Jurgen Klopp now has three priorities as Liverpool must accept Manchester City truth

The Premier League title appears out of question but Liverpool still have a big chance to win the Champions League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup.

<p>Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. Picture: LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images</p>

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. Picture: LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images

There won't be anyone in the Liverpool camp who'll come out and admit is publicly.

Jurgen Klopp was steadfast that the Reds won't be waving the white flag in the Premier League title race ahead of the weekend.

And even with the gap to the summit growing, that will still be the sentiment inside the Anfield dressing room.

City’s dominance

Following the latest set of results, Manchester City have stretched further clear in the bid to defend their silverware.

Following a gutsy comeback victory at Arsenal, Pep Guardiola's side's position was strengthened as their two nearest rivals - Liverpool and Chelsea - played out a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

The Reds are now 11 points behind City. And even having a game in hand and with more than a third of the season remaining, the gulf looks impossible to close.

Virgil van Dijk applauds the fans after Liverpool’s 2-2 draw with Chelsea. Picture: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Virgil van Dijk doesn't see it that way.

“They have the title to lose at the moment but anything can happen," he told Sky Sports after the Chelsea draw.

"We've been there and given it away so anything is possible.

"We just have to get results, play good football and win games."

Had Klopp been in the capital, rather than isolating after testing positive for Covid-19, his rhetoric would have been similar.

But what the Liverpool manager and players say in public might be starkly contrasting to what they're thinking behind the scenes.

Man City are in imperious form and have the incomparable squad to match.

To compound the Reds’ stern task, they now have to negotiate a period without their two men attacking threats, Mo Salah and Sadio Mane, as they head off to the African Cup of Nations.

With Roberto Firmino isolating after contracting coronavirus, along with Takumi Minamino and Divock Origi currently out injured, there is a concerning dearth of attacking options.

The spine of the team has also been impacted, with Alisson and Joel Matip having Covid and Thiago Alcantara on the treatment table.

Sadio Mane celebrates his opening goal in Liveprool’s draw with Chelsea. Picture: DRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images

Shift of priorities

To be frank, Liverpool's priorities simply have to change. That's not to say they'll surrender the Premier League title altogether.

But the pragmatic thing would be to shift more focus on the three competitions they remain in.

The Champions League would be the prime concern.

In fairness, it’s always been on the same par as the league from the start of the campaign - and plenty of fans would rather win it than the league

The European Cup is the hardest club competition in the world to win. That’s why it’s so sweet when teams claim the ultimate triumph. Just remember the emotions of Madrid in 2019. And how can anyone forget that night in Istanbul in 2005.

A seventh European crown would put the Reds joint-second on the all-time list alongside AC Milan.

Klopp's troops face Serie A champions Inter Milan in the last 16. It's no walkover and they’ll have to be at their zenith to get into the next round.

A walk up Wembley Way

Domestic competitions haven't been in the forefront of Klopp's mind since he arrived in 2015, they should now be a greater concern.

Jurgen Klopp hoists the Champions League trophy aloft. Picture: Michael Regan/Getty Images

Liverpool can see the Wembley carrot dangling in the Carabao Cup. They face Arsenal in the semi-finals, with the first leg at the Emirates on Thursday evening.

Klopp's only taken the Reds to the national stadium once, excluding the Community Shield.

And how a cup final in the capital is yearned by supporters.

Many would, if they could pick the competition, go to Wembley in the FA Cup rather than the Carabao Cup if it was only one they could select.

Not since 2006 have Liverpool won the historic competition. Not since 2012 have they reached the final. Under Klopp, the fifth round is as far as the Reds have reached.

Some might pour scorn on the tournament but there are still an abundance of supporters who value it highly.

Liverpool face League One Shrewsbury in the third round next weekend. That's a banana skin that should be avoided.

With Klopp likely to leave Liverpool at the end of his contract in 2024, time is running out to adorn the Anfield trophy cabinet with more silverware.

A Champions League, Premier League and Club World Cup is so far an excellent return - but more is craved.

It's time to be prudent and create more history in the competitions still within Liverpool's grip this season.