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What Xabi Alonso was doing during Liverpool FA Cup defeat speaks volumes

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Latest Liverpool news with Xabi Alonso among the favourites to succeed Jurgen Klopp at Anfield as Bayer Leverkusen’s extraordinary Bundesliga season continues.

Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen stretched their unbeaten run in all competitions to 38 games as they beat Freiburg 3-2 on Sunday.

The result kept Leverkusen 10 points clear of Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga table as Alonso’s team close in on a shock title win. Leverkusen have eight games left, meaning they need five more wins to guarantee the German league title.

Leverkusen’s latest win came amid Liverpool’s 4-3 FA Cup defeat at Manchester United on Sunday. The Reds saw their hopes of a historic quadruple end at Old Trafford as Amad Diallo’s late goal in extra-time clinched the quarter-final tie for Erik ten Hag’s side.

Liverpool’s defeat to their bitter rivals was all the more galling with legendary manager Jurgen Klopp stepping down in the summer. The German will, however, still end the season with silverware after February’s Carabao Cup win – and the Reds are still in the hunt for a treble with the Premier League title race wide open and a place in the Europa League quarter-finals against Atalanta secured.

Alonso is seen as one of the leading contenders to replace Klopp this summer and Leverkusen’s impressive performances are adding stock to his growing reputation as a coach. Like Liverpool, Leverkusen could also end the 2023/24 campaign with three trophies.

Along with their commanding Bundesliga title-race lead, Leverkusen are also in the German Cup semi-finals and could meet Klopp’s Reds in the Europa League final at Dublin Arena on May 22.

Speaking about links with the Liverpool job, Alonso has previously said his focus is on the job he is currently doing in Germany: “Speculation is normal, my focus is here on Bayer Leverkusen. I am very happy at Leverkusen with my players at the moment.

“[It was a] big surprise in Liverpool, of course — for what Jurgen did in Liverpool I have great respect and admiration. I am really happy here. I am enjoying my work here.

“I am feeling each day and each game is a challenge. I am on a beautiful journey in Leverkusen. The next one, I don’t know. I am thinking about where I am right now. I am in a great place and I am enjoying.”

 

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