London - Jurgen Klopp believes his Liverpool side are at last a genuine match for Manchester City despite this week's 2-1 loss to the Premier League champions.
Thursday's defeat was the first time Liverpool had lost in the league season, but they still remained four points clear at the top of the table from their title rivals.
The Reds beat City three times last term but Liverpool manager Klopp believes his side are a now much-improved outfit.
"From my point of view we were never on a level with City since I came in," said Klopp.
"We won games against them, especially since Pep, but in these games City were better."
The German added: "We only scored more goals, but the possession was at least 60:40 for them in all the games but we won them. Now it was 50:50.
"Last year the Champions League (quarter-final) game at home when we won 3-0 it was a brilliant game but we were under pressure in a lot of moments.
"I don't know if we had more than four shots on target but we were quite clinical that day.
"This game was different to all the other ones we have played so far. Away to City is the most difficult game you can imagine at the moment.
"Yes we lost 2-1 but no-one would have been surprised if it was a draw and with a little bit of luck we could have won the game," said Klopp, whose side face fellow Premier League club Wolves in the FA Cup third round on Sunday.