True, it was only a friendly, but last Sunday’s heavyweight Community Shield clash between Liverpool and Manchester City was yet another riveting episode in a fierce rivalry. Last season, both clubs set records as they lay waste to the most competitive of the Europe’s Top 5 leagues, with the Reds going one further in routing the continent’s traditional powerhouses on their way to lifting a sixth European Cup.
Domestically, it is moot point that the road to supremacy lies through both of these sides, with last season’s two fixtures between the pair crucial in deciding the Premier League title. Even more so, the evolving tactical battle between the Red’s charismatic Jurgen Klopp and City’s prolific Pep Guardiola whenever they meet on the pitch is a source of unending fascination. City appear to have gained the edge shifting in recent clashes, winning two of the last three matches, including the Community Shield.
Ex-Arsenal and Man United striker, Robin Van Persie praised both clubs as being on another level when discussing the two recently on BT Sport:
“I think what we learnt [on Sunday] is that these two teams, Liverpool and Manchester City, are the best teams.”
“The way they play, the way they go in behind, the way they hurt opponents with their fast attackers. The midfield is always there, it’s very strong.”
However, the former Premier League legend still believes that Liverpool hold the psychological advantage over their rivals, in part due to several batterings City have suffered at the hands of Klopp’s Reds in seasons past:
“City, I think, are scared of Liverpool,” the Dutchman went on to say. “City, in a way, are scared of nobody except Liverpool.”
The teams boast two of the most balanced and talent-laden squads in the world, backed by some of the strongest club infrastructures in the sport and helmed by two of modern game’s greatest minds in Klopp and Guardiola. That final, arguably most vital, component of the equation will continue until at least the 2021-22 season when Guardiola’s contract is set to end, followed by his Anfield counterpart a year later.
This season, however, the two clubs will go again as Liverpool look to end their wait for a maiden Premier League title and the Citizens covet the Champions League cup in their rival’s possession. The German and his Reds take to the arena once again as they kick off the season against Norwich City this evening in the Premier League and, thrillingly, we go again.