So, that just happened.
Liverpool will be facing very familiar opposition in the quarterfinals of this year’s Champions League. From a footballing perspective, it will be a decent contest, if this season’s league fixtures were anything to go by. From a “romance-of-European-football” perspective, it’s a bit less exciting.
How do some of the representatives and observers of the two clubs feel about the matchup?
Manchester City’s director of football, Txiki Begiristain, was unsurprisingly diplomatic and said all the right things about facing Liverpool in a European fixture.
TXIKI: "In the Champions League there is no time for mistakes, everything has to work, you have to be almost perfect in both games.— Manchester City (@ManCity) March 16, 2018
"We know the power and the strength of Liverpool - in the league they beat us away and we beat them at home."
Club legend Ian Rush took a similar tack and didn’t rock the boat too much in his assessment of the matchup:
“It’s a great advert for the English game, though,” said Rush. “They’ve beaten us once, we’ve beaten them once, so it’s all to play for.”
“I think when you’re Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus, Bayern Munich, this is a bit different. They know us, we know them and I think it’s going to be really interesting.”
What about the main man himself, Jürgen Klopp? Liverpool’s manager was his usual blunt self, speaking to the club’s website.
“I’ve said it before and it’s still the truth, it’s always common in a draw that you’ll get your neighbor, more or less, but to be honest I don’t mind, really,” stated Klopp. “We’ve lost once and we’ve won once against them in the league – and I don’t think they thought before the best draw they could have got is Liverpool. That’s a sign for us and how strong we can be.”
“It is like it is should be in the last eight,” he added, echoing a sentiment shared by a good number of supporters. “It was clear we would face a strong team. Now we have Man City. The good thing is they are the team we know most about. It’s not too cool for England because now only one team can go to the semis. But we will try everything.”