Is Liverpool’s squad now stronger than Manchester City’s?

Tsimikas would ease into the starting line-up of pretty much every Premier League team other than Liverpool, City and a fully fit Chelsea. He replaced Robertson with two assists, his set pieces maintaining a season-long trend given Liverpool’s expertise from corners and free kicks. The Greek may lack some of the defensive refinement of Robertson, but he has excelled whenever called upon.

Firmino has become more of an understudy for the biggest fixtures, and yet in recent weeks the benefits of less game time since Christmas have been manifest. Far from winding down as he, like Salah and Mane, prepares to head into the final year of his contract, the Brazilian has done enough to earn an extension – even if the next few years may see him start fewer games.

The jury is out as to who is the most effective defensive partner for Van Dijk. Joel Matip’s senior status just about edges out Konate. Against rapid strikers, the young Frenchman generally gets the nod.

And then there is the evergreen James Milner, Klopp’s on-field lieutenant, who made a rare start on Wednesday. Milner is out of contract this summer, but his influence over the last six years is such that it feels like Klopp will want him around for as long as he is, especially when he needs some game management to close out winning positions – even if there is a risk Milner’s new nickname might as well be ‘bonus’ given the number of injury-time appearances from the bench.

Klopp has so much quality in reserve nowadays, quadruple hopes were enhanced by those who did not play as much as those who completed the job in this tie.

Whatever Liverpool go on to achieve this season, by making his squad look stronger than City’s, Klopp has pulled off another improbable feat.

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