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MU can only look up to Man City and Liverpool now

09 Apr 2022 | 11:44 | Football

Manchester United have starred in many stages of the English Premier League. Now they look like a sideline when they see top football from Man City or Liverpool.

Three decades have passed since the birth of the Premier League. The country’s top league does not often see duels that directly affect the championship race.

Several matches between Manchester United and Arsenal in the 1996-2005 period, or MU against Chelsea in the 2007-2012 period have gone down in history. Now, the confrontations between Man City and Liverpool really decide the race to win the Premier League. Even if you look at it broadly, Man City and Liverpool are a match that is no different from the Champions League final.

Europe’s pinnacle

“When I think back to my time at Man City – when I was retired, just watching football and playing golf – I would think of Liverpool as the biggest rival ,” Pep Guardiola said in his pre-match press conference. .

In the last 4 seasons, Pep’s Man City won the Premier League 3 times. However, the fact that the coach of Catalonia praised Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool shows how close the two teams are. Both Man City and Liverpool have been playing consistent and high-level football since the start of the season. They not only compete with each other in the race to win the Premier League.

Next week, the two teams will meet in the semi-finals of the FA Cup. If both Liverpool and Man City play well in Europe, they have a chance to meet in the Champions League final when falling into two different draws. This is possible, because the two teams mentioned above are considered as leading candidates for the European championship.
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 Man City and Liverpool are two of the strongest European football teams. Photo: Reuters.

In his autobiography, Vincent Kompany said the 2017/18 season was the time when Man City felt Liverpool became a real threat. When the two teams met in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, Liverpool fans attacked Man City’s bus before the first leg.

“Everything changed since that time (we – PV) was attacked,” the former Man City captain recalled. “The rivalry between the two teams increased and Liverpool became our number one opponent.”

The 0-3 loss at Anfield that day was like a strong blow to Man City’s confidence and pride. It was the second of Liverpool’s three consecutive victories over Man City in the 2017/18 season. That day, “The Kop” also ended Man City’s dream of owning an unbeaten season with another 4-3 victory in the Premier League.

When the 2017/18 season ended, Pep finally won the first Premier League title in his career as a manager, but the threat from Liverpool began to appear.

Kompany assessed that at this moment, things between the two teams are even more tense. Liverpool became champions of England and Champions League for the past 4 years. They play football at a high level and every season are among the top contenders for the European Championship.

Since August 2018, the number of points that Man City and Liverpool have won in the Premier League is only 1 point difference. The Etihad Stadium team won 338 of the 432 possible points in the Premier League, while Liverpool have 337. Chelsea are next with 265 points won (Opta).

Chelsea just won the Champions League last season, but their confrontations with Man City or Liverpool do not bring special emotions. Coach Thomas Tuchel often choked the game with pragmatism and caution in defence. Meanwhile, Pep and Klopp are always ready to play their signature football.


Saying that does not mean lowering Chelsea and Tuchel, simply, the confrontations between Liverpool and Man City bring viewers more excitement.
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 Klopp and Guardiola are considered two of the best coaches in the football world today. Photo: Reuters.

The rest is hard to keep up with

Jamie Carragher even assessed that Liverpool and Man City are becoming a unique match in English football history. Manchester United, Arsenal or Chelsea fans may disagree with this view. However, the former “The Kop” midfielder has his reasons.

“This is the highest level confrontation that English football has ever had,” Carragher affirmed. “We’ve never seen two of the best teams in the world, led by two of the best managers, compete for the Premier League title.”

Former player Gary Lineker said that the quality of the confrontations between Man City and Liverpool now can be compared with El Clasico from a decade ago. At that time, the two top Spanish teams also showed strength in Europe.

The Premier League has witnessed the rivalry of Manchester United – Sir Alex Ferguson with Arsenal – Arsene Wenger. However, until 2004, Arsenal were never considered a force in the Champions League. Even the match between Chelsea – Manchester United in 2008 did not create a strong impression like Liverpool and Man City today.

In the first leg match between the two teams in October last year, Man City and Liverpool performed football at a high level. No coach defends negatively or goes against his inherent style. Both Pep and Klopp are ready to play attacking football.

“It was an exemplary match ,” Lineker said. “Tell me if there is another European matchup that has reached such heights in terms of entertainment and quality of play.”

The 2-2 draw of Liverpool and Man City in the first leg also reflects the fierceness in the Premier League race between the two teams this season. The football standards of Liverpool and Man City are far above the rest of England.

Even Tuchel’s Chelsea were left behind in the title race. Without recovery and additional personnel in the new season, “The Blues” will find it difficult to keep up with the two big rivals.

The remaining teams in the top 6 such as Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United will take a long way to approach the level Liverpool or Man City have.

If Arsenal and Spurs have less financial potential and stature, then MU is also in the process of rebuilding. The “Red Devils” are likely to have a new coach in the summer, but can the new strategist be on the same level as Klopp and Guardiola? It is not easy for the rest of English football to compete with Man City or Liverpool in the near future.

According to Tuong Linh – Zing.vn | 11:40 09/04/2022