The defending champions, Manchester City will give the new Premier League champions, Liverpool a guard of honor at Etihad Stadium on Thursday. Confirms manager Pep Guardiola.
Man City’s defeat at Chelsea on Thursday brought to an end their two-year reign as champions with Liverpool holding an unassailable 23-point lead with seven games remaining.
With football resume after lockdown earlier this month, Liverpool’s upcoming trip to Etihad had been earmarked as the potentially decisive game in the title race.
However, City lost to Chelsea and mathematically placed Liverpool out of reach. Moreover, Guardiola feels it would be sporting to pay tribute to Klopp’s side.
The manager has confirmed his side will give Liverpool a guard of honor when they face the newly crowned Premier League champions at the Etihad.
He said, “We are going to do the guard of honor, of course”.
“Always we receive Liverpool when they came to our house, in an incredible way. They cannot complain”.
“Of course we are going to do it because they deserve it”.
Moments of simmering tension between City and Liverpool
The developing rivalry between Liverpool and City has features moments of simmering tension over the recent seasons.
The visiting team bus was attacked with missiles before Liverpool recorded a resounding Champions League quarter-final win at Anfield back in 2018 while the sides took last year’s race to the wire when Guardiola’s men prevailed by 98 points to 97.
Yet, the Catalan insisted it’s right that he and his players applauded their rivals to pay respect to what Klopp and his all-conquering squad have achieved.
Guardiola noted Liverpool’s hunger to end the 30-year wait for a top-flight crown, saying they played every match as if it was “their last”.
The ex-Barcelona boss is however confident with why City came up well short in their bid for three in a row but balked at questions over the hunger of a team that has won six of the past eight major honors on offer in English football.
He added, “I did not say City played without passion. Don’t put words I didn’t say. I don’t know the passion of Liverpool. I guess, I imagine what happened, when you are three-zero years without winning the Premier League after winning the Champions League you are focused on that”.
“But I didn’t say this. Because a team that wins eight titles including the 2018- 2019 Community Shields has passion. In every single game, every single competition. No one in this country can say City doesn’t have passion.
“It is so difficult what we have done in the most difficult league by far in the world.
“In sport, you have to live for the future, the next, but you have to have a little bit, one eye, on what we have done.
“Don’t forget we are an incredible club and an incredible organization. What we have to do is learn. I think we know the reason why we suffered this season and we’re going to try to solve it next season.”