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Pep Guardiola Compliments Jurgen Klopp, Chats Bollocks About Anfield

The Manchester City boss once again decided to tempt fate by downplaying Anfield’s impact on opposition teams.

Liverpool FC v Manchester City - Premier League Photo by Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images

Liverpool welcome Manchester City to Anfield on Sunday. As has often been been the case since Jurgen Klopp arrived, it is another big, big occasion. The two sides have trade blows across several domestic competitions and in the Champions League quarterfinals.

And Liverpool have often come out on top, especially at Anfield. There is obvious respect between Klopp and Pep Guardiola, the two managers who are widely considered to be the best in the business.

“He (Klopp) helped me, his teams helped me to be a better manager,” Guardiola explained. “Give me another level to think about it, prove myself, what I have to do to be a better manager with our teams to try and beat them.

“It’s the reason why I’m still in this business. There are some managers, Jurgen is one, to challenge you to move a step forward. In Germany when we face each other, I couldn’t face him in Barcelona.

“Here in England we have many years, many competitions together. Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose. Every game was nice, both teams have the same idea, go to score goals in different ways. He is quicker than us, but in the same way to win the games.”

As I said, the respect is obvious.

His thoughts on Anfield, on the other hand, are far less respectful. Despite having a woeful record on the Red half of Merseyside—having only one win, in front of an empty Anfield, no less—Pep played down the importance of the crowd.

“I am sure the players enjoy more to play with fans in Anfield than without,” Guardiola said. “We didn’t win at Anfield I don’t know the reasons, the last four or five years because it’s an exceptional team.

“The crowd helps, like in Paris, but it happens in big stadiums. In Germany at Dortmund or Atletico Madrid. It happens, not a lot for intimidation but the quality of the opponent.

“We do our game with or without spectators.”

Yes, Pep. The quality of opponent. Definitely nothing to do with the 50,000 plus raving mad Scousers.

Listen, I get it. He has to put on a brave face going into a big game. But the metaphorical graveyard that is Anfield is filled to the brim with players and managers uttering the famous last words before being on the receiving end of a big defeat.

Let’s hope Pep is once again eating his words when the final whistle blows on Sunday.