The Manchester City players, just like their Merseyside opponents, were running on fumes by the end of the Capital One Cup final last night. Yes, the win was a big boost for the players and their manager Manuel Pellegrini, who has been under severe scrutiny ever since Pep Guardiola was named as his replacement for next season, but it doesn't bode well for the club's immediate Premier League future.
Manchester City once again play Liverpool on Wednesday - this time in the Premier League - followed by Aston Villa on Saturday. City might be out of contention for the league title by the end of this week.
Pellegrini shouldn't be too fazed by this. He has already won the Premier League once, but the Champions League crown has remained elusive for the club thus far. A dominant performance against Dynamo Kiev in the first leg of the round of 16 matches has put City in a great position to progress into the quarterfinals and further ahead.
Now Pellegrini should just focus on the Champions League, irrespective of what happens in the race for the league title. If he can inspire the likes of Yaya Toure, David Silva and Vincent Kompany - who might not be around once Guardiola arrives - and De Bruyne and Delph are fit again, Manchester City can go the distance.
Yes, looking at Barcelona's form at the moment, the Champions League title would seem a foregone conclusion. However, Arsenal showed for over 70 minutes last week that the Catalan club's famed front three can be dealt with and neutralised.
It's still a long way away, and Sergio Aguero's fitness will be the key for Manchester City. Nonetheless, Pellegrini needs to carefully, but assuredly, drill it into his players that this season the Champions League is their primary target.