels good. It is only November but it’s really important we have the same points as other teams. We didn’t play perfect football yet, not even close, but we fight our way through in moments, we showed a top reaction today and it is all fine.

“We have to keep going with all the other teams until March or April and if you are still there, we can start talking. Until then it is fight your way through the most difficult league in the world and be ready on Thursday and on Sunday and Thursday. And if the Premier League has the opportunity to do it, be ready on Saturday at 12.30pm.”