Pep Guardiola accuses Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp of making ‘excuses’ for faltering title defence
Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola have enjoyed a long and hard-fought rivalry that has transcended nations. Both managers, amongst the best in the field, fought it out in the Bundesliga before bringing their rivalry to English shores.
It is fitting that they now find themselves at arguably the two best teams in the country in what has become a rivalry to remember. Set to face each other once again tonight, sparks were sure to fly.
According to The Guardian, Guardiola has taken exception to Klopp bringing up the two-week rest City had in December due to a slew of COVID cases in their ranks. The Catalan is keen to confront the Liverpool manager when they meet later tonight on Merseyside.
“I will ask him on Sunday the reason why he is saying that.”
Not a word in his vocabulary
Speaking in his presser on Friday, Klopp suggested that his side are suffering from fatigue while claiming City benefitted from their unexpected two-week hiatus in December. Guardiola, however, believes there was no reason for the Liverpool boss to bring it up and has accused him of making excuses for his side’s flagging title defence.
“It’s finding excuses.”
Guardiola clearly has no time for excuses. He made that clear while being in charge of Barcelona and went on to do it once again yesterday. The Catalan believes finding excuses prevents a side from moving forward.
“When I complain to my players or when you complain, you find an excuse and when you have excuses you cannot move forward.”
Liverpool’s injuries have worsened what had already been a physically and mentally extracting season for players across all teams. The fact that City were able to give themselves a breather, that too in the midst of a busy festive schedule will surely have benefitted them. Klopp’s words did not appear to hold any malice and the German was merely pointing out a fact.
It certainly appears to have ruffled some feathers in the City camp, going into tonight’s game.
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Liverpool will have to win tonight to get themselves back into contention for the title. With Manchester United also dropping points, the Reds can end the week on a high if they turn up against Guardiola’s men tonight.
With just 16 games left in the season, it is now or never for Liverpool. Regardless of what Guardiola thinks, all Klopp and his team will be worried about is securing three points on the night.