Joe Allen believes Yaya Toure’s admission that Liverpool gave him his toughest match of the season is evidence of the improvement the club have made under Brendan Rodgers.
The Reds held the Premier League champions to a 2-2 draw when the two sides met at Anfield earlier in the season and, with the corresponding fixture taking place at the Etihad on Sunday, Allen hopes to take all three points.
“Most people would agree that we deserved to win that game,” he told the club’s official website.
“We didn’t quite have that bit of luck that sometimes you need to see games like that through.
“For the likes of Yaya Toure to say that it’s the toughest game he’s played in is probably the credit that this team deserves in terms of the way we can play. Let’s hope we can do that again.”
Allen is unable to test himself once more against the big Ivorian as Toure is currently away at the Afcon, but the 22-year-old insists he relishes the physical challenge of competing against players of the Ivorian’s size.
“It’s a massive task coming up against the physical nature of a player like him. They are the challenges that you look forward to,” he added.
“It’s a no-brainer that on a physical level I’m going to be able to compete with him, but you have to find solutions to get around that. That’s what I’ll be working on.”