WEDNESDAY'S BIG STORIES

Congratulations City

It turns out having 16,000 different first XIs makes a big difference when everyone else is sellotaping their few remaining players together. Manchester City may not have anything resembling a functional No. 9 – Gabriel Jesus, we all know what you are and it’s not a striker – but when you can swap Raheem Sterling and Jack Grealish for Riyad Mahrez and Phil Foden, or Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan for Kevin De Bruyne and Fernandinho, you’re going to be OK.
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And City are more than OK. Without even kicking a ball, the Premier League title has fallen into their lap after Liverpool's 1-0 defeat to Leicester City. Mo Salah, desperate to get any remaining mistakes out of his system before January rolls around and the hunt to finish runner-up to Lionel Messi in the 2022 Ballon d'Or begins, missed a penalty but in truth Liverpool looked a bit naff. So naff that the league's League trophy engraver is already practising his capital Ms and Cs.
It was meant to be different. With fans back in the Anfield cauldron this season, Chelsea’s silly strengthening and Manchester United supposedly a relevant force again, The Warm-Up must concede we had City down to finish fourth. Yet it turns out this City side continue to be the world’s best, regardless of the Harry Kane-shaped hole at the head of their team.
Their coronation now looks inevitable. Six points clear of Liverpool and Chelsea, a gap that could be 12 by the time the Reds next play, and a squad so bulging that not even an unpredictable virus can halt them.

Ademola Lookman celebrates scoring for Leicester

Image credit: Getty Images

This is normally the stage we shoehorn in the latest instalment of Jurgen Klopp's one-man moaning mission, but his latest comments are actually very interesting and he doesn't mention the schedule once, so really savour this rare occasion.
"So often these boys give me a chance to say 'wow' what a game. Tonight it's 'wow', but in completely the other way. It didn't look good," he said.
"It's a big gap. To top that, Chelsea and us play against each other. It was not our plan to give City the chance to run away. If we play like tonight we cannot think about catching up with City.
"If we play our football and we can win games, we can see how many points we can get and what that means.
I don't have a proper explanation for tonight - to find it is my main concern, not City.
We have 11:30am in the When Will Klopp Next Moan Unnecessarily sweepstake.

Officiating hits new lows

We’re not going to make excuses for a team that played against 10 men for over 50 minutes and still failed to turn a 1-1 draw into a win. Well, actually we’re going to make two and then move on.
We were told in the run-up to this campaign that toenail offsides were in the past. Yet VAR just couldn’t resist when Harry Kane’s shoulder had the temerity to creep alongside Jan Bednarek as Harry Winks clipped a delicious ball over the top during Southampton v Tottenham.
Moments later, Anthony Taylor was furiously peeping on his whistle after Matt Doherty committed the unforgivable sin of being jumped into by a goalkeeper.
Then again, Spurs were terrible and a point was probably fair.

IN THE CHANNELS

Look everyone, stop praising Arsene Wenger for building Arsenal from the ground up and give Troopz from AFTV his dues. Come on Arsenal, doesn’t the man who makes you relevant deserve a free season ticket?

RETRO CORNER

Referees have always been useless, so strap in and relive the daddy of them all: Chelsea v Barcelona in the 2009 Champions League.

COMING UP

The action never stops. Chelsea face Brighton (19:30) and Brentford meet Man City (20:15).
Andi Thomas is here for those delightful games tomorrow
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