Jurgen Klopp believes Manchester City are playing the best football in the Premier League, but claims Liverpool are edging ever closer to catching Pep Guardiola's rampant side.
14 points separate Liverpool and Manchester City in the league table ahead of their respective derbies this weekend, and the Reds boss identified City's form as the benchmark for the season, whilst ensuring he did not discount the danger Manchester United pose.
Speaking to Sky Sports ahead of Liverpool's clash with Everton, Klopp said: "At this moment, Man City's players are obviously playing the best football in the league. Then, I think we are not too far away to play maybe the second best.
"But still Man Utd have more points, they are more successful in the season and they won the [Champions League] group stage earlier than we did."
After the Reds secured their place in the round of 16 in the Champions League for the first time since 2008/09, following their 7-0 win over Spartak Moscow in midweek, Klopp made a point of insisting that the Reds must feature consistently in the competition to make the progress he desires.
He added: "I want to show how big and great this club and how much we can reach in the future if we really are ready to make the steps.
"And every year we want to try and be in the Champions League. But as long as there are only four clubs, then you have the problem that you still have to get a lot of points in the league.
Liverpool comedian Jürgen Klopp says the Liverpool aren't that far away from Manchester City.— Footy Accumulators (@FootyAccums) December 8, 2017
Aye Jürgen, I'm not that far away from getting Demi Rose to go on a date with me either.
"It is our ambition, we want to be there and I think we have a good chance to do it. But still difficult.
"Our squad is really good and balanced. Since the first day, the only thing people are talking about is we did not buy a centre-half."
Liverpool, like City, United, Tottenham and Chelsea, will find out their fate in the next round of the Champions League when the draw takes place on Monday.