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Pep Guardiola: I Have Tried To Copy Liverpool

The City manager acknowledged the role his side’s biggest rival in Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool have played in his development.

Manchester City v Liverpool - Carabao Cup Fourth Round Photo by Daniel Chesterton/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool and Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City have gifted the game some of the most thrilling matches of football in the eight seasons they two heavyweights have clashed.

The 4-1 Premier League win 2015 that introduced England to the newcomer Klopp’s gegenpress, the thrilling 4-3 league victory in 2018, the heartbreaking 2-1 loss in 2019 that effectively decided the league title, and the first half blitzkrieg in 2022 that saw Liverpool win 3-2 on their way to lifting the FA Cup.

Much of the joy in each year’s edition of football was watching the game’s two transcendent sides and coaching minds play out the neverending chess game of move and tactical countermove as each club pushed the other to ludicrous new heights.

“I learned a lot watching by Liverpool,” the Manchester City boss admitted speaking ahead of his FA Cup clash with league leaders, Arsenal.

“[Liverpool have been] the team I watched the most, for obvious reasons, because they were our biggest rival in the last years.

“And they’re going to come back sooner or later, knowing the club, and the manager, and of course, players they have.”

Neither side has performed to the insane standards they have set this season, with City five points off the league summit with an additional match played, while a Reds squad ailing and in transition have been mired in mid-table.

However, the ex-Barcelona manager was quick to acknowledge—as Klopp also has in the past—the influence his rival has played in the evolution of his squad.

“I tried to copy some things, if I feel it. If I like it, feel it, can adapt with the players I have.

“Not because they have success, that means I’m going to copy and paste. No, no, no!”

The DNA of those all-conquering squads still remains, having provided the game with some of its most enduring moments and memories. Liverpool supporters at least will be hoping that despite those days are not now in the past and that these two sides can continue to write football history together for years to come.

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