Liverpool have been warned by Paul Ince that they will not win the Premier League title for as long as Pep Guardiola remains in charge of Manchester City.
The Reds had been hoping to see a 29-year wait for a top-flight crown come to an end in 2018-19.
A thrilling battle for domestic supremacy went down to the final day, but Jurgen Klopp’s side came up a point short as City successfully cemented a standing at the summit of the English game.
Those at Anfield could not have done much more, having claimed 97 points and suffered only one defeat, but have still been forced to settle for a runners-up spot.
Ince fears that will remain the case while a Catalan coach rules the roost at the Etihad Stadium, with the former Reds midfielder telling BT Sport: “As long as Pep is at City, they won’t win it.
“If Pep was to move, then I think Liverpool have more chance of winning it.
“I don’t want that to happen because Klopp has done a fabulous job.
“But he’s so reliant on the front three. He’s brought [Xherdan] Shaqiri in and not given him enough game-time.
“If [Roberto] Firmino is injured who comes in? [Divock] Origi was on loan in Belgium [sic] so he’s not going to play week in, week out.
“The City team is world class, Liverpool could add two or three to that.
“They can always keep challenging but I don’t think they’ve got enough to beat them.”
Klopp has admitted that, despite all of his efforts, City were marginally better than Liverpool this season.
He said after seeing a 2-0 win over Wolves count for little in the grand scheme of things: “The team made so many big steps in the last year.
“The boys were all there from last season apart from Alisson. He had a big impact but all the rest were here last season.
“It’s a very special season, a better season than I played with my team [Borussia Dortmund] when we were champions in Germany.
“But we cannot ignore one team were better.
“It’s clear we were lucky in moments, like City were.
“The season is a very long, hard one. You have to deal with setbacks. We were always competitive.
“City got the points they have because we were there. They have 198 points in two years, that’s special.
“We made such big steps. It’s only the first step. Always after a good year we lost key players [in the past] but we won’t [this time] so we’ll be there again.”