Guardiola says Liverpool continues to be Man City’s greatest risk


MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Pep Guardiola is satisfied that midtable Liverpool stays Manchester City’s greatest risk within the Premier League this season forward of their recreation at Anfield on Sunday.

The City supervisor has warned his gamers they face defeat if they’re as “soft” as they’ve been in latest encounters with their rival.

Second-place City sits 13 factors forward of Liverpool, with Jurgen Klopp conceding his group will not be in rivalry for the title after its early-season struggles. But Guardiola insists final season’s runner-up continues to be the primary challenger to defending champion City.

“Always has been, always it is and always will be,” Guardiola mentioned Friday. “I know the quality they have, they know the quality we have. So if I was asked this question with five or 10 games left, I will say I think Liverpool cannot catch the top of the league — in that case Arsenal.

“But being in the position that we are, with the World Cup, everything can still happen.”

Guardiola has solely managed one win at Anfield since taking cost of City in 2016 — a 4-1 victory in 2021 with no followers allowed due to COVID-19 restrictions.

But Guardiola dismissed solutions that Anfield, and its famously intense environment, has been a big consider his struggles to win there.

“Of course the crowd is involved in every stadium, but basically because they have a good team,” he mentioned. “It is one (of) the biggest ones (for atmosphere), the nicest ones, and it’s a joy to be there … But as I said before it is a football game, it’s Liverpool and what is important is the quality that they have.”

Liverpool beat City 3-1 within the Community Shield in August and likewise received 3-2 in final season’s FA Cup semifinals.

“Maybe in the last two games we were a little bit soft for different circumstances,” Guardiola mentioned. “You have to win duels. When they push you, you have to push. When they are there, you have to be there. The semifinals of the FA Cup, it was tough to recover the incredible effort we had done in Champions League. In the Community Shield, still we were not ready. They were in one pace higher than us and without that, against that team, you cannot compete.”

Meanwhile, Klopp says Liverpool can’t afford to pay attention an excessive amount of on City striker Erling Haaland, who has scored 20 objectives already this season.

“Like always when you play against the best striker in the world, you have to make sure he doesn’t get that many balls,” Klopp mentioned. “But against City the problem is if you close Haaland down with too many players, then you open up gaps for all the other world-class players, so that will not make life easier.”


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