Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan wouldn’t bat an eyelid if Liverpool were awarded this season’s Premier League title by default, saying “you have to be sporting” in certain situations.
Jurgen Klopp’s side were on course for a record-breaking campaign and sat 25 points clear with nine games to play when play was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Citizens sat second with one game in hand, four points ahead of Leicester City in third.
There’s a growing sentiment the 2019-20 season could be called as null and void if the disruptions to this season endure long enough, but Gundogan told ZDF (via the Mirror’s Mark Jones) he’d understand if the Merseysiders were crowned champions: “It would be okay for me [if Liverpool are named champions], you have to be sporting.”
The Reds had won 27 of their 29 matches before the football calendar was put on hold. Watford thrashed the leaders 3-0 on February 29, their first top-flight defeat in more than a year.
Liverpool were on track to finally end their 30-year wait for a league title and needed only two more victories to guarantee that fate, regardless of City’s comeback attempts. Pep Guardiola said in late January the Reds “obviously will be champions” of the Premier League this term, via Hayters TV:
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin recently told La Repubblica (via Tommaso Fiore of Sky Sports) the season will “probably be lost” if Europe’s footballing organisations are unable to resume their campaigns by the end of June.
Gundogan, 29, spent four years playing under Klopp at Borussia Dortmund, and some City team-mates will likely disagree with his sporting approach when City have a mathematical chance of closing the gap.