JOHANNESBURG. — Khama Billiat’s Kaizer Chiefs, who have opened a huge lead at the top of the South African Premiership table, have been likened to the way Liverpool have taken control in England. On Sunday Liverpool stretched their lead at the top of the standings to nine points, while Amakhosi have opened a 10-point gap between them and second-placed Mamelodi Sundowns.
Roger De Sa, who coached Pirates from 2012 to 2013, believes the Absa Premiership title is now the Glamour Boys’ to lose.
“Chiefs are looking very good, I must say. They can maintain it because nobody seems to keep pace hey. They look like Liverpool in England. It looks like they are starting to run away with it.”
De Sa, who is a part-owner of Cape Umoya United, says he will always be available to coach again if any team approaches him.
“I probably will, but I don’t know when. It could be a national team, it could be a team outside of the country, it could be a Sunday league team, I don’t know, we’ll see,” he adds.
“I’m available today, tomorrow. I can do what I want at the moment. It depends what happens, it depends who calls and for what reason and for anything else I’m not desperate, you know what I mean?
“I’m not jobless, I’m not on the unemployment list you know.’’
Liverpool have lived through too many false dawns to take a first English Premier League football title in 30 years for granted.
But, in overpowering their biggest rivals Manchester City 3-1 to open up an eight-point lead at the top of the table, they showed why the long wait looks set to end.
Only City’s brilliance kept Jurgen Klopp’s men waiting last season when even the third highest points tally in the league’s history still saw the Reds miss out on the title by a single point. That disappointment has broken Liverpool sides of the past who have finished second best and quickly regressed.
But Klopp’s outfit are a different mould. A mix of strength and blistering speed, blended with the inspiration of a fan base that has waited too long to see another title challenge falter.
“At Anfield yesterday you could not escape the stirring evidence of a team on a mission,” said The Times newspaper.
“Even those of a Manchester City persuasion could not fail to see opponents more ruthless than last year, even more committed to this challenge.”
Ruthlessness was the difference between the two sides. Where Fabinho, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane produced differing finishes each of their own special quality, City’s difference makers were wayward.
Sergio Aguero is still to score at Anfield and the usually clinical Argentine may not get a better chance than the one he dragged wide with just Alisson Becker to beat just before half-time.
Raheem Sterling thrived off the jibes of the fans he left to join City four years ago as he twisted, turned and teased England teammate Trent Alexander-Arnold but always found an extra Liverpool body in the way to thwart him.
The course of the game and the title race could have been very different had Alexander-Arnold been penalised for a handball inside his own box 22 seconds before Fabinho struck the first dagger into City’s hearts just six minutes in.
When Salah stooped to head home Andy Robertson’s brilliant in-swinging cross seven minutes later, Liverpool had scored with their first two attacks. While the European champions’ efficiency was exceptional, the holes in City’s defence were entirely predictable.
“There is still seven months to go. If Liverpool win the title, I will be the first to congratulate them for how good they are,” said Guardiola. “We want to fight until the end.” — Kick-Off/AFP.