Manchester City and Liverpool write an exciting new English 'Clasico' chapter in the friendliest managerial rivalry

Football rivalries are often difficult to define.

USA About: Liverpool Publish: 04/11/2022 Edit: 04/11/2022 Author: Gardener


Manchester CityFootball rivalries are often difficult to define. This is in large part due to the numerous complex historical, sometimes political, reasons that have shaped decades-long feuds between two opposing fan groups. In recent seasons, Liverpool and Manchester City have provided fans of English football with some of the most exciting duels the English Premier League has ever seen. The fact that these two clubs essentially played each other in a league of their own in the division has created a certain disdain between the sides and their fans. But prior to the last four seasons, neither fan would have a bad word to say about the other lost. The current iterations of these two sides are probably the most talented this league has seen, but a duel of talent alone doesn't make a great rivalry. This duel has undoubtedly earned the label of English football's new "Clasico" bestowed on it by some sections of the media, although it certainly lacks the punch of its Spanish namesake. Even Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola and Liverpool counterpart Jurgen Klopp, two intense characters widely regarded as two of the greatest tactical masterminds of their generation, did their best not to arouse any animosity in the build, with both men giving each other plenty of praise. Klopp called his counterpart 'the best coach in the world' and Guardiola returned the favor by insisting the German 'make world football a better place to live'. Guardiola even went so far as to say he believes that the Liverpool team is "the toughest opponent I've faced in my 13 years as a manager." READ: Security forces in Qatar face conditions that "equate to forced labour". Ferguson and Arsene Wenger dominated the headlines for weeks leading up to the often epic clashes between Manchester United and Arsenal. The rivalry peaked in 2004 when United ended Arsenal's 49-game unbeaten streak with a 2-0 win at Old Trafford. After the game, the coach and player exchanged words before Ferguson was hurled in the face with a slice of pizza - the incident was dubbed the "pizzagate" or "battle of the buffet". There had even been a physical altercation on the touchline before that: see Wenger and Jose Mourinho in 2014. But when a bromance on the touchline flourished at Etihad Stadium on Sunday, the players on the pitch had the memo during a thrilling 2-2 Certainly not a draw in a game with Liverpool twice he came from behind after Kevin de Bruyne gave City an early lead and Gabriel Jesus gave the home side a 2-1 lead. The Liverpool players in particular seemed intent on angering their opponents and making matters as fiery as possible. Referee Anthony Taylor certainly played. He helped fuel the increasingly hectic atmosphere by allowing a number of fouls to go unpunished. Fabinho in particular was perhaps lucky to stay on the pitch after planting his cleats on Bernardo Silva's ankle during a lunge r the ball. The stewards also had their hands full pushing out a number of Liverpool fans, who appeared in the home team after Diogo Jota and Sadio Mane equalized for the visitors. On one occasion, two stewards had to fend off the advances of a City fan who aimed a wild haymaker at the Liverpool supporters who had been led away. Kevin De Bruyne (right) was brilliant against Liverpool. On the pitch, the quality on offer remained unbelievably high throughout, with Klopp and Guardiola constantly scampering around in their technical areas, shouting instructions into their players' ears whenever one of them was within earshot. De Bruyne in particular was a phenomenon. Even if Karim Benzema made his claim as the world's best footballer against Chelsea in the last Champions League quarter-finals, the Belgian was able to make his own claim to that title in Sunday's game. 'He's got everything... he's the complete striker': Karim Benzema continues to claim to be the best player in the world. Not only was De Bruyne the orchestra for everything that City produced, he was the engine of the team. Even as the clock ticked into injury time, the Belgium international was always the first City player to chase the ball when Liverpool were in possession. It's hard to say which team will leave Sunday's game happier with the 2-2 draw. City were probably superior overall and will be frustrated that they didn't deserve the win, but still walk away with their points advantage intact at the top of the table. Liverpool, meanwhile, will know they were overplayed in the first half and will be relieved to have salvaged a draw and need a slip from City if Klopp's side are to have a shot at the league title. A thrilling draw was a just result for two teams that have been almost inseparable not only this season but also in the last four. In their last 145 games, City have accumulated 339 points, just one more than Liverpool over the same period. The managers unsurprisingly ended the game in amicable fashion, exchanging a meaty high five and a bear hug. Although neither player gave an inch, the pitch remained warm after the final whistle, receiving praise from a number of players in red. In the media conference after the game, Guardiola was asked by The Athletic if he would line up his team to make it more like Liverpool plays. "Yes," was his reply.


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