Stuart Pearce believes Liverpool should be regarded as the favourites to win the Champions League this season
Jurgen Klopp’s side reached the Champions League semi-finals for the first time in a decade on Tuesday night, after a 2-1 second-leg win at the Etihad Stadium sealed a 5-1 aggregate victory over the Premier League leaders.
Liverpool are joined in Friday’s last-four draw by Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Roma, and Pearce believes Klopp’s side look the most impressive heading into the semi-finals.
Speaking on The Debate, Pearce said: “Beating City, it’s given the football club a massive lift because they now think they can probably lift the trophy this year.
“Prior to both games against City they probably thought to themselves that it wasn’t a great draw. You never want a team from the same country, especially with the form City have been in but they beat them twice.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp considers Manchester City as the best team in the world but was confident of a win over two legs
“They’ve not just got through over two legs, they’ve beaten them twice and it must give you a massive lift, especially when you look around Europe and think all these teams are conceding goals and we’ve got a team that can score goals.”
He added: “I think out of the quarter-finals they looked like the most impressive team heading into the semi-finals.
Watch former Liverpool captain Phil Thompson react in the Soccer Special studio as Liverpool equalise against Manchester City in the Champions League
“I personally would put them in near enough as favourites from what I’ve seen over the last couple of nights in regards to the opposition they are up against.”
Liverpool will find out their last-four opponent on Friday when the draw for the Champions League semi-finals takes place in Nyon, Switzerland.
Liverpool players celebrate a goal against Manchester City in the Champions League quarterfinal
And while Pearce thinks Liverpool should not be afraid of anybody left in the competition, their style would benefit from playing the first leg at home.
“What might help Liverpool is being drawn at home first,” he said.
“Normally the old saying used to be get drawn away and then with the second leg at home we’ll get them at home.
“The way Liverpool play and the way they play on the counter-attack, they’ll be delighted to go away from home even or with their noses in front because they will score on the road with the way they play.”