PEP GUARDIOLA says Manchester City’s rivalry with Liverpool reminds him of the famous El Clasico fights from his time in Spain.
The top two in the Premier League have won four straight titles together.
That will be five after this season when the North West rivals meet in a potential title shoot-out at the Etihad on Sunday.
Man City boss Guardiola has a 3-1 title advantage over Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp in his recent dominance.
And Guardiola reckons the way the two clubs have been doing over the past five years is similar to how Barcelona and Real Madrid led the league in Spain.
He said: “I experienced this situation in Barcelona. It was always Madrid, sometimes Atlético Madrid of course.
“But usually Barca and Madrid. It’s always five or six teams here, but in the last five years it’s been two.
“That’s the reality in the Premier League, it shows the consistency of both teams and the structures of both.
“What is certain is that in recent years Liverpool and Manchester City have raised the bar and raised the aspirations that the Premier League had previously.
“We pushed each other a lot and the other teams realized that they had to step on the gas to follow us.
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“The last five years, one year, we’ve been a bit down, last season they had injuries and United were there.
“But both teams in the last half decade we were there, both teams fought against each other.”
City are just a point ahead of Liverpool while Chelsea are third THIRTEEN float.
But by one point in January, City had closed a 14-point gap over the Reds and many people considered the title race over.
Guardiola said that never told the full story as Klopp’s men had two games in hand at the time.
He said: “Fourteen points were fake, you were wrong. They had two more games in hand. fake.
“When it was 14 points, I couldn’t believe it myself because I knew what opponents we were going to face.
“One of the best teams in decades in this country and in Europe. The reality is it’s a point right now, we could be one up or two down, that’s the reality.
“It’s an honor to be there, to fight with them and try to beat them and win the Premier League.”
ABANDONED POINTS OF THE CITY
City have dropped points against Tottenham, Southampton and Crystal Palace in recent months in a bid to bring hope to Liverpool.
But Guardiola is unconcerned about his side’s performance in the final weeks of the title defence. He said: “I look at the games where we lost points – Crystal Palace and Southampton – and we were brilliant. More than awesome.
“We weren’t effective or clinical, but we were brilliant.
“We won 4-1 in the FA Cup at Southampton and were miles worse than the game we lost points.
“This is football, it’s unpredictable. But the chances we created in those two games were incredible.”
City defender John Stones indicated that the title will not be decided by Sunday’s result.
But Guardiola knows the eyes of the world will be on the Etihad.
He said: “I’m pretty sure everyone will be watching because it’s the two teams at the top of the league trying to win the Premier League.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/football/premier-league/5079571/premier-league-title-guardiola-man-city-klopp-liverpool/ Ahead of Premier League title shoot-out, Pep Guardiola compares Man City’s battle with Klopp’s Liverpool to El Clasico