Liverpool can’t relent after winning the Premier League, says James Milner, who expects Manchester City to “come back firing”.
Liverpool were confirmed as the new champions of England on Thursday after City succumbed to a 2-1 loss against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
The result left Pep Guardiola’s men 23 points adrift of the leaders, who bounced back from a narrow defeat in last season’s title race to emerge as the new dominant force in the top-flight.
City will give Liverpool players a guard of honour when the two teams meet at Etihad Stadium on Thursday.
Elsewhere, Jurgen Klopp could see his side set a new points record if they pick up at least 15 points from their remaining seven fixtures.
Milner won his first two Premier League crowns while on City’s books and is expecting a strong response from his former side next season. He has now called on the entire Reds squad to be ready to step up to the challenge.
“It’s about getting that balance right between enjoying it and getting ready to go again.” Milner told The Times.
“You see how difficult it is for any team to defend the title. City managed it last season, when they got 98 points, but they tried twice before and failed.
“Those two times I was there we were never at the races – and that was everybody. That’s something I’ve learned from. This team has proved we can react well and go again after a disappointment.”
“Being as good next year as our Liverpool side has been this year won’t be enough because City will raise their game and so will Manchester United and other clubs.
“All these teams are pushing for the top and when you’re right at the very top everyone wants to take it away from you.
“We are now there to be shot at – and we have to be big enough to deal with that. We have to keep pushing.”
Is there a power shift in England already? And just how long can Liverpool maintain their dominance as a force to be reckoned with once again.